Minutes ago I finished reading Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best science fiction novels I have ever perused. It makes no bones about its status as allegory [which I, like Tolkien, have cordially disliked for some time]. But it does not strike me as an allegory about humanity as much as it is for humanity. The story is about universal potential. It also works as a good accompaniment to the film.

Sir Arthur deserves his knighthood for Contributions to Literature from this book alone. The writing is superb, concise, and poignant. He is able to keep a theme running for over three million years by the use of a simple symbol and a remarkable grasp on basic human impulses. Perhaps hardest to fully appreciate is Clarke’s intimation that an extrasolar entity is responsible for the the success of humanity. Although it could very well seem insulting to standard man-ape that we are merely an experiment, Clarke somehow manages to convince the reader to be proud that we are an experiment – mostly because we are a successful one.

This is definitely a book I plan on purchasing at the next available opportunity.

6 thoughts on “2001

  1. what the ten px already there don’t look good on safari? damn thing looks fine on every other browser i’ve checked. [on both mac and pc: opera, mozilla, ie, netscape, firebird, camino]

  2. I dunno why i’m here haha, and i have no idea how i got in your site. Anyways, i did some reading. Nice! Hmmnn i know A.C. Clarke but i haven’t read that book you were saying. Sounds very interesting. Might check it out sometime. Okaayy, guess i better be off. Sorry for the intrusion haha. Have a great day!

  3. I read 2001 in less than a day. I find 2010 to be a worthy sequel. You might want to take a look at that one too Harv. I finished 2010 in 5 hours flat.

  4. I read Clarke’s entire oeuvre in 7 minutes flat, then as sure as God made little green apples, I translated the aforementioned into Esperanto and colloquial Egyptian Arabic, in the following 12. Not to brag, but I was doing the translations simultaneously, Franklin-style: the Esperanto with my left hand, the Arabic with my right. By the twentieth minute, I was eating foie gras on my porch, with Nordic royalty, to the sound of trumpets, while Brazilian supermodels aggressively fellated me. Boomshakalaka; I’m spent.

    Note to Adam: let’s get a few pixels of cell padding in these tables.

  5. I found 3001 to also be a very interesting read as well. I’ve been a big Clarke fan for many years. I am glad you took the time to read them, Adam.

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