Book Reviews

2001 Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke. This is one of the books that survived a vast downsizing as I figured I would read it again; it corresponds to an influential movie done in partnership with Stanley Kubrick, and tells the tale of a future where space travel is more common, there are colonists on the moon, yet there are new adventures to be had. It has some implicit reflections on the era in which it was written and released, comprised of a short story written in 1948, another in 1953, and then as a novel and movie in 1968. There are glimpses of friendship between Russia and the U.S., which must have been radical at the time of writing, and references to the Soviet Union, which now is no more.

There are some fascinating prophetic mentions of technology, and other "bloopers", as there probably are with any science fiction novel with staying power whose readers may chuckle even as they are captivated, as I was.

The story starts out in the 3 million year old past of the earth with Neanderthals, and jumps forward into a future with space travel, and a new discovery. Without realizing it I picked the one book out of my bookshelf that happened to be most closely matched with non fiction I have been reading recently, on recent advances in artificial intelligence. In 2001 there is a computer Hal 9000, which uses some very advanced artificial intelligence, but ends up having some psychological issues. Good reading and apropos for the present and near future.

I would rate the novel at 10 out of 10, a must read; also an easy read, and a nice respite from any recent overdose of binge watching Game of Thrones or other dark adventures.