2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)

1968 science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. While Clarke and Kubrick worked on the book together, Clarke was the official author and dedicated the novel to Kubrick. The story is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, including "The Sentinel" (written in 1948 for a BBC competition, but first published in 1951 under the title "Sentinel of Eternity").

2001 A Space Odyssey movie black logo.png
Among his kind, Moon-Watcher was almost a giant. He was nearly five feet high, and though badly undernourished, weighed over a hundred pounds.

QuotesEdit

  • Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth. Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.
    • Foreword
  • But please remember this is only a work of fiction. The truth, as always, will be far stranger.
    • Foreword

I. Primeval NightEdit

  • The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. Here on the Equator, in the continent which would one day be known as Africa, the battle for existence had reached a new climax of ferocity, and the victor was not yet in sight. In this barren and desiccated land, only the small or the swift or the fierce could flourish, or even hope to survive.
    • Chapter 1, "The Road to Extinction"
  • Moon-Watcher saw that his father had died in the night. He did not know that the Old One was his father, for such a relationship was utterly beyond his understanding, but as he looked at the emaciated body he felt dim disquiet that was the ancestor of sadness…He never thought of his father again.
    • Chapter 1, "The Road to Extinction"
  • In the caves, between spells of fitful dozing and fearful waiting, were being born the nightmares of generations yet to be.
    • Chapter 1, "The Road to Extinction"
 
They had learned to speak, and so had won their first great victory over Time. Now the knowledge of one generation could be handed on to the next.
  • And then there came a sound which Moon-Watcher could not possibly have identified, for it had never been heard before in the history of the world. It was the clank of metal upon stone.
    • Chapter 2, "The New Rock"
  • Moon-Watcher had no idea of its cause, still less of its cure; but discontent had come into his soul, and he had taken one small step toward humanity.
    • Chapter 3, "Academy"
  • The very atoms of his simple brain were being twisted into new patterns. If he survived, those patterns would become eternal, for his genes would pass them on to future generations.
    It was a slow, tedious business, but the crystal monolith was patient. Neither it, nor its replicas scattered across half the globe, expected to succeed with all the scores of groups involved in the experiment.
    • Chapter 3, "Academy"
  • Moon-Watcher started to move toward the nearest pig. It was a young and foolish animal, even by the undemanding standards of warthog intelligence.
    • Chapter 3, "Academy"
  • Others stood hesitantly around the corpse — the future of a world waiting upon their decision. It was a surprisingly long time before one of the nursing females began to lick the gory stone she was holding in her paws…and before Moon-Watcher really understood that he need never be hungry again.
    • Chapter 3, "Academy"
  • The man-apes[1] had been given their first chance. There would be no second one; the future was, very literally, in their own hands.
    Moons waxed and waned; babies were born and sometimes lived; feeble, toothless thirty-year-olds died; the leopard took its toll in the night; the Others threatened daily across the river - and the tribe prospered. In the course of a single year, Moon-Watcher and his companions had changed almost beyond recognition.
    • Chapter 4, "The Leopard"
  • The leopard knew that something was wrong when it felt a stunning blow on its head.
    • Chapter 4, "The Leopard"
 
Presently he invented philosophy, and religion. And he peopled the sky, not altogether inaccurately, with gods.
  • Moon-Watcher was holding a stout branch, and impaled upon it was the bloody head of the leopard. When he reached the far side of the stream, One-Ear was still standing his ground. Perhaps he was too brave or too stupid to run. Coward or hero, it made no difference in the end, as the frozen snarl of death came crashing down upon his uncomprehending head.
    • Chapter 5, "Encounter in the Dawn"
  • For a few seconds Moon-Watcher stood uncertainly above his new victim…he was master of the world, and he was not quite sure what to do next.
    But he would think of something.
    • Chapter 5, "Encounter in the Dawn"
  • A new animal was abroad on the planet, spreading slowly out from the African heartland. It was still so rare that a hasty census might have overlooked it. In the hundred thousand years since the crystals had descended upon Africa, the man-apes had invented nothing. But they had started to change, and had developed skills which no other animal possessed.
    • Chapter 6, "Ascent of Man"
  • Outside the tropics, the glaciers slew those who had prematurely left their ancestral home. But, unlike so many others, the man-apes had not merely become extinct - they had been transformed.
    The toolmakers had been remade by their own tools.
    • Chapter 6, "Ascent of Man"
  • They had learned to speak, and so had won their first great victory over Time. Now the knowledge of one generation could be handed on to the next. Unlike the animals, who knew only the present, Man had acquired a past; and he was beginning to grope toward a future.
    • Chapter 6, "Ascent of Man"
  • Presently he invented philosophy, and religion. And he peopled the sky, not altogether inaccurately, with gods.
    • Chapter 6, "Ascent of Man"
 
The spear, the bow, the gun, and finally the guided missile had given him weapons of infinite range. Into them he had put his heart and soul, and for ages they had served him well.
  • The spear, the bow, the gun, and finally the guided missile had given him weapons of infinite range and all but infinite power.
    Without those weapons, often though he had used them against himself, Man would never have conquered his world. Into them he had put his heart and soul, and for ages they had served him well.
    But now, as long as they existed, he was living on borrowed time.
    • Chapter 6, "Ascent of Man"

II. TMA-1Edit

  • No matter how many times you left Earth, Dr. Heywood Floyd told himself, the excitement never really palled. He had been to Mars once, to the Moon three times, and to the various space stations more often than he could remember. Yet as the moment of takeoff approached, he was conscious of a rising tension, a feeling of wonder and awe - yes; and of nervousness - which put him on the same level as any Earth lubber about to receive his first baptism of space.
    • Chapter 7, "Special Flight"
  • The jet that had rushed him here from Washington, after that midnight briefing with the President, was now dropping down toward one of the most familiar, yet most exciting, landscapes in all the world. There lay the first two generations of the Space Age. Spanning twenty miles of the Florida coast to the south were the giant gantries of the Saturns and Neptunes, that had set men on the path to the planets, and had now passed into history.
    • Chapter 7, "Special Flight"
  • In a million years, the human race had lost few of its aggressive instincts; along symbolic lines visible only to politicians, the thirty-eight nuclear powers watched one another with belligerent anxiety.
    • Chapter 7, "Special Flight"
Without those weapons, Man would never have conquered his world.
But now, as long as they existed, he was living on borrowed time.
  • Perhaps the Chinese were only trying to shore up their sagging economy, by turning obsolete weapons systems into hard cash, as some observers had suggested. Or perhaps they had discovered methods of warfare so advanced that they no longer had need of such toys; there had been talk of radio hypnosis from satellite transmitters, compulsion viruses, and blackmail by synthetic diseases for which they alone possessed the antidote.
    These charming ideas were almost certainly propaganda or pure fantasy, but it was not safe to discount any of them.
    • Chapter 7, "Special Flight"
  • "Hmm," said Moisevitch, obviously quite unconvinced. "Seems odd to me that you, an astronomer, should be sent up to the Moon to look into an epidemic…Then do you know what TMA-1 means?”
    Miller seemed about to choke on his drink, but Floyd was made of sterner stuff. He looked his old friend straight in the eye, and said calmly: "TMA-1? What an odd expression. Where did you hear it?”
    "Never mind," retorted the Russian. "You can't fool me. But if you've run into something you can't handle, I hope you don't leave it until too late before you yell for help.”
    • Chapter 9, "Moon Shuttle"
  • When he tired of official reports, Floyd would plug his foolscap-sized News pad into the ship's information circuit. One by one he would conjure up the world's major electronic papers…He sometimes wondered if the News pad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications. Here he was, far out in space, speeding away from Earth at thousands of miles an hour, yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased. (That very word "newspaper," of course, was an anachronistic hangover into the age of electronics.) It was hard to imagine how the system could be improved or made more convenient. But sooner or later, Floyd guessed, it would pass away, to be replaced by something as unimaginable as the News pad itself would have been to Caxton or Gutenberg.
    • Chapter 9, "Moon Shuttle"
 
TMA-1: "During the past year we have been conducting a magnetic survey of the region…and this is the result…the map that started all the trouble.” (Tycho is the dark yellow spot near the bottom of the image.)
  • So here, Floyd told himself, is the first generation of the Spaceborne; there would be more of them in the years to come. Though there was sadness in this thought, there was also a great hope.
    When Earth was tamed and tranquil, and perhaps a little tired, there would still be scope for those who loved freedom, for the tough pioneers, the restless adventurers…The time was fast approaching when Earth, like all mothers, must say farewell to her children.
  • "I met Moisevitch at the Space Station…he'd heard of TMA-1; rumors are beginning to leak out. But we just can't issue any statement, until we know what the damn thing is and whether our Chinese friends are behind it.”
    • Chapter 10, "Clavius Base" (Floyd to Halvorsen)
  • Floyd was particularly struck by a collection of signs, obviously assembled with loving care, which carried such messages as PLEASE KEEP OFF THE GRASS…NO PARKING ON EVEN DAYS…DEFENSE DE FUMER…TO THE BEACH…CATTLE CROSSING…SOFT SHOULDERS and DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. If these were genuine - as they certainly appeared to be - their transportation from Earth had cost a small fortune. There was a touching defiance about them; on this hostile world, men could still joke about the things they had been forced to leave behind - and which their children would never miss.
    • Chapter 11, "Anomaly"
  • "At first we thought it might be an outcrop of magnetic rock," Dr. Michaels said, "but all the geological evidence was against it. And not even a big nickel-iron meteorite could produce a field as intense as this; so we decided to have a look."
    • Chapter 11, "Anomaly"
  • "My colleagues and I will stake our reputations on this. TMA-l has nothing to do with the Chinese. Indeed, it has nothing to do with the human race - for when it was buried, there were no humans.”
    • Chapter 11, "Anomaly"
  • Here, at the very portals of Earth, man was already face to face with a mystery that might never be solved. Three million years ago, something had passed this way, had left this unknown and perhaps unknowable symbol of its purpose, and had returned to the planets — or to the stars.
    • Chapter 13, "The Slow Dawn"
 
The ship was still only thirty days from Earth, yet David Bowman sometimes found it hard to believe that he had ever known any other existence than the closed little world of Discovery.
  • After three million years of darkness, TMA-1 had greeted the lunar dawn.
    • Chapter 13, "The Slow Dawn"
  • Deep Space Monitor 19 had noted something strange — a faint yet unmistakable disturbance rippling across the Solar System…As would Orbiter M 15, circling Mars; and High Inclination Probe 21, climbing slowly above the plane of the ecliptic; and even Artificial Comet 5, heading out into the cold wastes beyond Pluto. As soon as he glanced at his morning report, the Radiation Forecaster at Goddard knew that something strange had passed through during the last twenty-four hours. Some immaterial pattern of energy, throwing off a spray of radiation like the wake of a racing speedboat, had leaped from the face of the Moon, and was heading out toward the stars.
    • Chapter 14, "The Listeners"

III. Between PlanetsEdit

  • The ship was still only thirty days from Earth, yet David Bowman sometimes found it hard to believe that he had ever known any other existence than the closed little world of Discovery. All his years of training, all his earlier missions to the Moon and Mars, seemed to belong to another man, in another life.
    Frank Poole admitted to the same feelings, and had sometimes jokingly regretted that the nearest psychiatrist was the better part of a hundred million miles away.
    • Chapter 15, "Discovery"
  • Soft light flooded into the chamber; Bowman saw moving shapes silhouetted against the widening entrance. And in that moment, all his memories came back to him, and be knew exactly where he was.
    Though he had come back safely from the furthest borders of sleep, and the nearest borders of death, he had been gone only a week. When he left the Hibernaculum, he would not see the cold Saturnian sky; that was more than a year in the future and a billion miles away.
    He was still in the trainer at the Houston Space Flight Center under the hot Texas sun.
    • Chapter 15, "Discovery"
  • Hal (for Heuristically programmed Algorithmic computer, no less) was a masterwork of the third computer breakthrough. These seemed to occur at intervals of twenty years, and the thought that another one was now imminent already worried a great many people. The first had been in the 1940s, when the long-obsolete vacuum tube had made possible such clumsy, high-speed morons as ENIAC and its successors. Then, in the 1960s, solid-state microelectronics had been perfected. With its advent, it was clear that artificial intelligences at least as powerful as Man's need be no larger than office desks…In the 1980s, Minsky and Good had shown how neural networks could be generated automatically — self replicated — in accordance with any arbitrary learning program. Artificial brains could be grown by a process strikingly analogous to the development of a human brain.
    • Chapter 16, "Hal"
 
Sometimes he would cruise with Pytheas out through the Pillars of Hercules, along the coast of a Europe barely emerging from the Stone Age, and venture almost to the chill mists of the Arctic.
  • Whether Hal could actually think was a question which had been settled by the British mathematician Alan Turing back in the 1940s. Turing had pointed out that, if one could carry out a prolonged conversation with a machine — whether by typewriter or microphone was immaterial — without being able to distinguish between its replies and those that a man might give, then the machine was thinking, by any sensible definition of the word. Hal could pass the Turing test with ease.
    • Chapter 16, "Hal"
  • The time might even come when Hal would take command of the ship. In an emergency…if there was no reply from Earth, he would take what measures he deemed necessary to safeguard the ship and to continue the mission — whose real purpose he alone knew.
    • Chapter 16, "Hal"
  • Although Bowman was nominal Captain on this phase of the mission, no outside observer could have deduced the fact. He and Poole switched roles, rank, and responsibilities completely every twelve hours. This kept them both at peak training, minimized the chances of friction, and helped toward the goal of 100 percent redundancy.
    • Chapter 17, "Cruise Mode"
  • Fifty years ago, Bowman would have been considered a specialist in applied astronomy, cybernetics, and space propulsion systems — yet he was prone to deny, with genuine indignation, that he was a specialist at all. Bowman had never found it possible to focus his interest exclusively on any subject; despite the dark warnings of his instructors, he had insisted on taking his Master's degree in General Astronautics — a course with a vague and woolly syllabus, designed for those whose IQs were in the low 130s and who would never reach the top ranks of their profession.
    His decision had been right; that very refusal to specialize had made him uniquely qualified for his present task.
    • Chapter 17, "Cruise Mode"
  • Bowman had become fascinated by the great explorations of the past — understandably enough, in the circumstances. Sometimes he would cruise with Pytheas out through the Pillars of Hercules, along the coast of a Europe barely emerging from the Stone Age, and venture almost to the chill mists of the Arctic. Or, two thousand years later, he would pursue the Manila galleons with Anson, sail with Cook along the unknown hazards of the Great Barrier Reef, achieve with Magellan the first circumnavigation of the world. And he began to read the Odyssey, which of all books spoke to him most vividly across the gulfs of time.
    • Chapter 17, "Cruise Mode"

IV. AbyssEdit

  • "Mission Control, this is X-ray-Delta-One. At two-zero-four-five, on-board fault prediction center in our niner-triple-zero computer showed Alpha Echo three five unit as probable failure within seventy-two hours. Request check your telemetry monitoring and suggest you review unit in your ship systems simulator. Also, confirm your approval our plan to go EVA and replace Alpha Echo three five unit prior to failure. Mission Control, this is X-ray-Delta-One, two-one-zero-three transmission concluded.”
    • Chapter 21, "Birthday Party" (Bowman)
 
Hal had been created innocent; but, all too soon, a snake had entered his electronic Eden.
  • Discovery was no longer a happy ship.
    • Chapter 23, "Diagnosis"
  • "Hello, X-ray-Delta-One — this is Mission Control. We have completed the analysis of your AE-35 difficulty, and both our Hal Nine Thousands are in agreement…The trouble lies in the prediction circuits, and we believe that it indicates a programming conflict which we can only resolve if you disconnect your Nine Thousand and switch to Earth Control Mode. You will therefore take the following steps, beginning at 2200 Ship Time—”
    The voice of Mission Control faded out. At the same moment, the Alert sounded, forming a wailing background to Hal's "Condition Yellow! Condition Yellow!”
    • Chapter 24, "Broken Circuit"
  • Bowman's movement in the field of view must have triggered something in the unfathomable mind that was now ruling over the ship; for suddenly, Hal spoke.
    "Too bad about Frank, isn't it?”
    "Yes," Bowman answered, after a long pause. "It is.”
    "I suppose you're pretty broken up about it?”
    • Chapter 26, "Dialogue with Hal"
  • Deliberate error was unthinkable. Even the concealment of truth filled him with a sense of imperfection, of wrongness — of what, in a human being, would have been called guilt. For like his makers, Hal had been created innocent; but, all too soon, a snake had entered his electronic Eden.
    For the last hundred million miles, he had been brooding over the secret he could not share with Poole and Bowman…who would not learn the mission's full purpose, until there was need to know. So ran the logic of the planners; but their twin gods of Security and National Interest meant nothing to Hal. He was only aware of the conflict that was slowly destroying his integrity.
    • Chapter 27, "Need to Know"
  • The link with Earth, over which his performance was continually monitored, had become the voice of a conscience he could no longer fully obey…
    He had been threatened with disconnection…
    So he would protect himself, with all the weapons at his command…
    And then, following the orders that had been given to him in case of the ultimate emergency, he would continue the mission — unhindered, and alone.
    • Chapter 27, "Need to Know"
 
At his first glimpse of TMA-1, with the space-suited figures clustering around it, Bowman leaned toward the screen in open-mouthed astonishment.
  • "Something seems to have happened to the life-support system, Dave.”
    Bowman took no notice. He was carefully studying the little labels on the logic units.
    "I think there's been a failure in the pod-bay doors," Hal remarked conversationally. "Lucky you weren't killed.”
    Bowman released the locking bar on the section labeled COGNITIVE FEEDBACK…
    "Hey, Dave," said Hal. "What are you doing?”
    He began to pull out the panel marked EGO-REINFORCEMENT.
    "Look here, Dave," said Hal, "an irreplaceable amount of effort has gone into making me what I am.”
    He started on the AUTO-INTELLECTION panel.
    "Dave," said Hal, "I don't understand…
    • Chapter 28, "In Vacuum"
  • Heywood Floyd looked as if he had had very little sleep, and his face was lined with worry. But whatever his feelings, his voice sounded firm and reassuring; he was doing his utmost to project confidence to the lonely man on the other side of the Solar System.
    "First of all, Dr. Bowman," be began, "we must congratulate you on the way you handled this extremely difficult situation. You did exactly the right thing in dealing with an unprecedented and unforeseen emergency."
    • Chapter 30, "The Secret" (the entire chapter depicts Heywood Floyd's video message to Dave Bowman as Discovery approaches Saturn)
  • "Two years ago, we discovered the first evidence for intelligent life outside the Earth. A slab or monolith of hard, black material, ten feet high, was found buried in the crater Tycho. Here it is.”
    At his first glimpse of TMA-1, with the space-suited figures clustering around it, Bowman leaned toward the screen in open-mouthed astonishment. In the excitement of this revelation he almost forgot his own desperate predicament.
    • Chapter 30, "The Secret"
  • "But why bury a Sun-powered device thirty feet underground? The favorite theory is the simplest, and the most logical. It is also the most disturbing. You hide a Sun-powered device in darkness - only if you want to know when it is brought out into the light. In other words, the monolith may be some kind of alarm. And we have triggered it.
    • Chapter 30, "The Secret"
  • "At the moment, we do not know whether to hope or fear. We do not know if, out on the moons of Saturn, you will meet with good or with evil — or only with ruins a thousand times older than Troy.”
    • Chapter 30, "The Secret"

V. The Moons of SaturnEdit

 
But no one had ever given the slightest thought to the curious coincidence that the rings of Saturn had been born at the same time as the human race.
  • Bowman sometimes wondered if the cultural-shock danger was the only explanation for the mission's extreme secrecy. Some hints that had been dropped during his briefings suggested that the U.S.-U.S.S.R. bloc hoped to derive advantage by being the first to contact intelligent extraterrestrials.
    From his present viewpoint, looking back on Earth as a dim star almost lost in the Sun, such considerations now seemed ludicrously parochial.
    • Chapter 31, "Survival" (a U.S.-Soviet hedge against the "Chinese Empire")
  • Could any technology, no matter how advanced, bridge the awful gulf what lay between the Solar System and the nearest alien sun? Many scientists flatly denied the possibility.
    A vocal minority refused to agree. Even if it took centuries to travel from star to star, they contended, this might be no obstacle to sufficiently determined explorers…In any event, why should one assume that all intelligent species were as short-lived as Man? There might be creatures in the universe to whom a thousand-year voyage would present nothing worse than slight boredom.
    • Chapter 32, "Concerning E.T.'s"
  • If TMA-1 had indeed sent a signal to the stars…humanity would have a breathing space which could certainly be measured in decades — more probably in centuries. To many people, this was a reassuring thought.
    But not to all. A few scientists — most of them beachcombers on the wilder shores of theoretical physics — asked the disturbing question: "Are we certain that the speed of light is an unbreakable barrier?" They talked hopefully about shortcuts through higher dimensions, lines that were straighter than straight, and hyper-spatial connectivity. They were fond of using an expressive phrase coined by a Princeton mathematician of the last century: "Wormholes in space."
    • Chapter 32, "Concerning E.T.'s"
  • A few mystically inclined biologists speculated, taking their cues from the beliefs of many religions, that mind would eventually free itself from matter. The robot body, like the flesh-and-blood one, would be no more than a steppingstone to something which, long ago, men had called "spirit.”
    And if there was anything beyond that, its name could only be God.
    • Chapter 32, "Concerning E.T.'s"
 
"I sometimes think that Japetus has been flashing at us like a cosmic heliograph for three hundred years, and we've been too stupid to understand its message." — Heywood Floyd to Dave Bowman, via video message
  • Bowman could no longer tolerate silence; except when he was sleeping, or talking over the circuit to Earth, he kept the ship's sound system running at almost painful loudness…He finally found peace, as so many others had done, in the abstract architecture of Bach, occasionally ornamented with Mozart.
    And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years.
    • Chapter 33, "Ambassador"
  • Whatever the origin of the rings of Saturn, the human race was fortunate to have seen such a wonder; it could exist for only a brief moment of time in the history of the Solar System…created a mere two or three million years ago.
    But no one had ever given the slightest thought to the curious coincidence that the rings of Saturn had been born at the same time as the human race.
    • Chapter 33, "Ambassador"
  • Japetus alone possessed a distinctive geography, and a very strange one indeed. One hemisphere of the satellite was extremely dark, and showed very little surface detail. In complete contrast, the other was dominated by a brilliant white oval, about four hundred miles long and two hundred wide. At the moment, only part of this striking formation was in daylight, but the reason for Japetus's extraordinary variations in brilliance was now quite obvious.
    • Chapter 33, "Ambassador"
  • For three million years, it had circled Saturn, waiting for a moment of destiny that might never come. In its making, a moon had been shattered, and the debris of its creation orbited still. Now the long wait was ending.
    • Chapter 37, "Experiment"
  • Those who had begun that experiment, so long ago, had not been men — or even remotely human. But they were flesh and blood, and when they looked out across the deeps of space, they had felt awe, and wonder, and loneliness. As soon as they possessed the power, they set forth for the stars. In their explorations, they encountered life in many forms, and watched the workings of evolution on a thousand worlds. They saw how often the first faint sparks of intelligence flickered and died in the cosmic night. And because, in all the galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning everywhere. They became farmers in the fields of stars.
    • Chapter 37, "Experiment"
 
Now they were lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space.
  • The great dinosaurs had long since perished when the survey ship entered the Solar System after a voyage that had already lasted a thousand years. It swept past the frozen outer planets, paused briefly above the deserts of dying Mars, and presently looked down on Earth.
    Spread out beneath them, the explorers saw a world swarming with life. For years they studied, collected, catalogued. When they had learned all that they could, they began to modify. They tinkered with the destiny of many species, on land and in the ocean. But which of their experiments would succeed they could not know for at least a million years.
    • Chapter 37, "Experiment"
  • And now, out among the stars, evolution was driving toward new goals. The first explorers of Earth had long since come to the limits of flesh and blood; as soon as their machines were better than their bodies, it was time to move. First their brains, and then their thoughts alone, they transferred into shining new homes of metal and of plastic. In these, they roamed among the stars. They no longer built spaceships. They were spaceships.
    • Chapter 37, "Experiment"
  • In their ceaseless experimenting, they had learned to store knowledge in the structure of space itself, and to preserve their thoughts for eternity in frozen lattices of light. They could become creatures of radiation, free at last from the tyranny of matter.
    • Chapter 37, "Experiment"
  • Now they were lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But despite their godlike powers, they had not wholly forgotten their origin, in the warm slime of a vanished sea.
    And they still watched over the experiments their ancestors had started, so long ago.
    • Chapter 37, "Experiment"

VI. Through the StargateEdit

 
For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something.
  • He was back, precisely where he wished to be, in the space that men called real.
    • Chapter 46, "Transformation"
  • There before him, a glittering toy no Star-Child could resist, floated the planet Earth with all its peoples…A thousand miles below, he became aware that a slumbering cargo of death had awoken, and was stirring sluggishly in its orbit…He put forth his will, and the circling megatons flowered in a silent detonation that brought a brief, false dawn to half the sleeping globe. Then he waited, marshaling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next.
    But he would think of something.
    • Chapter 47, "Star Child"

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Rice, Stanley A. (2007). Encyclopedia of Evolution. Infobase Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 0-8160-5515-7. "…it was at first thought that A. africanus was a hunter…the image presented by writer Robert Ardrey, upon which writer Arthur C. Clarke based the opening of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.