May 10 2007

2010: Odyssey Two

Category: BooksChrisM @ 12:31 am

2010: Odyssey Two – Arthur C. Clarke

Somewhat obviously carrying on from 2001: A Space Odyssey, this book was written almost 15 years after the original, which had seen a lot of Clarke’s visions of space travel and computing come true already. This time around, the book came first, then the film, though in the edition I read, Arthur does refer to the fact that where the book and film of 2001 split ways in terms of events and facts, 2010 was written more closely as a sequel to the film of 2001, rather than the book.
This book sees the American (especially Heywood Floyd) and Soviet forces join together, in an effort to discover just what went wrong with their previous mission, and although there are a few cultural differences, for the most part, they manage to work together, without too much suspicion on the parts of the astronauts, if not their respective governments. A 3rd party has secretly joined the melee however, and they arrive at the planet first. There appears to be some sort of tragic accident/attack with none of the crew members surviving, which only acts to spur on the USA/USSR teams to discover just what has, and maybe still is, going on.
David Bowman, a major character from the last book, returns in a less than physical sense, and as he now works for/with the alien life forces who originally planted the slabs on the moon and planet earth. He discovers basic life forms, with some hope of evolution, both below the ice of Europa, and also in the atmosphere. This isn’t covered by the film, if I remember correctly, and I was also slightly disappointed with the film’s treatment of the scene where Bowman attempts to make contact with Floyd in a more physical sense, using dust particles to conjure up a mirage like representation of the astronaut’s face.
The book goes on to describe the transformation of the planet Jupiter into a star, via the slabs exponential replication, and how the Moon Europa is allowed to survive, meaning the basic life forms under the ice have the opportunity to progress.
If you read 2001 and weren’t overly impressed, feel free to skip this book, otherwise, if you’re able to skip over little inconsistencies with the previous book, I’d read it for sure.

Tags: , , , , , ,