Saturday, July 14, 2007

"Discovery was no longer a happy ship."

The other day while i was not slacking but exploring the internet for just a moment to see what was out there that might help me in my work i stumbled across this quiz (that i had actually stumbled across before) and i somehow missed one of the same questions i had missed before: (so you've seen the movie, but have you read the book~and just because you've seen the movie, that doesn't mean you've read the book...) What book has this as a first line:
"The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended."
The answer, of course, is 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. This somehow made me decide that i needed to read the book. Although the library's notation (as well as pretty much any other notation to be found) said the novel was based on a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Clarke explains in his (wonderfully witty) foreword to the millennial edition that the novel and the screenplay were written pretty much concurrently (because apparently SOME writers and directors want some kind of story/plot to work with~WHATEVER...)
It has been a while since the last time i saw 2001 (even though i adore Kubrick and have the boxed set of his collected movies) so i had i pretty fresh approach to the novel (although there are some images that just immediately come back to you, and every word that HAL 9000 spoke i heard in his unforgettable voice.)
Apparently there were those who complained that the novel explained too much so if you want to be left to your own devices perhaps you are better off without it. I am not of that opinion (either that it was overly illustrative~nor was it conversely so, or that you are better off left to your own devices;). It did leave me with a desirous of reading more of the wondrous Clarke, and to take in yet another viewing of the movie, what more can you ask of a book?
Although many have seen 2001 to have been an expansion of the short story The Sentinel it really just served as inspiration for the novel and the opening sequence was inspired by Encounter in the Dawn both stories are only about eight pages long, are well worth reading, and can be found in his collected works so if you are interested do check them out as well~Clarke really knows his science stuff.
"like a doorway opening from a darkened room into a still darker night..."

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