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Space Odyssey Books In Order

Publication Order of Space Odyssey Books

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
2010: Odyssey Two (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
2061: Odyssey Three (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
3001: The Final Odyssey (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Space Odyssey series of sci-fi novels written by an English author of fantasy, science and science fiction novels Arthur C. Clarke. He was one of the most authoritative figures in the 20th-century sci-fi and spent most of his life in England where he worked as WWII radar operator before relocating to Ceylon in 1956. He is famously known for his book and film 2001: A Space Odyssey which he wrote with the help of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke began the publication of Space Odyssey series in 1968 when 2001: A Space Odyssey the first book in the series was published. The series lasted four books concluding with 3001: The Final Odyssey in 1997. The first novel in the series was adapted into a 1968 sci-fi movie by the same name directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick starring Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea. 2010: Odyssey Two was adapted into a 1984 Sci-Fi film 2010: The Year We Make Contact written, directed and produced by Peter Hyams. The film is a sequel to the first film and is based on Clarkes Space Odyssey series second book.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey is the debut book in Space Odyssey series written by bestselling British author Arthur C. Clarke. The novel was written concurrently with Kubrick’s film version and published shortly after the film premiered. Both Kubrick and Clarke worked on the novel together, but eventually, only Arthur Clarke ended up as the book’s official author. The novel is based in part on several short stories by Clarke including The Sentinel. By 1992 this book had already sold over three million copies globally. The first section of the book, in which aliens influence the ways of the antediluvian human ancestors, is similar to Clarke’s earlier story, Encounter in the Dawn.

In 1964, Stanley Kubrick wrote a letter to Arthur C. Clarke to invite him to New York to discuss a project. Clarke had lived for years in Sri Lanka, where he remained until his death, but accepted Kubrick’s proposal and the two ended up meeting in a Hawaiian restaurant where they kept talking for hours. Kubrick wanted to shoot a science fiction movie, one well done, certainly not one of the b-movies of the era (which he despised) and Clarke had been recommended as the best contemporary science fiction author.

Thus began the writing of 2001 the book and 2001 the film: Clarke lodges for a while at the Chelsea Hotel, selects and offers Kubrick some of his stories already published, Kubrick rejects them all. Kubrick, an excellent omnipotent perfectionist, tells Clarke that the best way to work on this subject is to write a novel from scratch. The initial agreement predicts that Clarke will develop the novel by working with the director, who will then adapt it in a screenplay. In reality, the two works are developed in parallel, and one influences the other in a biunique relationship that envelops the subject.

Be that as it may, Clarke and Kubrick start from the story of a story that Clarke has written years before, The Sentinel, the story of the discovery of an alien whose origin is unknown. Clarke takes up details also present in his other stories to write an entirely new story.

Reading 2001 Odyssey in Clarke’s space, one understands in what cinema and literature are different media. As Kubrick himself said in 1970, the book is more explicit in providing explanations, while the film is a visual and non-verbal experience, which points to the subconscious of the viewer; it is a subjective experience, like the use of music or painting. Moreover, in fact, 2001 is a film based on very little dialogue that tells almost precisely the same story that Clarke made us imagine only through the word. However, this is not the only point; the things that happen in this novel are the same as in the film, but the experience we do with the book changes.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a beautiful read, a sure landmark piece of sci-fi and even though the author divulges a lot more detail than he Kubrick did in his film, the mystic aspect of the space is clearly present in the book. However this is not the usual science fiction stories you have probably read before- it does not follow the usual plot where humanity has to save the world from alien’s threat where the heroes come up with advanced ideas to save the earth from destruction. It is not even the story of the supremacy of any specific species or specific technology as such.

Instead, the story is a reflection of the unimportant of humanity from a cosmic point of view. It also presents a storyline on the challenging use of artificial intelligence. The novel explores six major themes. It examines both the good promises and the dangers of technological advancement in respect to the AI known as HAL 9000. Additionally, the book also explores the possible effects of nuclear war. As the story start, Cold War is still on, but by the end, one side has possession of nuclear weapons. The story also follows the progress of human civilization. It explores not only to the evolution that has led to the advancement of humanity but also the evolution that people might undergo in the future. Other themes include space exploration, artificial intelligence and the instruments of space travel.

2010: Odyssey Two

In the second book in Space Odyssey series we are now back into the “future” which is now the past. 2010: Odyssey Two is set nine years after the events of the first book in the series. At the end of the first book, the spaceship named Discovery is abandoned in space and the sole ship survivor goes through a giant monolith -a portal of some kind, and no one has heard from the man since then.

The second book focuses on Russian spacecraft known as The Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov manned by the Russian crew but with a few American citizens to legalize entry into The Discovery spaceship which is a United States property. Their mission is to find out exactly what happened to the Discovery Spaceship and the ship’s only survivor.

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