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3 comments on “Book Review: 3001 The Final Odyssey

  1. But space elevators!
    Oh, Fountains of Paradise.

  2. Michael Jul 18, 2013

    I agree with your frustration about the unanswered questions, but, again: Clarke explicitly says in the preface to each book that this is *not* a series, but a series of “theme and variations.” Maybe it’s a defect, maybe not, but Clarke took pains to let readers know that this is not a linear series, where each book is a sequel to the one preceding it.

    Also: why is it inexplicable that the monoliths would be alarms to the aliens? Doesn’t Clarke say, in all the books, that the alien intelligence behind the monoliths is inscrutable? We *assume* (maybe) they were meant to help humans, but I think 2001 “establishes” (see caveat above) that they are part of the aliens’ mysterious experiments, across the universe. Does Clarke ever actually say they are benevolent? Besides, since each book is a variation on the same theme (and not a sequel to the one before), there’s no conflict if the aliens turn out to be bad guys.

    In any event, I am just nitpicking, since your basic point, that 3001 is a bad and boring book, is sound! Really liked your critique of the religious angles.

  3. Yeah, I see what you’re saying. I’m a bit torn on how much leeway to give Clarke on the continuity issue. On the one hand, you’re right. He says repeatedly that the books aren’t necessarily in the same universe. On the other, if you directly set something up at the end of one book (such as 2061’s epilogue), I think you’re obligated to do at least SOMETHING with it in the sequel. Even if you’re not, it’s still frustrating for the reader, So much wasted potential in all of the sequels

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