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This is a question Books

We love books. Tell us about your favourite books and authors, and why they are so good. And while you're at it - having dined out for years on the time I threw Dan Brown out of a train window - tell us who to avoid.

(, Thu 5 Jan 2012, 13:40)
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The Space Odyssey quadrilogy
I was 16 when SBS decided to show 2001 A Space Odyssey late at night as part of their Kubrick Week, and I stayed up to watch it. I was hooked. Granted, it did drag on a bit, but the soundtrack and cinematography was fantastic. I'd never seen anything like it.
So I hopped onto Wikipedia only to discover that it's only the first part in a 4-book series, only the first two having been adapted to film. And it was by sheer luck that a few years later as a university freshman, I found a copy of 2010: Odyssey Two at a second-hand bookstore. It was to become my companion through freshman year and one of the finest books I'd ever read. I immediately set off on a quest to find the last two chapters of the series only to discover that it was a bit like the four books of the Mythic Dawn Commentaries: Everyone knows the first one and some people the second, but the last two might as well be virtually unknown.
I asked my dear granny to purchase me a copy of 2061: Odyssey Three from the interbutts, and that was fabulous reading. I finally found the last part last year, 3001: The Final Odyssey, in a nerdy bookshop. I'm yet to read it- after all I hear it's crap - but its beautiful cover art serenades me even now, an image of a monolith standing in a plane of pure rainbow light. The Space Odyssey series remains my favourite books of all time. Maybe it's the hope of a utopian future where humanity has finally united, or the story grounded in hard science, or the fascinating descriptions of alien life evolved into harsh climates. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for computers.
It's a shame Arthur C Clarke died before I got to appreciate his work. I'd have liked to have met him.

Also, the 2010 movie is okay. It's not very accurate since the director added a crapton of Cold War references to, uh, 'reflect' the times the film was made in, despite it not even existing in the books' universe, and several rather nice scenes were cut out, but it's not a bad film in and of itself.
(, Thu 12 Jan 2012, 5:21, closed)

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