2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke is proving to be a very fascinating read. The novel is written with vivid descriptions of space technology and other aspects of science fiction. This style of writing is very unique in that it draws the reader into a world that they cannot directly experience.
So far, the main storyline has not yet been fully introduced, but two intriguing subplots depicting extraterrestrial encounters at various points in human evolution have been described. In the first subplot a giant monolith advances human evolution by teaching man-apes to make tools. The second subplot takes place epochs later, in 1999, when a similar monolith appears on a man-made moon base. Planet Earth at this time is on the brink of a global nuclear war, and humans are faced with food shortages and overpopulation. The effect of the second object on humans has not yet been revealed. These two storylines have a captivating effect on the reader, making this book a real page-turner.
Since the plot has not developed substantially enough for me to develop an opinion on characters or storyline, I can only surmise what will happen next. However one quote describing human evolution was very interesting: “But now, as long as they existed, he was living on borrowed time.” (37) “He” refers to mankind, but who are “they”? I imagine that this foreshadows events to come, possibly even the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent life. Again, this book is a real page turner and I am very curious about how the story will unfold.