When Your Computer Has A Mind of Its Own

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Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Rating: ★★★★☆
Author: Arthur C. Clark

I got through 2001: A Space Odyssey pretty quick, and it was never boring. I was actually surprised at what happened at a few times in the book.

When a book has “Space” and “Odyssey” in the title, you probably assume laser gun fights, space ships blasting off into space, and alien life forms with five eyes and four legs.

Now this book has a space ship, it has alien life forms, but does not have laser gun fights.

But, the book actually starts with a bunch of cavemen, and it was honestly some of the best writing I have ever read.

The simplicity in the cavemen’s thoughts and actions and their interactions with the alien life forms.


When we do finally get into the “modern” story line, I love that we get to see the advanced society that humans are living in, in a time that is before our time.

The story takes place in the early 2000s, and they have a more advanced society than we do in some ways, but in others it is similar.

We follow two astronauts in their trip into deep space with their trust AI computer to help them.

You can imagine what happens…the computer rises up and tries to take control of the ship.

This part of the book is the only reason I didn’t give it a five-star rating. I wanted more of a build up of tension. I wanted there to be more of a conflict between man and machine…but instead it was over just as quickly as it started.

Keir Dullea in a scene from the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, 1968. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

We don’t get the build up, the conflict, and the resolution that I was hoping for. It’s not that the writing is bad. I was captivated through the entire book, it just didn’t seem quite complete.

The end of the story was interesting, and though I think it lead the story in an interesting direction, it really split it up into three very distinct parts.

Theres a beauty to a short story. It tells you an entire story, but it leaves you wanting more. It leaves you incomplete, but yet complete at the same time.

2001: A Space Odyssey has a similar feel to it, but I’d say its a step below. To put it in simple terms, a good short story tells ~50% of a story, and leaves the rest to your imagination. This book would more accurately be ~75% of a story. It tells you a lot, but it’s not quite in either category.


What did you think of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Let’s chat in the comments. Look for a review of the movie this weekend.
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