978-0-345-42349-8 / 9780345423498

3001: The Final Odyssey


Publisher:Del Rey


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About the book:

Then it came close enough for visual inspection.

"Goliath here", Chandler radioed Earthwards, his voice tinged with pride as well as solemnity. "We're bringing aboard a 1000-year-old astronaut. And I can guess who it is. "

Thus after drifting to an icy death in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the body of astronaut Frank Poole is recovered in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Preserved at near absolute zero, it is a simple task for medical science a millennium hence to restore Poole to life--though strangely for a novel which pits religion against science, the metaphysical implications of technological resurrection are unexamined --and the first half is devoted to Poole's integration into the society of the future. If anything he adjusts with far too little grief or culture shock: apart from mourning his dog, and learning how the new technology works, he faces no major difficulties. Still, the world of the future is drawn with broad, imaginative strokes and apart from a persistent continuity error which makes Poole 6 years old in 2001, this is fascinating stuff. The plot kicks into gear with the revelation that the famous black monoliths may ultimately not have humanity's interests at heart, leading to a perfunctorily presented struggle for survival. Clarke himself notes that the ending is functionally identical to that of Independence Day, though novel and film were created simultaneously. Not the hoped-for late classic, 3001: the Final Odyssey does provide the satisfaction of closure to Clarke's epic Odyssey Quartet.--Gary S. Dalkin

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