2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey Series #1)

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Overview

Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A Space Odyssey tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. Including a new Foreword by the author and a fascinating new introduction by Stephen Baxter, this special edition is an essential addition to every SF reader's collection.

On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the ...

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1423315464 *BRAND NEW* Unabridged 4 Cassette Audio Set still sealed in plastic. Fresh from a distributor with no price tags and no remainder marks or chips.

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Overview

Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A Space Odyssey tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. Including a new Foreword by the author and a fascinating new introduction by Stephen Baxter, this special edition is an essential addition to every SF reader's collection.

On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong. Horribly wrong.

2001: A Space Odyssey confirmed Arthur C. Clarke's reputation as one of the best-known and most influential science fiction writers ever. The book and the 1968 movie are icons of the modern age. Now comes a special trade paperback edition, with a new introduction by the author which sheds light on the powerful synergy between the book and the movie.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This film is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America.
General Audiences - All Ages Admitted

In the year 2001 an alien artifact is found on the moon. Tracking its radio signal in outer space, an expedition is launched with mysterious, haunting results. Groundbreaking special effects. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's The Sentinel.
Letterboxed format. Color. 139 min. (1968)

Library Journal
The 1968 book and film that took more people tripping than LSD turns 25. This anniversary edition contains a new introduction by Clarke in which he reminisces about the story's origin. Note that an anniversary video/laserdisc also is being released.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423315469
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Series: Space Odyssey Series, #1
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur C. Clarke was considered to be the greatest science fiction writer of all time. He was an international treasure in many other ways: an article he wrote in 1945 led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Mr. Clarke - both fiction and nonfiction - have more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide. He died in 2008 at the age of 90.

Biography

Widely considered the greatest science fiction writer of all time, Arthur C. Clarke turned his formidable technical knowledge and lively creative imagination into an amazing career that spanned the fields of literature, invention, futurology, and entertainment.

Born in 1917 in the seaside town of Minehad in Somerset, England, Clarke developed an early interest in both science and its literary sister, speculative science fiction. After secondary school he moved to London and joined the British Interplanetary Society, where he contributed articles to the Society's bulletin. During WWII, he joined the RAF, working in the experimental trials of Ground Controlled Approach Radar, the forerunner of today's air traffic control systems. (This experience inspired his only non-science fiction novel, 1963's Glide Path.) In a technical paper written in 1945 for the UK periodical Wireless World, he set out the principles of satellite communication that would lead to the global satellite systems in use today.

After WWII, he attended King's College, London, on scholarship and received first class honors in Physics and Mathematics. He sold his first sci-fi story to Astounding Science Fiction magazine in May of 1946. From that point on, he never stopped writing. Some of his more notable works include Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama, and The Fountains of Paradise.

In 1964, Clarke was approached by film auteur Stanley Kubrick to collaborate on a science fiction movie script. The material chosen for adaptation was Clarke's 1948 short story "The Sentinel," an eerie tale about the discovery of an extraterrestrial artifact. Over the next four years, he expanded the story into a full-length novel, while simultaneously writing the screenplay with Kubrick. In 1968, both versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey debuted to great acclaim. Clarke also worked in television -- as a consultant during the CBS news coverage of the Apollo 12 and 15 space missions and as creator of two distinguished series, "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" and "Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers."

In 1954, Clarke visited Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon). He fell in love with the country and settled there in 1956, founding a guided diving service and continuing to produce his astonishing books and articles. On March 19, 2008, he died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90, leaving behind an impressive literary legacy and millions of bereft fans.

Good To Know

Clarke shared an Oscar nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Clarke was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

In 1986, the Science Fiction Writers of America bestowed on Clarke the title of Grand Master.

At home in Sri Lanka, Clarke survived the deadly Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 that caused the deaths of more than a quarter million people.

Clarke was an expert scuba diver and in 1956 founded a guided diving service in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon.

In Profiles of the Future (1962), Clarke set forth his "Three Laws," provocative observations on science, science fiction, and society:

  • "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  • "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  • "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  • Read More Show Less
      1. Date of Birth:
        December 16, 1917
      2. Place of Birth:
        Minehead, Somerset, England
      1. Date of Death:
        March 19, 2008
      2. Place of Death:
        Sri Lanka
      1. Education:
        1948, King's College, London, first-class honors in Physics and Mathematics

    Table of Contents

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 90 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (58)

    4 Star

    (17)

    3 Star

    (9)

    2 Star

    (1)

    1 Star

    (5)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
    • Posted November 4, 2014

      An outstanding story; well-written. An alien civilization is por

      An outstanding story; well-written.
      An alien civilization is portrayed as being so advanced beyond human beings as to be almost completely incomprehensible. The science and technology is very accurate and credible. Predictions are implied in the mid sixties of the technology of the twenty first century. This story became a landmark and set the standard for many science fiction stories to follow.

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    • Posted November 9, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      2001: A Space Odyssey is a true gem of a science fiction classic

      2001: A Space Odyssey is a true gem of a science fiction classic. Known. Proven. Timeless. Et Cetra. One of the first sci fi books I ever read, and still one of the best. Truly well done, as the story unfold so that the characters are having the all-encompassing HUMAN experience. His relatively accurate foresight for humanity is quite astounding. I loved each of his story innovations, from the alien monolith device to HAL to traveling through space and time. Beautifully written. Clarke’s descriptions of the moons and planets and his use of metaphor in doing so was a joy to read and imagine. And, suffice to say, each one of the characters in the novel, Francis Poole, Dave Bowman, and HAL are some of the most famous sci-fi characters of all time!

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    • Posted April 28, 2013

      When I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey (the movie), about ten year

      When I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey (the movie), about ten years ago, I found it dull, boring, and deeply depressing. I also didn't understand what was going on. I decided a couple months ago to give the book a try. It's much better!




      The story is split into four parts (technically six, but I disagree with Clarke's seperation, and I only perceived four):




      In the first part of the book, there is what I thought of as somewhat of an extended prologue. We meet Moon Watcher, a member of a prehistoric tribe of Men as he uses his primitive brain to help himself, his family, and his tribe survive.




      The second part starts three million years after the first part ends off, and is about a mission to the Moon to investigate a strange phenomenon that has been discovered there.




      This second part ends abruptly, when the reader is vaulted into the scene of a space ship destined for Saturn. The second and third parts do tie together, but I won't give away how.




      Throughout these first three parts, I was torn between giving the book four stars, or five. The fourth part was what finally decided me on three. It's about the last 10% or so of the book, and it's definitely not the ending I had in mind! It's deeply psychological, philosophical, and just plain weird. I considered it a real anticlimax to a great story!




      Still, it's an epic, interesting, and engaging tale, and I certainly think that any fan of Science Fiction should read this book at least once!

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    • Posted November 20, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      "The thing's hollow--it goes on forever--and--oh my God!--i

      "The thing's hollow--it goes on forever--and--oh my God!--it's full of stars!" - Astronaut David Bowman's final message to Earth.

      Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is an epoch-spanning imagining of humankind's first contact with alien life. Most people know the core story from Stanley Kubrick’s film of the same title. What's less known is that the book and screenplay were produced in parallel; Clarke and Kubrick working closely together on both.

      This edition of the book includes a foreword by Clarke, which provides insights into the story's production. He describes an early conversation with the great director, where Kubrick tells him, "What I want is a theme of mythic grandeur." Clarke certainly delivered.

      The story revolves around a monolithic stone-like entity that simply appears on earth 3 million years before modern times. The obelisk explores the mental and physical "skills" of individual man-apes, identifying which have the capacity to carry forth their subtly enhanced genetics. And while the movie is known for it's groundbreaking cinematography and special effects, in equal parts with its story-telling vagaries, Clarke's exposition-strong style draws a clear picture of how this alien-borne object was built to experiment, prod and alter the life forms it finds.

      Not wholly through the serendipity of natural selection, but through delicate alien modifications, do these man-apes take the first tentative steps down their evolutionary paths. The alien interference is subtle; it provides sort of an evolutionary jump-start and then disappears as suddenly as it appeared. Clarke writes, "…the man-apes had been given their first chance. There would be no second one; the future was, very literally, in their own hands."

      One of the first gifts of enlightenment explored by the man-apes is the use of tools, and the actualization that they can be used to defend…and kill.

      A clear theme throughout, Clarke writes on the impact of the human propensity towards violence. Using the monolith's suggestion for the man-ape's adoption of tools as the starting point, Clarke writes that the physical and mental abilities to lay waste to nature and man, up close and at a distance, has defined human evolution -- from the first Promethean spark of consciousness through his fictional 2001 and beyond.

      The novel jumps to the late 20th century. Man has uncovered a monolith buried deep below the surface of the moon. Once the 3 million year old object absorbs the first rays of the sun, a burst of energy explodes towards space. After millions of years of solitude, humankind inadvertently pulls the trigger on its next major evolutionary leap. The burst of energy blows through the solar system targeted at a small moon orbiting Saturn.

      Contextually, this story was written during the dawn of the space age. Russian satellites had orbited the earth and Kennedy had rallied America behind its own goals to put a man on the moon. Science and technology were at the forefront of culture. Consideration of the possibility of alien life was a natural outcome of this collective thought.

      Clarke explores one of the most common themes in science fiction, that of 'First Contact': "The political and social implications were immense; every person of real intelligence--everyone who looked an inch beyond his nose--would find his life, his values, his philosophy, subtly changed. Even if nothing whatsoever was discovered about (the monolith), and it remained an eternal mystery, Man would know that he was not unique in the universe. All futures must now contain this possibility."

      The final third of the story follows astronaut David Bowman aboard a spaceship powering towards the destination of the moon-monolith's energy burst. The memorable HAL-9000 accompanies Bowman on his journey and despite the supercomputer-character's renown, fills only a relatively brief portion of the book. HAL represents a step on the continuum of humankind's evolutionary ascent. It represents the convergence of man and machine. As man developed machines to enhance his existence, he took a step further by transferring human consciousness to machine, which, to dire results, includes all of man's neuroses and psychoses.

      I thoroughly enjoyed the slow build to human-like sentience of HAL. Following its very purposeful deceptions and murder, HAL says to Bowman rather innocently, "is your confidence in me fully restored? You know that I have the greatest possible enthusiasm for this mission."

      Clarke's novel evokes the very familiar pacing and mood of Kubrick's film. The details are rich, the exposition extensive and all encompassing.

      The book finishes with a much more satisfying conclusion than the movie. Clarke actually provides an explanation for the sequences of Bowman's final interactions with the alien intelligence, and his own fate. His conclusion satisfies years of frustrated confusion with Kubrick's final scenes.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 8, 2012

      Amazing Plot! I Totally Recommended It

      The book explores many interesting ideas about technology and the interaction between humans. The question whether machines are self-aware is also expounded upon. It was a great read although the end was quite complex. A great sci-fi book. Monoliths!!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 5, 2011

      A very smart book...

      Maybe my review of this book is a little immature, I am only about 60 pages in, but sometimes you can just tell by the first pages of a book that it will be amazing...anyways, sorry if it is to early but here we go.... IT'S AWESOME!!! th first part of the book are the apes in a constant struggle of survival, they are not equiped to survive the harsh land that they live in, they are constantly hungry and hunted leopards...then one day when they are scrounging around they see a thing...since they are not intelligent they pass it off as another rock, that night they are transformed intellectually. there brains are growing and solving more problems, they start using tools and the first stages of evolution have begun. I don't want to give away what the thing was but you all probably know...then we get to the part in the future when humans are developed and stuff. it gets better as the pages fly by...5 stars!!!!

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    • Posted April 17, 2010

      more from this reviewer

      2001: A science odyssey...

      For readers familiar to Arthur Clarke, no introduction is necessary. He was one of the foremost science fiction authors of the 20th century. Though he's published many highly rated books, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a excellent point of introduction to both Clarke and science fiction in general.

      My own experience with Clarke started with 2001: A Space Odyssey, so it holds a special place in my heart. I first read the book - and each of the several editions with varying endings - in High School. What I have loved most about Clarke since that very first read is his ability to explain scientific concepts relevant to the storyline of the book, and build stories that are both interesting and physically possible...

      One warning however, in keeping with Clarke's famous statement "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", his endings (including the ending in 2001) tend to contrast from his physical-law-constrained narrative by presenting a psuedo-mystical experience of the central character. As a teenager I was rather confused by this type of ending. Now I see it as almost unavoidable, since any alien species capable of crossing the interstellar divide would be 1000's of years more advanced in technology. The experience would be similar if a tribe from Papua New Guinea with no contact to the outside world saw a missionary use a satellite phone to download weather forecasts from the internet... utterly unthinkable, yet plausibly based in reality.

      I recently purchased this book for my niece who is interested in science... I expect her experience to parallel mine. Let's hope :-)

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    • Posted December 8, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      This was an amazing book

      Though i was skeptical to read this at first i was captivated by it right away. other engagments and books kept me from this for a little while but when i read it again i finished it within a day and was completly engaged. I recommend this book for anyone brave enough to handle it.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 8, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      This bis an amazing book. I really enjoyed this book

      2001: A Space Odyssey is an amazing book. There is suspense, action, and mystery. The book is thrilling story about finding and alien made structure buried thirty feet below the surface on the moon. In an attempt to discover these alien creatures David Bowman sets of on a one way trip to Saturn, and the stars beyond.. The theme of the book is space exploration and evolution. The author uses imagery, and figurative language.
      David Bowman is alone at the far reaches of the solar system. To him earth is just a dream. He knows he'll never see it again. All of his friends who started this journey with him are now dead, killed by the rouge computer in command of the ship Discovery. From the Orbiting Space Base filled with the scientists, to the still developing colony beneath the moons surface, to Japetus one of Saturn's most mysterious moons this book describes our universe.
      Experts from the United States Astronautics Association discovered an object of alien material buried beneath the moons surface. When it was revealed to the sun it sent out a burst of electro-magnetic waves to Saturn. This scared all of the scientists on the moon proving that there really was another intelligent life form at in the stars. That is why David Bowman was sent to investigate.
      I have always wondered about the far reaches of the solar system. It has always fascinated me to learn more about our universe. This book just helped me inflame my curiosity. This book will probably motivate our country or world to explore more of space.
      Overall this book really captures your attention. Through mystery, action, and suspense the author reveals what is really at the far reaches of our universe. I would most definitely recommend this book. If you like science fiction and fantasy than this is the book for you.

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    • Posted April 28, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      Look at the future with optimism.

      This review contains possibly a spoiler. I explain what happens at the end of the film. I do this because the end is confusing if you don't know something about the ideas of Arthur C.Clarke, an English scientist and SF writer who wrote the script for this movie along with Stanley Kubrick.

      The basic idea of the film is that the 'Homo Sapiens' evolved from the apes (Darwin) and the 'Homo Cosmos' will in time evolve from the 'Homo Sapiens'(A.C.Clarke). The 'Homo Cosmos' will be a human creature that is able to live in outer space like we are able to live on Earth. Space will be his natural environment.

      Arthur C.Clarke writes about this idea ( and many other scientific speculations ) in his book 'Profiles of the Future', first published in 1962 - he calls it 'An inquiry into the limits of the possible' - and revised in 1999 for millennial edition published by Indigo.

      Before I carry on I have to say that the characters in this film are very cold and distant (all of them with perhaps the exception of the six year old daughter of one of the scientists.)They are polite but they could be mindless robots. I don't know if this was on purpose or that the scriptwriters didn't care about human psychology.

      The movie has four parts.
      First is the long winded part where you can witness the daily life of large apes. I presume that stunt men crawled almost literally in the skin of those apes. The special make-up must have cost a fortune. I give the film 4 stars because this first part is extremely slow-paced and is of very little importance for the rest of the film.
      You start wondering if you are watching the wrong movie but at the end of that first part, you understand that the basic idea was that the apes are climbing up the ladder of evolution by using large bones as a tool or a weapon.

      In the second part some scientists travel to the moon (there are already several colonies on the moon), to visit a mysterious artifact dug up in the vicinity of one of the colonies. We are told that the artifact points toward Jupiter where possibly another artifact can be found, floating like a satellite around the giant planet.

      The third part is the mission to Jupiter. Something happens and the only survivor of the mission takes one of the space-capsules. He uses the gravity of Jupiter to gain speed and he makes a discovery voyage beyond Jupiter. The enormous speed he has is one of the most impressive scenes of the film.

      In the fourth and last part of the movie, we witness the decay of the Homo Sapiens and we look at the foetus of the Homo Cosmos, floating in outer space.

      A professional reviewer called The Space Odyssey a movie with a pessimistic vision. He apparently didn't read 'Profiles of the Future' because if there is one SF movie that is optimistic and welcomes the future with open arms (so to speak) it's The Space Odyssey.
      After all, a whole new kind of humans with different and powerful possibilities is about to be born.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 24, 2007

      The Truth has Never Been Stranger

      From the imaginations of one man during the space race, 2001: A Space Odyssey is truly a magnificent insight to the future of the world and beyond. Written with excellent prose and style, Mr. Clarke has set the bar for Space Sagas everywhere. Though the events described within the pages have not yet come to exist, it is not hard to believe that it soon will, and we as humans will be faced with the dangers and opportunities that come with knowing our universe.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 3, 2007

      The ultimate trip

      I read this years ago and then saw the film. I then read it again recently and loved it once again.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 3, 2007

      amazing

      Im an 8th grader and when i was younger i always remember seeing this film laying in my dad's collection of movies. Well he told me recently that it was an outstanding novel, so i decided to read it as part of my assigned 450 pages for first quarter reading. by the time i finished it which was in less than a week, i was amazed. It was all i talked about, and i was constantly reccomending it to my peers. Unfortuneately i seem to be the only 8th grader interested in such a story. This book was full of fascinating details that i enjoyed. I highly reccomend this book, along with it's sequel 2010.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 1, 2006

      An utterly boring book

      I did not like this book very much at all. The author was very poor in describing the characters. I felt like the author cared more about the scientific point of view of the story than the actual story with the characters. However, I am not a sci-fi fan so that is probably the main reason why I did not like the book. If you are a sci-fi fan than you would probably enjoy it.

      0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 28, 2006

      A 13 year old

      I LOVED THIS BOOK ,NOW GONNA RAED 2010.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 22, 2005

      Remarkable conception

      2001 is a book for Scientist you can't read and like this book without having some good scientific bent you may be missing your calling, although that can take some of you decades of soul searching people seem to only learn when they are fifty these days they are so caught up in their social problems. I think my title really says it all one of the most creative sci-fi conceptions ever. The book is actually quite different almost the only same things is a primitive beginning meets an alien object then, they find a similar alien object on the moon when that ape species evolves(yep, meaning that dynamical view of life as oppossed to the static conception of the supernatural religions) to get out in space. Then a ship goes to chase down the signal, and a lone survivor of that mission gets wormholed to the aliens home I guess! Almost everything else about the book is different from the movie there is lots of science to enjoy throughout the book and gee-wiz technology. I took a star off because I thought the ending in the book was kindof an add on, like Mr Clarke couldn't think of where and what the book could mean and go towards a sequel. They say when writing Sci-Fi, to not do or describe science in the book, well, Arthur C. Clarke broke that tradition in this book, and he melded it all together quite well I must say! This book is really the transhumanist bible, or at least a chapter in such a book.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 24, 2005

      the best sci-fi book EVER

      Wowee!! What a book! This is probably the best book I've read full of wonder and intrigue, from the moon, to jupiter, to japetus and beyond!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 20, 2005

      Awsome Read

      This was quiet possibly the best book I have ever read. I hate reading, and I had to read this book for a class, and once I started I found myself not wanting to put it down.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 17, 2005

      Great Book

      Even though I have a lack of enthusiasm to read, I really did enjoy this book. I am not an avid reader by any means, but this book kept my wandering minds attention. If you are a fan of sci-fi then this book is a must read. I would be a much more involved in reading if there more books like this. Despite my lack of interest in reading, another book like Clarke¿s would definitely catch my eye

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 10, 2005

      All odyssy's have a bad end!

      What the heck. I read the books watched the movie and still in the minds eye it's too strange. Evil Machines, GiantBlack Rocks,Davied, zombies, and monkeys. It just doesn't add up!

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