3001: THE FINAL ODYSSEY by Arthur C. Clarke

3001: THE FINAL ODYSSEY

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fourth in Clarke's Odyssey series (2061: Odyssey Three, 1987, etc.). Here, at the beginning of the fourth millennium, the vacuum-frozen body of astronaut Frank Poole (murdered by poor mad computer HAL in the original 2001) is recovered and revived. Frank awakens to find he's a celebrity in an age of peace and plenty, with space elevators, inertia-less space drives, and miraculous teaching devices. Frank visits Jupiter (transformed into the mini-sun Lucifer in 2010: Odyssey Two) and ponders its ice-moon Europa, where a giant monolith is attempting to develop intelligence among the native lifeforms. And he meets that strange entity composed of Star Child Dave Bowman fused with a copy of now-sane HAL. Dubbed Halman by Frank, the entity warns of bad news arriving from the monolith's guiding intelligences 450 light-years distant: They've decided to destroy humankind. Europa's monolith, though, is just a supercomputer, not intelligent or self-aware, so Frank's associates decide to use Halman as a Trojan horse to infect the monolith with an irresistible computer virus--whereupon all the monoliths vanish. Clarke, while never uninteresting, long ago abandoned drama; here, he simply reports, with the dispassionate precision of HAL before he went bananas.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1997
ISBN: 0-345-31522-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997




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