Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3001: Final Odyssey (Clarke, Arthur C)

Rating: 3
Year: 1997
Genre: Sci-Fi
Read again? Eh.

Frank Poole died in 2001, when HAL-9000 ran him over with a space pod.

Eh, not so much.

In 3001, Frank Poole's body is found by ice-wranglers in the outskirts of the solar system. He's brought out of his deep-frozen state and revived.

Frank's a mega-celebrity, a national treasure, a curiosity from a long-past age. He sees new wonders: a nearly-completed ring around the Earth; settlements on Mercury, the Moon, and Ganymede. A new sun named Lucifer where Jupiter once roamed. Genetically-engineered gorilla archaeology assistants. Velociraptor gardeners. Surgically-altered criminals become personal assistants for the duration of their sentence.

All the world's religions have been discredited!

But Frank soon becomes bored, even after learning to fly, so he hitches a ride to Ganymede to see to some unfinished business. The last time he was in the neighborhood, HAL tried to kill him. Frank gets involved with a philosophy professor who is convinced that Europa holds many secrets--and that Frank's the key to sorting them out.

This final book in the set is the least satisfying of them all, and marks the end of a trend toward more and more silliness in "light-hearted fun" drag. The original book was clean and serious, and more entertaining because of it. Gorilla archaeologists?! Dinosaur gardeners?!


I'm glad it's done, but I'm disappointed that Clarke took the story in such a direction.

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