Read 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke Free Online
Book Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey|
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Reader ratings: 7.7
The author of the book: Arthur C. Clarke
Date of issue: December 7th 2000
ISBN 13: 9781841490557
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 528 KB
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The book is always better than the film, but I'd never read 2001 before. What I didn't know, until reading the foreword, is that this novel was literally written in tandem with the film, with Clarke and Kubrick feeding each other ideas. At some points, however, filming overtook writing, or vice versa, and the two stories, though similar, split along two different paths.
After reading the book, the film becomes little more than a very well crafted container: It's pretty and neat to look at it, but open it up, and it's empty. There is none of Clarke's vision of how a being we'd call God would communicate with us across unfathomable time spans, or teach us, or lead us into higher consciousness. Stripped away by Kubrick is the sense that this being truly wants us to be in its image, and that the whole breadcrumb trail of monoliths was designed to do just that. And completely erased is the notion that David Bowman, as Star Child, is now one with the Universe, in some Zen-like way, and also much more like something we'd called a god.
Don't get me wrong, 2001 is still one of my favorite films, but to get the full meaning and understand the full weight of why 2001 has been called "the perfect science fiction story," you must read the book. Clarke marries science, mysticism, theory, and fantasy in ways like no other. Unfortunately, Kubrick stripped away the mysticism and theory and left us what is, in comparison to the book, only a glimmer at something bigger.
Kubrick touched the monolith, but Clarke went inside.
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Read information about the authorArthur Charles Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.
Clarke was a graduate of King's College, London where he obtained First Class Honours in Physics and Mathematics. He is past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of the Academy of Astronautics, the Royal Astronomical Society, and many other scientific organizations.
Author of over fifty books, his numerous awards include the 1961 Kalinga Prize, the AAAS-Westinghouse science writing prize, the Bradford Washburn Award, and the John W. Campbell Award for his novel Rendezvous With Rama. Clarke also won the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1972, 1974 and 1979, the Hugo Award of the World Science Fiction Convention in 1974 and 1980, and in 1986 became Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was awarded the CBE in 1989.
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