Tuesday, March 31, 2015

3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

(1997: fourth novel in the Space Odyssey quadrilogy)

From the inside flap:

"It began four million years ago with a gleaming black monolith - an inexplicable apparition that ignited the spark of human consciousness, transforming ape into man.

"It continued at the dawn of the twenty-first century when an identical black monolith was excavated on the moon -- beginning the adventures of Dave Bowman, his deputy (Frank Poole) and the supercomputer HAL.

"Only Dave Bowman would survive to encounter a third, and far more massive, monolith on Jupiter's moon, Europa -- and be forever transformed into the star child.

"It is the world of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And now, the odyssey enters its perilous, ultimate stage. In 3001, the human race, incredibly, has survived, fearful of the trio of monoliths that dominate the solar system. Then a single hope flickers. The body of Frank Poole, believed dead for a thousand years, is recovered from the frozen reaches of the galaxy. Poole is restored to conscious life, and readied to resume the voyage that HAL abruptly terminated a thousand years ago. He knows he can't proceed without David Bowman. But first he must fathom the terrifying truth of what Bowman -- and HAL -- have become inside the monolith."


3001 is an excellent, tone-, character- and science-consistent conclusion to the Space Odyssey quadrilogy. It seamlessly dovetails the storylines and characters from the previous three books into a satisfactory, if quiet, wrap-up. Like the other Space Odyssey books, it is worth owning.


The Syfy Channel is scheduled to air the resulting miniseries in 2017. I will update this post when I receive more information regarding the details of this television project.

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