2001: a space odyssey Review and Opinion


2001: A Space Odyssey
Arthur C. Clarke
Orbit hardcover £12.99

review by Christopher Geary

A handy special edition in hardback format, this timely reprint of the novel that evolved alongside the screenplay of Kubrick's classic, is likely to have become a collectors item already. In addition to the diversive main text's variations on the film's narrative, you get a fulsome intro by Stephen Baxter, a sampling of final correspondence between the world's most famous SF novelist and a certain reclusive auteur director, plus a new lengthy foreword by Clarke - in which he's obviously ransacked his archives again, to find more amusing instances of the life-imitating-art variety. That he is so fond of these little snippets of egoboo is understandable, and part of what humanises the great man's work, making it more accessible to those who may still be baffled by the possible meanings of the film's complex metaphysical finale.
   As Baxter notes, the book and the film are siblings without rivalry. One enriches the other. And if you have ever been caught up in an argument or debate about what the film means, it really does help, enormously, in such circumstances - with authoritative comments, if you have read this extraordinary genre novel.

Related pages:
tZ The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
tZ Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
tZ 2001: A Space Odyssey - unofficial magazine about the classic movie
tZ Millennium Blues: beyond 2000 - essay by Peter Schilling
tZ Big Planet: the worlds of Jupiter in SF - by Steven Hampton

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