2001: a Space Odyssey: 25th Anniversary Edition

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9780451452733: 2001: a Space Odyssey: 25th Anniversary Edition

The classic science fiction novel that inspired Stanley Kubrick’s immortal 1968 film and changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves.

From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man ventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other.

This allegory about humanity’s exploration of their universe, and the universe’s reaction to humanity lives on as a hallmark achievement in storytelling. The story follows the Discovery One and its crew as they embark on a mission to Saturn. Controlling the Discovery One is the HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent supercomputer that manages the functions of all systems of the spacecraft. A masterful feat of human engineering, HAL is capable of the highest level of cognitive functioning that rivals—and perhaps threatens—the human mind.

Grappling with space exploration, the perils of technology, and the limits of human power, 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to be an enduring classic of cinematic scope. 

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Review:

When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it's unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to investigate. Its crew is highly trained--the best--and they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the ultra-capable HAL 9000. But HAL's programming has been patterned after the human mind a little too well. He is capable of guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every single one of Discovery's components. The crew must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope to make their rendezvous with the entities that are responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe even for human civilization.

Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick created the film, the two collaborating on both projects. The novel is much more detailed and intimate, and definitely easier to comprehend. Even though history has disproved its "predictions," it's still loaded with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction. --Brooks Peck

About the Author:

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) was one of the supreme science fiction writers of the century and achieved vast popularity with 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968. He has over twenty million books in print and won every imaginable science fiction award, including the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Award for life achievement in 1986. In addition to his literary accomplishments, Sir Arthur, a former radar officer for the RAF, invented the Communication Satellite. For this achievement he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; in 1998 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for Services to Literature.

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