[Books] I’m finally reading 2061: Odyssey Three

I’m a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke’s phenomenal Space Odyssey series (which all self-respecting sci-fi fans should be). The problem is it has taken me years to get around to it.

It all started with the film adaptation (well parallel story) of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The characters, beautiful shots, mesmerising music, and bizarreness of it all captivated me.

Earlier this year, I managed to stumble upon a second-hand copy of 2010: Odyssey Two, which I consumed within a matter of days — that’s not the norm for me. It both did and didn’t continue the storylines from the 2001 movie and book. Upon completing it, I had to watch the movie as well.

I’ve had the fourth book in the series, 3001: The Final Odyssey, sitting in my collection for a few years now. I’ve always wanted to get around to it, but I was missing that crucial third book. Sure, each novel can’t necessarily be considered a sequel, but I still wanted to know what happened between 2010 and 3001 before delving into the last chapter.

A few nights ago I finally secured a copy of 2061: Odyssey Three and have been pouring through its pages ever since. I can only read a few pages a night thanks to a stressful day-job, but it’s what I look forward to every night now.

I can honestly say that Clarke is one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time and this series is proof of that. His use of realistic technology woven in with the fantastical creates a gripping story with life-like characters.

It inspires me to write my own science fiction stories one day.

  • I had no idea there were two more books in the Odyssey series – it seems like I’ve got some catching up to do!

    I’m also a huge fan of Clarke’s work. Rendezvous with Rama was a proper head-scratcher 🙂

    • The 2001 series are the only titles I’ve read by him, but by god are they amazing. I highly recommend picking up the others in this series! 😀

      • You know, I did end up doing that – I got 2061 and 3001, and to be honest, I felt a bit let down. I kept finding duplicated passages (in 3001 at least 10% of the overall book was copied verbatim from earlier work), there were only two distinct character voices (HAL and not-HAL), and the story seemed to meander back and forth with no real sense of urgency or direction.

        The biggest cliffhanger from 2010 (“Attempt no landings there”) was completely defused when Galaxy crashed on Europa and there appeared to be no consequences or retaliation by the Monolith. From there the whole thing just seemed to come off the rails, for me. 3001 itself just read as an excuse to write about an advanced human society from the perspective of a directionless character.

        Maybe I’m being overly critical, but the whole man-vs-Monolith thing went totally unexplored, and none of the answers were satisfactory to me.