Plot summary[ edit ] A rare and never before seen alien race uses a tool with the appearance of a large crystalline monolith to investigate worlds across the galaxy and, if possible, to encourage the development of intelligent life. The book shows one such monolith appearing in prehistoric Africa, 3 million years B. The ape-men use their tools to kill animals and eat meat, ending their starvation. They then use the tools to kill a leopard preying on them; the next day, the main ape character, Moon-Watcher, uses a club to kill the leader of a rival tribe.
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Plot summary[ edit ] A rare and never before seen alien race uses a tool with the appearance of a large crystalline monolith to investigate worlds across the galaxy and, if possible, to encourage the development of intelligent life. The book shows one such monolith appearing in prehistoric Africa, 3 million years B.
The ape-men use their tools to kill animals and eat meat, ending their starvation. They then use the tools to kill a leopard preying on them; the next day, the main ape character, Moon-Watcher, uses a club to kill the leader of a rival tribe.
The book suggests that the monolith was instrumental in awakening intelligence. In AD , Dr. Excavation has revealed a large black slab, precisely fashioned to a ratio of or and therefore believed the work of intelligence. Visiting TMA-1, Floyd and others arrive just as sunlight falls upon it for the first time since it was uncovered; it emits a piercing radio transmission which the scientists determine is directed at one of the moons of Saturn, Japetus Iapetus.
En route, Dr. David Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole are the only conscious humans aboard; their three colleagues are in suspended animation , to be awakened near Saturn. The HAL , an artificially intelligent computer, addressed as "Hal", maintains the ship. While Poole is receiving a birthday message from his family on Earth, Hal tells Bowman that the AE communication unit of the ship is going to malfunction. Poole takes one of the extra-vehicular pods and swaps the AE unit; but when Bowman conducts tests on the removed AE unit, he determines that there was never anything wrong with it.
In communicating with Earth, Poole and Bowman are directed to disconnect Hal for analysis. These instructions are interrupted as the signal is broken, and Hal informs them that the AE unit has malfunctioned.
As Poole is removing the unit he is killed when his pod accelerates into him, crushing him. Bowman threatens to disconnect him if his orders are not obeyed, and Hal relents. He then learns that his mission is to explore Iapetus ,  in the hope of contacting the society that buried the monolith on the Moon. Bowman learns that Hal had begun to feel guilty at keeping the purpose of the mission from him and Poole, against his stated mission of gathering information and reporting it fully; and when threatened with disconnection, he panicked and defended himself out of a belief that his very existence was at stake, having no concept of sleep.
Bowman spends months on the ship alone, slowly approaching Iapetus. During his approach, he gradually notices a small black spot on the surface of Iapetus, and later finds it identical in shape to TMA-1, only much larger.
The scientists on Earth name this monolith "TMA-2", which Bowman identifies as a double misnomer because it is not in the Tycho crater and gives off no magnetic anomaly. The Star Child then returns to Earth, where he detonates an orbiting nuclear warhead. Themes[ edit ] Perils of technology A Space Odyssey explores technological advancement: its promise and its danger.
The HAL computer puts forward the troubles that can crop up when man builds machines, the inner workings of which he does not fully comprehend and therefore cannot fully control. Perils of nuclear war The book explores the perils related to the atomic age. In this novel, the Cold War is apparently still on, and at the end of the book one side has nuclear weapons above the earth on an orbital platform.
To test its abilities, the Star Child detonates an orbiting warhead at the end of the novel, creating a false dawn below for the people on Earth. Clarke, however, retained and clearly stated this fact in the novel. The story follows the growth of human civilization from primitive man-ape. Distinctively, Space Odyssey is concerned about not only the evolution that has led to the development of humanity, but also the evolution that humanity might undergo in the future.
Hence, we follow Bowman as he is turned into a Star Child. The novel acknowledges that evolutionary theory entails that humanity is not the end, but only a step in the process. One way this process might continue, the book imagines, is that humans will learn to move to robot bodies and eventually rid themselves of a physical form altogether. Space exploration When A Space Odyssey was written, mankind had not yet set foot on the moon.
The space exploration programs in the United States and the Soviet Union were only in the early stages. Much room was left to imagine the future of the space program. Space Odyssey offers one such vision, offering a glimpse at what space exploration might one day become.
Lengthy journeys, such as manned flights to Saturn, and advanced technologies, such as suspended animation , are described in the novel. Artificial intelligence The book raises questions about consciousness, sentience, and human interactions with machines.
Through much of the movie he seems to have malfunctioned. Having been instructed not to reveal the nature of the mission to his crew, he reasons that their presence is a threat to the mission, which is his prime concern. Accoutrements of space travel The novel is deliberately written so as to give the reader an almost kinesthetic familiarity with the experience of space travel and the technologies encountered.
Large sections of the novel are devoted to detailed descriptions of these. The novel discusses orbital mechanics and the manoeuvres associated with space travel with great scientific accuracy.
The daily lives of Bowman and Poole on board the Discovery One are discussed in detail and give the impression of a busy yet mundane lifestyle with few surprises until the malfunction of Hal. Main characters[ edit ] Moon-Watcher: a man-ape who lived in dry equatorial Africa, circa 3,, B. He, his tribe, and his species were faced with extinction, but for the intervention of a monolith which imbued him and his fellows with the beginnings of higher intelligence.
Evolution then took its course. Heywood Floyd: Scientist and senior bureaucrat, who is flown from the Earth to the Moon on a secret mission concerning the Tycho monolith, a second monolith which has been discovered on the Moon, and excavated by Americans.
David Bowman: First Captain of the Discovery, an American spacecraft which had previously been intended to visit the Jupiter system, but which has recently instead been charged with exploring Saturn. Bowman and Poole routinely toggle shifts in order to maintain a continuous, waking presence on board the Discovery.
Minor characters[ edit ] Over the course of the novel, several minor characters either appear very briefly or are named only in passing, including other man-apes, spaceflight staff, lunar station security, and Discovery crew members. Moisevitch, like Floyd, is written as a cagey and worldly bureaucrat. Whitehead, Kaminski, and Hunter: a trio of astronauts who are put aboard the Discovery in hibernation, in order to conserve resources. In the event of the deaths of Bowman or Poole, the hibernating astronauts are to be revived in the order given.
Chandra: briefly cited by HAL during his de-activation as being his first instructor, who taught him to sing "Daisy". In the film, this initial instructor is instead named as "Mr. Langley"; however the character of Dr. Chandra features throughout the rest of the Odyssey franchise, especially in the book and film. In other films and novels of the franchise, these pods are given different naming conventions. Sequels[ edit ] A sequel to the book, entitled Odyssey Two , was published in and adapted as a motion picture in Clarke went on to write two more sequel novels: Odyssey Three and The Final Odyssey To date, [update] the last two novels have yet to be adapted as films.
Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message Although the novel and film were developed simultaneously, the novel follows early drafts of the film, from which the final version of the film deviated.
Stylistic differences may be more important than content differences. Stylistically, the novel generally fleshes out and makes concrete many events left somewhat enigmatic in the film, as has been noted by many observers. Vincent LeBrutto has noted that the novel has "strong narrative structure" which fleshes out the story, while the film is a mainly visual experience where much remains "symbolic". Trumbull later developed a more convincing image of Saturn for his own directorial debut Silent Running.
The general sequence of the showdown with HAL is different in the film from in the book. In the film, Bowman and Poole decide on their own to disconnect HAL in context of a plan to restore the allegedly failing antenna unit.
If it does not fail, HAL will be shown to be malfunctioning. HAL denies him reentry and kills the hibernating crew members by turning off their life-support. In the sequel Odyssey Two, however, the recounting of the Discovery One mission is changed to the film version.
In the novel, this monolith is a transparent crystal;  In the film, it is solid black. A ratio of would produce an object that appears thick, wide, and squat. Kubrick wanted something taller and thinner, which he felt would be more imposing. Measurements taken from movie frames show that the movie monolith has dimensions approximately in the ratio 0.
Iapetus versus Japetus[ edit ] The name of the Saturnian moon Iapetus is spelled Japetus in the book. This is an alternative rendering of the name, which derives from the fact that "consonantal I" often stands for "J" in the Latin language see modern spelling of Latin. He goes on to say that "Clarke, the perfectionist", spells it Japetus. Agel then cites the dictionary that defines jape as "to jest; to joke; to mock or make fun of". He then asks the reader, "Is Clarke trying to tell us something?
Arthur C. Clarke
I remember watching A space Odyssey about seven years back and almost losing my mind during the overlong Stargate sequence and what followed after that acid trip. Fortunately, I had a copy of the novel with me and I jumped right in! In short, The tribal group was going down and they were facing Extinction with a big E. Enter our savior, the big black slab which manipulated with the minds of man-apes and turned them into ambitious, innovative and uh
2001: A Space Odyssey
Narg Clarke marries science, mysticism, theory, and fantasy in ways like no other. The remarkable thing about this book is how it stands the test of time. Blatant Mad Men era sexism. A Space Odyssey requires that you experience both the book and film to fully grasp the intent of Clarke and Kubrick, and it is well worth the time. Sometimes I still pick it artgur just to read a chapter or two. A Space Odyssey novel — Wikipedia Retrieved 9 July I think that adds even more astonishment to his writing and his imagination. Having been instructed not to reveal the nature of the mission to his crew, he reasons that their arhur is a threat to the mission, which is his prime concern.