2010: Odyssey Two

Dust jacket foreground for “2010” is a spacecraft far from earth; background is a womb-like object in space.
A baby in the womb?

The novel 2010: Odyssey Two is a follow up to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Although Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001, Stanley Kubrick’s movie version was released before the novel was published and thus became “the right” version.

Clarke accepted the inevitable, writing a sequel to the movie version.

People who have seen the movie will know the background. People like me who haven’t will be hard pressed to make any sense of the novel.

As best I can make out from 2010, in 2001, a Discovery expedition failed because the ship’s computer system, HAL, refused to obey orders. A crewman, Dave Bowman, was left stranded in space, the rest of the crew killed. Bowman’s last words were, “My God, it’s full of stars.”

A new joint US and Russian mission is being sent to Jupiter. They hope to recover data on the abandoned Discovery before the Chinese, already in space, can get it.

The Chinese, however, aren’t after the data: Their aim is Europa, where they say they have found life.

Life is what isn’t in Clarke’s novel. It’s a story for folks who sleep with a slide rule on their bedside tables.

None of Clarke’s characters is as human as HAL.

2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke
Ballantine Books, 1st ed. ©1982. 291 p.
1982 bestseller #9. My grade: C

© 2019 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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