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Old 17-08-2008, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default Arthur C Clarke (mason) shapes future with books

The Sands of Mars

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The Sands of Mars is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke which was published in 1951, before humans had achieved space flight. The story is set principally on the planet Mars, which has been settled by humans and is used essentially as a research establishment. It has been surveyed but not fully explored on the ground.

Notes


The book has given an inspiration for the title of guitarist Jimi Hendrix's last and unfinished album, First Rays of the New Rising Sun. The album also contains an unfinished song "New Rising Sun" in which "Jupiter Sun" is mentioned.

It was also published later in an omnibus edition as part of the The Space Trilogy, along with Islands in the Sky and Earthlight.

The transformation of Phobos into a second sun has similarities to what is done to Jupiter in Clarke's novel 2010: Odyssey Two In that case, alien technology triggers a fusion reaction in the planet, which is largely hydrogen. In the case of Phobos - tiny and mostly rock - Clarke proposes an imaginary "meson resonance reaction"[1] that has recently been discovered.

Clarke's vision of Mars was based on what was known or imagined in the 1950s. The Martian canals were long discredited, but it was not thought that Mars had mountains, nor that it did have craters. Seasonal changes visible from Earth were thought to be caused by vegetation of the sort the novel describes.

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if you start to look deep into clarkes books and movies you start to see a patern of fortelling of this to come. take a look at some of his books and stories especially 2001 and 2010. they have illuminati symbols and esoteric symbology in them both.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:28 AM   #2
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Islands in the Sky


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Islands in the Sky is a science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in 1952. It is one of his earliest and lesser known works, and some have noted that its plot was weaker than would be expected from Clarke's usual writing[citation needed].

The book tells the story of Roy Malcolm, a young space enthusiast who wins a trip to the Inner Space Station by way of his knowledge of aviation on a game show. Once aboard, Roy learns the effects of zero-G with delight, and joins the mishaps and adventures of the young crew of the station.

Throughout the book, there are small hints given suggesting life on other planets within the solar system, but seemingly these forms of life are unintelligent. For instance, Commander Doyle of the Inner Space Station recounted a story of so-called "Mercurians" living in the sunless and "twilight" regions of the planet. Also, at the end of the book, a photograph is seen by Roy of small, gentle native inhabitants of Mars, supposedly friendly to human beings after their colonization there.

One other notable aspect of this novel is that the setting provides a fictional example of Clarke's concept for the geostationary communications satellite. In the novel, there are three large manned orbital stations set up in a triangular formation around the Earth that provide telecommunications for the entire surface. This closely mirrors Clarke's original model of satellite arrangement.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:44 AM   #3
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The City and the Stars

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The City and the Stars (1956) is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is a complete rewrite of his earlier novella, Against the Fall of Night.
Contents

Overview

Against the Fall of Night was Clarke's first novel. It was published in Startling Stories in 1948 (after John W. Campbell, Jr. rejected it, according to Clarke's own account). A few years later he revised the book extensively and retitled it. The new version was intended to showcase what he had learned about writing. The major differences are in individual scenes and in the details of his contrasting civilizations of Diaspar and Lys. To everyone's surprise, the first version remained popular enough to stay in print after the second version came out. In introductions to it he has told the anecdote of a psychiatrist and patient who admitted they had discussed it one day in therapy, without, however, realizing at the time that one had read one book and one the other. Most recently it has appeared with a sequel by Gregory Benford called Beyond the Fall of Night. What follows is a summary of The City and the Stars, but it is a broadly accurate description of either of the books about Alvin, except for the role of Khedron (who replaced a different character in the earlier novel) and for the nature of the immortality of the people of Diaspar.

Setting

The City and the Stars takes place a billion years in the future, in the city of Diaspar. By this time, the Earth is so old that the oceans have gone and humanity has all but left. As far as the people of Diaspar know, they are the only city left in the world. The city of Diaspar is completely enclosed. Nobody has come in or left the domed city for as long as anybody can remember, and everybody in Diaspar has an instinctive insular conservatism. The story behind this fear of venturing outside the city tells of a race of ruthless invaders which beat humanity back from the stars to Earth, and then made a deal that humanity could live - if they never left the planet.

In Diaspar, the entire city is run by the Central Computer. Not only is the city repaired by machines, but people's lives are created by the machines as well. The computer creates bodies for the people of Diaspar to live in and stores their minds in its memory when they die. At any time, only a small number of these people are actually living in Diaspar, the rest sleeping in the computer's memory banks.

All the currently extant people of Diaspar have had past "lives" within Diaspar except one person — Alvin, the main character of this story. He is a 'Unique', different from everybody else in Diaspar, not only because he does not have any past lives to remember, but because instead of fearing the outside, he feels compelled to leave. In the novel, Alvin has just come to the age where he is considered grown up, and is putting all his energies into trying to find a way out. Eventually, a wild character called Khedron the Jester helps Alvin use the central computer to find a way out of the city of Diaspar. This involves the discovery that in the remote past, Diaspar was linked to other cities by an underground transport system. This still exists although its terminal was covered over and sealed with only a secret entrance left.

[edit] Alvin's quest

Once out, Alvin finds that one other human habitation remains on Earth. In contrast to walled, technological Diaspar, Lys is a vast green oasis shielded by mountains from the worldwide desert. Its people are not stored and recreated technologically, but are naturally conceived, born, age, and die. They have rejected the hyper-advanced technology of Diaspar in favor of an almost agrarian existence, with machines used only for labor-saving purposes. The people of Lys have instead worked to perfect the arts of the mind; they are telepaths, capable of communicating with each other over great distances and without words.

Alvin continues his quest until he finds out the truth of why the people of Diaspar are so frightened of the external universe and why Lys is so scared of space travel and mechanical things. In Lys he goes on a trip with a young man named Hilvar who becomes his friend, and they see a signal light, which they decide to investigate. It leads them to Shalmirane, the remains of the fortress where the Invaders were fought off with unimaginable weapons, where they encounter an extraterrestrial creature with a strange robot. The creature is the last survivor of a religious cult dating back to the days of the Galactic Empire. The robot was the companion of the founder, the "Master", who came with his followers to Earth at the end of his life. Alvin and Hilvar are unable to understand the content of the religion except that it refers to "Great Ones" who have left, but will someday return. Alvin persuades the creature to lend him the robot, arguing that the Master would want it to see how things were developing in the world. The Master had, however, forbidden the robot to reveal his secrets so Alvin does not learn anything.

The robot enables Alvin to escape the attempts of the people of Lys to purge his mind and send him back—previous Uniques had stayed, but because they had failed to prevent news of his departure spreading in Diaspar in time, this option was not available this time. Back in Diaspar he seeks the help of the Central Computer, which overcomes the Master's block on the robot by producing an illusion of an apocalyptic return of the Great Ones on one version of the story. In another version the Central Computer duplicates an exact copy of the robot only without the block.

[edit] Discoveries

Alvin now learns that the Master's ship is still available outside Diaspar (although buried). He manages to retrieve it, fetches Hilvar from Lys, and travels into deep space. They encounter Vanamonde, a being of pure intellect, with whom Hilvar, being telepathic like other Lys people, can communicate and bring him back to Earth. From him the truth of history finally emerges.

The fearsome Invaders, it turns out, were a myth: Shalmirane was actually used to destroy the Moon when this became necessary to prevent it from colliding with the Earth. Instead, the people of Diaspar and Lys are the descendants of those humans who deliberately turned away from the universe in rejection of history's greatest scientific project: the creation of a disembodied intellect. The first attempt had created a powerful but insane being, the Mad Mind. The Mad Mind had devastated the galaxy and its civilizations before being imprisoned in a "strange artificial star" called the Black Sun.

Vanamonde is the second, successful experiment of the ancient empire: a being of pure intellect, immensely old, immensely powerful, able to move instantly to any point in space — but entirely child-like, intelligent, but unsophisticated. Vanamonde's ultimate destiny, Hilvar realizes, is to battle the Mad Mind, when it escapes its prison at the end of Time.

After this, most of the Galactic Empire had left our galaxy, leaving only a scattered few. This departure from the galaxy, leaving it to Vanamonde, was because contact had been made with something "very strange and very great" which called them urgently.

Alvin's discoveries reunite Diaspar with Lys. He then sends the ship, under the command of the robot, to search for the long-lost people of the Empire. He does not wish to search himself - even if there are human remnants in the Galaxy, they are probably decadent - and he has work to do on Earth. Even the environment, he hopes, can be revived.

Notable Quotes and Concepts

* "Here was the end of an evolution almost as long as Man's. Its beginnings were lost in the mists of the Dawn Ages, when humanity had first learned the use of power and sent its noisy engines clanking about the world. Steam, water, wind-all had been harnessed for a little while and then abandoned. For centuries the energy of matter had run the world until it too had been superseded, and with each change the old machines were forgotten and new ones took their place. Very slowly, over thousands of years, the ideal of the perfect machine was approached-that ideal which had once been a dream, then a distant prospect, and at last reality: No machine may contain any moving parts. Here was the ultimate expression of that ideal. Its achievement had taken Man perhaps a hundred million years, and in the moment of his triumph he had turned his back upon the machine forever. It had reached finality, and thenceforth could sustain itself eternally while serving him."

Clarke describes the Central Computer that maintains Diaspar in an unchanging state and refers to the end of all Evolution and the apparent creation of a perfect society.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:50 AM   #4
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Childhood's End

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Childhood's End is a science fiction novel by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, dealing with the role of Mind in the cosmos, and the plausible implications of that role for the evolution of the human race. It was originally published in 1953. The story first appeared as a short story titled "Guardian Angel" which Clarke published in 1950 for the Famous Fantastic Mysteries magazine, which is basically the novel's section after the prologue, Earth and the Overlords, with some different text in certain places. A new first chapter was substituted in 1990 due to anachronisms in the opening scene (Clarke wrongly assumed the "Moon Race" would take place in the late-1970s), but editions since have appeared with the original opening, or containing both alternatives.


Plot summary

Childhood's End is about humanity's transformation and integration to an interstellar "hive mind", the Overmind. It also touches upon such matters as cruelty to animals, man's inability to live in a utopian society, and the idea of being "The Last Man on Earth". The 1953 edition of the story begins at the height of the cold war some thirty years after the fall of the Third Reich, with attempts by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union to launch nuclear rockets into space for military purposes, threatening imminent doom.

The humans' arms race is brought to a halt by the sudden appearance of mysterious spaceships above all the Earth's great cities. After a week of silence and resultant increasing tension, the aliens, who become known as the Overlords, announce by world-wide broadcast that they have benign intentions and desire to help humanity, but that they will henceforth assume the minimum amount of control which will achieve their aims. As the enforcers of peace, they bring salvation and life, and yet also the death of some dreams, as humanity is no longer completely independent, nor may it pursue certain scientific explorations, such as space.

The humans remain suspicious, as the Overlords never appear in person. The Overlords' representative, Karellen, does speak with the Secretary General of the United Nations Rikki Stormgren, but is always hidden behind a pane of one way glass. The two develop a great deal of respect for one another, though it is clear they are not equals. To allay the inevitable suspicions of some, Karellen promises the Overlords will reveal themselves physically in fifty years, after humanity has matured and become comfortable with their presence.

Under the (mild) domination of the Overlords, Mankind enters a golden age of the greatest peace and prosperity ever known, albeit at the expense of some creativity and freedom. Not every Earthling is content with the bargain, nor accepts the beneficence of the Overlords' long-term intentions. Stormgren, with Karellen's help, survives a kidnap attempt by subversive humans suspicious of the Overlords. Stormgren secretly harbours lingering curiosity about the real Overlord nature and smuggles a device aboard Karellen's spaceship to see behind the one-way screen that separates them. Years later he tells a questioning reporter the device failed. The novel strongly hints that the device did indeed capture an image of the Overlords, which Stormgren saw, but that Stormgren agrees with the Overlords: mankind is unready for what that image revealed.

True to their word, fifty years after arrival, the Overlords appear in person. They resemble the traditional human folklore image of demons: bipeds with large wings, horned heads, and tails. The Overlords are taller than humans and of proportionally more massive bodies covered with a hard, black armor shell. The light from Earth's sun is too harsh for them, because their planet's sun has a dimmer redder light, and, though they can breathe Earth's atmosphere, the mix of gases in their own atmosphere is more comfortable. Humankind has, however, grown accustomed to the Overlords by this time and accepts them with open arms, and with their help, creates a utopian world.

Although humanity and the Overlords have developed peaceful and even friendly relations by now, the spread of equal goods and the ban on building space ships capable of traveling past the Earth's moon causes some sects to believe their innovation and independence is being suppressed and that culture is becoming stagnant. In response, those sects establish "New Athens", an island colony.
1968 edition of Childhood's End.
1968 edition of Childhood's End.

Some ten years after the Overlords revealed themselves to humanity, human children (starting in New Athens) begin displaying telepathic and telekinetic abilities and as a result, become estranged from their parents. Karellen then reveals the true purpose of why the Overlords came to Earth. They are in service to the Overmind, a cosmic mind amalgamated from ancient galactic civilizations, freed from the limitations of ordinary matter. The Overlords are not themselves capable of joining the Overmind, but the Overmind has charged them with the duty of fostering humanity's transition to a higher plane of existence and merger with the Overmind. The Overlords' resemblance to the devil of human folklore is later explained by a form of racial memory: humans fear the Overlords because we fear the end of our species as we know it. Karellen expresses an envy of humanity; his race is trapped as they are, as they are not now capable of joining the Overmind, though he hopes they will eventually learn how to do so.

Karellen announces that the children with psychic powers will be segregated from the rest of humanity on a continent of their own, and only these children will merge with the Overmind. No more children are born; the narration subtly hints that most of the parents commit suicide, while their children evolve towards merging with the Overmind. New Athens is then destroyed by the leaders detonating a nuclear bomb on it.

The last man alive is Jan Rodricks, a physicist, who will witness mankind's final evolutionary transformation. He stowed away on an Overlord supply ship earlier in the story in a successful attempt to travel to the Overlord home planet, which he correctly guessed orbits a star of the Carina constellation. As a physicist, Rodricks knows of the relativistic twin paradox effect: the Overlords' ships travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light, and as a result, the trip to the Overlord planet and back to Earth will only take four months in his subjective, personal time-frame, but the amount of elapsed 'objective' time will be, at minimum, 80 years, or the length of time light would take to make the similar journey, although the actual trip takes much longer. (The Overlord star system – known as NGS 549672 to astronomers on Earth – is forty light-years distant from Earth.)

When Rodricks returns from the Overlord home world, he expects no one on Earth will remember him, nevertheless, he is unprepared for the return: mankind, as he knew it, died. About three hundred million naked young beings, physically human but otherwise with nothing common to Man, remain on the quarantined continent. They are the final, physical form of human evolution before merging with the Overmind. Life — not only human life, but all other forms on the planet — was exterminated by them, and the vast cities that Jan remembers are all dark.

Some Overlords remain on Earth, studying the evolved children. It also is revealed here that the Overlords have met and conditioned other races for the Overmind, and that humanity is the fifth race the Overmind will collect.

When the evolved children have grown strong enough to mentally alter the Earth's rotation and affect other planetary adjustments, it becomes too dangerous to remain and the Overlords prepare to leave. They offer Rodricks the opportunity of leaving with them, but he chooses to remain as witness to Earth's dissolution; mankind's offspring evolved to a higher existence, requiring neither a body nor a place, so ends mankind's childhood.

The story's last scene details Karellen's final backward look at the Solar System, which becomes no more noticeable among the stars as it recedes than the loss of one small planet in the system. He is emotionally depressed, having seen yet another race evolve to the beyond, while he and his race must remain behind, limited to their current form. Despite that, he renders a final salute to mankind, considering whether or not conditioning them for the Overmind helped his goal of deciphering the evolutionary secret for his race to merge with the Overmind. He then turns away from the view, the reader presumes, to await the Overmind's next order.

[edit] Similar themes in other literature
1956 edition of Childhood's End.
1956 edition of Childhood's End.

The idea of humanity reaching an end point through transformation to a higher form of existence is the main idea behind the concept of the Omega Point and of the technological singularity. The idea of self-transcendence appealed to devotees of psychedelic mind expansion, too, and Tom Wolfe would offer a quote from the novel at the conclusion of his LSD-soaked memoir The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

It is also reminiscent of the belief held by some Christians in the "Rapture", and has been used in a number of science fiction works written since Childhood's End, the most famous being Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Other examples include Blood Music, Darwin's Radio, and its sequel Darwin's Children by Greg Bear, Sideshow by Sheri S. Tepper, the Vernor Vinge novels incorporating the "Singularity", Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker and, in Iain M Banks' "Culture" novels, the "sublimation" which advanced civilizations may undergo.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:52 AM   #5
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Earthlight

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Overview


Earthlight is a science fiction adventure story set on the moon, where a government agent is looking for a suspected spy at a major observatory on the moon. The context is strong tension between Earth (which controls the moon) and independent settlers elsewhere in the solar system. The year is not given, but it is some time in the 22nd century. There have been no wars for the last 200 years.

Events are low-key: the government agent is a mild-mannered accountant who does not like the task. He notices the beauty of the moon under 'Earthlight', the Earth in the sky far bigger than the moon in the skies of Earth.

The story proceeds with very few violent incidents, though it does climax in space battle. There is also an enigma - the apparent sighting of a 'beam of light', that should not be possible on the airless world.

At the time of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, one reviewer expressed regret that Earthlight had not been filmed instead.

Even though many of Clarke's science fiction novels take place in rather similar futures - Earthlight, A Fall of Moondust, The Sands of Mars, Rendezvous with Rama - the human background is never quite the same and they do not form a series.

[edit] Plot summary

The plot describes how political tension between the government of a politically united Earth (which maintains sovereignty over the Moon) and independent settlers and traders elsewhere in the solar system who have formed a federation, erupts into warfare over the terms for the availability to the Federation of scarce heavy metals.

The trigger for hostilities is the publication of a research paper suggesting that the Moon may have previously unsuspected heavy metal resources which Earth proposes to monopolise. The Earth government's intelligence agency suspects that confidential information concerning the exploitation of these mineral riches may be being leaked to the Federation and presses an accountant, Bertram Sadler, into service. Sadler is sent to the Moon's main astronomical observatory located near the crater of Plato as a tip off has suggested that information is being routed through that location. Sadler's cover story is that he is carrying out an investigation of waste in government spending.

In an example of pathetic fallacy, the rising political tension is accompanied by the observatory staff enjoying the good fortune of observing a nearby supernova explosion in the constellation of Draco.

Despite a relatively long preceding era of peace, Earth and the Federation each prepare technologically for war. The Federation develops a new spacedrive while Earth develops new shielding technology and a weapon which uses an electromagnet-propelled bayonet of liquid metal. (The weapon mistaken for a beam of light). Such a weapon is currently being developed by DARPA. [1]

A climactic battle between three Federation cruisers and the fortified mining installation is played out near Mount Pico close to the lunar observatory. Two astronomers who have delivered a top Earth scientist to Pico with only a couple of hours to spare, witness the battle. Sadler, whose investigations have had no pay off except for the unmasking of an embezzling store manager, relinquishes his cover by going to debrief the two astronomers.

Of the three Federal cruisers, two are destroyed along with the mine in the battle. The third cruiser, named The Acheron, is terminally damaged and retreats towards Mars, but has little chance of reaching it before her nuclear reactor explodes. However, her new drive gives her the capability of a rendezvous with a passenger liner, The Pegasus, which is able to rescue all but one of the crew who have to make the 40 second crossing without space suits.

This inconclusive duel between mother planet and formerly dependent colonists, with each side suffering stiffer resistance than anticipated, discredits the governments on both sides. Sadler is able to return to civilian life but suffers nagging frustration that he never found out whether the spy that he was searching for existed or not. Many years later the commander of the Acheron writes his memoirs and reveals that information had reached the Federation from One of Earth's most distinguished astronomers, now living in honoured retirement on the Moon. With this hint, Sadler is able to confirm the spy's identity as Robert Moulton, the first one of the observatory staff to greet him on his way to the observatory. The novel concludes with Moulton enlightening Sadler and the reader as to the brilliant technical subterfuge with which he transmitted information, namely that he used the observatory's main telescope as a transmitter by placing a modulated ultra-violet source at its prime focus. The signal was received by a Federation spaceship a few million kilometers away.

[edit] Notes

Earthlight was last printed as a paperback in New York by Del Rey in 1998, ISBN 0-345-43070-0.

It was later republished in an omnibus edition including Islands in the Sky, Earthlight and The Sands of Mars and called "The Space Trilogy". Yet The Sands of Mars takes place on a Mars still ruled from Earth, which would mean it happened before Earthlight. There are also no definite links that say it is the same future in the three books.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:56 AM   #6
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A Fall of Moondust

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A Fall of Moondust is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1961. It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel, and was the first science fiction novel selected to become a Reader's Digest Condensed Book.

By the 21st century, the Moon has been colonized, and is open to tourists who can afford the trip. Some of them are trapped after a lunar quake. Can they be rescued?

Plot


By the 21st century, the Moon has been colonized, and although still very much a research establishment, it is visited by tourists who can afford the trip. One of its attractions is a "cruise" across one of the "seas" that have filled with dust over the course of eons. A specially designed "boat" skims over the surface of the dust, which is so fine that it almost behaves like water.

But on one cruise, a problem develops. A moonquake causes an underground cavern to collapse, upsetting the equilibrium. As the dustcruiser Selene passes over, it sinks about 15 meters below the surface of the dust, hiding the vessel from view.

The air supply is limited, there is no way for heat generated to escape, no communications are possible and no one is quite sure where they are. Captain Pat Harris and stewardess Sue Wilkins try to keep the passengers occupied and psychologically stable whilst waiting to be rescued. Fortunately, the passengers include several experienced scientists, and also a retired space ship captain and explorer, Commodore Hansteen.

Chief Engineer (Earthside) Robert Lawrence is skeptical that a rescue can be mounted, even if the Selene can be located. He is ready to abandon an initially unsuccessful search, when he is contacted by Thomas Lawson, a brilliant but eccentric astronomer who, from his vantage point on a satellite high above the Moon, believes he has detected the remains of a heat trail on the surface.

An expedition is organized and Lawrence indeed makes contact with the Selene. The rescuers sink a metal tube to the Selene and cut a hole in the roof. With only seconds to go before Selene's liquid oxygen supply explodes, the passengers climb out into the waiting rescue craft.

A short epilogue sees Lawrence writing his memoirs, Pat and Sue married, and Pat hoping to transfer to the space service.

[edit] Adaptation
Orion S.F. Masterworks reprint
Orion S.F. Masterworks reprint

A BBC Radio drama of the story was produced in 1981. It features David Buck as Captain Pat Harris and Barry Foster as Chief Engineer Lawrence. In 2008, the production was released on BBC Compact Disc (ISBN 978 1405 688048).
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:58 AM   #7
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Dolphin Island

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Dolphin Island: A Story of the People of the Sea is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1963.

Summary

Late one night (in the world of the future), a giant cargo hovership makes an emergency landing somewhere in the middle of the United States and an enterprising teenager named Johnny Clinton stows away on it. In the space of only a few hours the craft crashes into the Pacific Ocean. The crew ("even the ship's cat") is offloaded onto lifeboats, leaving Johnny (who, as a stowaway, they didn't know was on board) adrift in the flotsam from the hovercraft. His life is saved by the "People of the Sea"--dolphins. A school of these fantastic creatures guides him to an island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. There Johnny becomes involved with the work of a strange and fascinating research community where a brilliant professor tries to communicate with dolphins. Johnny learns skindiving and survives a typhoon--only to risk his life again, immediately afterwards, to get medical help for the people on the island.
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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Glide Path


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Glide Path is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1963. Clarke's only non-science fiction novel, it is set during World War II, and tells a fictionalized version of the development of the radar-based ground-controlled approach (called "ground-controlled descent" in the novel) aircraft landing system. It is based on Clarke's own wartime service with the Royal Air Force, during which he worked on the GCA project.
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:07 AM   #9
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2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)

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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. The story is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, most notably "The Sentinel" (written in 1948 for a BBC competition but first published in 1951 under the title "Sentinel of Eternity"). For an elaboration of Clark and Kubrick's collaborative work on this project, see The Lost Worlds of 2001, Arthur C. Clarke, Signet., 1972.

The first part of the novel (in which aliens nudge the primitive human ancestors) is similar to the plot of an earlier Clarke story, "Encounter in the Dawn".

The opening of another Clarke story, "Transience", is set in the same period of human history as the first part of this novel; but the two stories are unrelated.

Plot summary


In the background to the story in the book, an ancient and unseen alien race uses a mechanism with the appearance of a large crystal Monolith to investigate worlds all across the galaxy and, if possible, to encourage the development of intelligent life. The book shows one such monolith appearing in ancient Africa, three million years B.C., where it inspires a starving group of the hominid ancestors of human beings to conceive of tools. The ape-men use their tools to kill animals and eat meat, ending their starvation. They then use the tools to kill a leopard that had been preying on them; the next day, the main ape character, Moon-Watcher, uses a club to kill the leader of a rival tribe. Moon-Watcher reflects that he is now master of the universe, but is unsure of what to do—but he'll think of something. The book suggests that the monolith was instrumental in awakening intelligence, and enabling the transition of the ape-men to a higher order, with the ability to fashion crude tools and thereby be able to hunt and forage for food in much more efficient fashion.

The book then leaps eons to the year 2001, detailing Dr. Heywood Floyd's travel to Clavius Base on the Moon. Upon his arrival, Floyd attends a meeting. A lead scientist explains that they have found a magnetic disturbance in Tycho, one of the Moon's craters, designated Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-One (TMA-1). An excavation of the area has revealed a large black slab; it is precisely fashioned to a ratio of exactly 1:4:9, or 1²:2²:3² (that is to say the thickness of the slab is exactly 1/4th the width and 1/9th the height). Such a construction rules out any naturally-occurring phenomena, and at three million years of age, it was not crafted by human hands. It is the first evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life. Floyd and a team of scientists drive across the moon to actually view TMA-1. They arrive just as sunlight hits upon it for the first time in three million years. It then sends a piercing radio transmission to the far reaches of the solar system.

The book then leaps forward 18 months to the Discovery One mission to Saturn. David Bowman and Frank Poole are the only conscious human beings aboard Discovery One spaceship. Three of their colleagues are in a state of suspended animation, to be awakened when they near Saturn. The HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent computer, maintains the ship and is a vital part of life aboard.

While Poole is receiving a birthday message from his family back home, HAL tells him that the AE-35 unit of the ship is going to malfunction. Poole takes one of the extra-vehicular pods and swaps the AE-35 unit, which is critical for sustaining communication with Earth. Bowman conducts tests on the AE-35 unit that has been replaced and determines that there was never anything wrong with it. Later, HAL claims that the replacement AE-35 unit will fail. Apprehensive, Poole and Bowman radio back to Earth; they are told that something is wrong with HAL and are given orders to disconnect him. These instructions are interrupted as the signal is broken. HAL informs them that the AE-35 unit has malfunctioned.

Poole takes a pod outside the ship to bring in the failed AE-35 unit. As he is removing the unit, the pod, which he had left further from the ship, begins moving toward him. He is powerless to move out of the way in time and is killed by the impact; his spacesuit is ripped open. Bowman is shocked by Poole's death and is deeply distressed. He is unsure whether HAL, a computer, really could have killed Poole. He decides that he will need to wake up the other three astronauts. He has a long argument with HAL, with HAL refusing to obey his orders, insisting that Bowman is incapacitated. Bowman threatens to disconnect him if his orders are not obeyed, and HAL relents, giving him manual control to wake the sleeping scientists.

As Bowman begins to awaken his colleagues, he feels a cold chill; HAL has opened the inner and outer airlock doors to space, venting the ship’s atmosphere. The pressure on board is rapidly dropping as the ship is equalizing with the vacuum of space. Bowman makes his way into a sealed emergency shelter which has an isolated oxygen supply and spare spacesuit. He then puts on the spacesuit and re-enters the ship, knowing that HAL has killed the three hibernating astronauts. Bowman then laboriously disconnects the computer, puts the ship back in order and manually re-establishes contact with Earth. He then learns that the true purpose of the mission is to explore Japetus (the third-largest moon of Saturn), in the hope of contacting the society that buried the monolith on the Moon.

Bowman learns that HAL had begun to feel guilty and conflicted about keeping the purpose of the mission from him and Poole, which ran contrary to his stated mission of gathering information and reporting it fully. This conflict had started to manifest itself in little errors. Given time, HAL might have been able to resolve this crisis peacefully, but when he was threatened with disconnection, he defended himself, believing his very existence to be at stake.

Bowman spends months on the ship, alone, slowly approaching Japetus. A return to Earth is out of the question, as HAL's sudden decompression of Discovery severely damaged the ship's air filtration system, leaving Bowman with far less breathable air than either returning to Earth or waiting for a rescue ship would require. Hibernation is impossible without HAL to monitor it. During his long approach, he gradually notices a small black spot on the surface of Japetus. When he gets closer, he realizes that this is an immense black monolith, identical to TMA-1, only much larger, which the scientists back on Earth name "TMA-2", which is a misnomer because it gives off no magnetic force whatsoever.

He decides to go out in one of the extra-vehicular pods and investigate the monolith. Inert for aeons, the monolith reveals its true purpose as a stargate when it opens and pulls in Bowman's pod. Before he vanishes, Mission control hears him proclaim: "The thing's hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God! — It's full of stars!"

Bowman is transported via the monolith to a star system far outside our galaxy. During this journey, he goes through a large interstellar switching station, and sees other species' spaceships going on other routes, calling it in likeness to the 'Grand Central Station' of the universe. (This is rather different from the film, which portrayed the entire journey as surreal.)

He is brought to what appears to be a nice hotel suite, carefully constructed from monitored television transmissions, to make him feel at ease. Bowman goes to sleep. As he sleeps, his mind and memories are drained from his body. David Bowman is made into a new immortal entity that can live and travel in space; a Star Child. The Star Child then returns to our Solar System and to Earth. After slightly testing his newfound powers by setting off what can be assumed, several megatons of nuclear energy, Bowman reflects that he is now master of his universe, but is uncertain of what to do — but hopefully he'll think of something.

[edit] Major themes


The perils of technology

2001: A Space Odyssey explores technological advancement: its promise and its danger. Two specific perils of technology are delved into in great detail. First, the HAL 9000 computer puts forward the troubles that can crop up when man builds machines, the inner workings of which he does not fully comprehend and therefore cannot fully control. Second, the book explores the perils related with the atomic age. In this novel the Cold War is apparently still on, and at the end of the book one side has apparently launched nuclear weapons at the other. It is only through the Star Child's intervention that humanity is saved. Roger Ebert notes that Kubrick originally intended for the first spaceship seen in the film to be an orbiting bomb platform, but in the end he decided to leave the ship's meaning more ambiguous. Clarke, however, retained and clearly stated this fact in the novel.[1]
Evolution

2001: A Space Odyssey takes a panoramic overview of progress, human and otherwise. The story follows the growth of human civilization from primitive man-ape. Distinctively, Space Odyssey is concerned about not only the evolution that has led to the development of humanity, but also the evolution that humanity might undergo in the future. Hence, we follow Bowman as he is turned into a Star-Child by the monolith. The novel acknowledges that evolutionary theory entails that humanity is not the end, but only a step in the process. One way this process might continue, the book imagines, is that humans will learn to rid themselves of their technological trappings, and eventually their corporeal bodies as well.
Space exploration

When 2001: A Space Odyssey was written, mankind had not yet set foot on the moon. The space exploration programs in the United States and the Soviet Union were only in the early stages. Much room was left to imagine the future of the space program. Space Odyssey offers one such vision, offering a glimpse at what space exploration might one day become. Lengthy journeys, such as manned flights to Saturn, and advanced technologies, such as suspended animation, are shaped and shown all through the novel.
Technological malfunctions

As HAL begins to malfunction, his actions become less predictable. It begins with something more or less trivial—predicting the AE-35 unit will malfunction when there is, in fact, nothing wrong with it. We also see HAL making an incorrect statement about a chess game with Bowman earlier on, perhaps a sign of his deterioration. Interestingly, HAL's malfunction causes him to incorrectly predict that other things will malfunction. HAL's breakdown contrasts with an otherwise flawlessly planned undertaking, making his malfunction more prominent. This warns of the danger of creating technologies that are not fully controllable.
The accouterments of space travel

2001: A Space Odyssey is deliberately written so as to give the reader an almost kinesthetic familiarity with the experience of space travel and the technologies encountered. Large sections of the novel are devoted to descriptions of these. The novel discusses orbital mechanics and the maneuvers associated with space travel very accurately. The daily lives of Bowman and Poole on board the Discovery One are discussed in detail and give the impression of a busy yet mundane lifestyle with few surprises until the malfunction of Hal. Dr. Floyd's journey to Space Station One is depicted with awareness of fine points such as the experience of a Space Shuttle launch, the adhesive sauces used to keep food firmly in place on one's plate, and even the zero gravity toilet.

[edit] Sequels

A sequel to the film, titled 2010 based on Clarke's 1982 book 2010: Odyssey Two was released in 1984. However, Kubrick was not involved in the production of this film, which did not have the impact of the original. (Nonetheless, Kubrick makes a cameo appearance in the film. The cover of a Time magazine seen in the film features illustrations of the Soviet and American presidents. Clearly, the illustrations represent Kubrick as the Russian Premier and Clarke as his opposite. Also, the name of the captain on the Leonov is "Kirbuk".) Clarke went on to write two more sequel novels: 2061: Odyssey Three (1987) and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997). To date there has yet to be any serious discussion of filmmakers adapting either for the screen.

[edit] Differences with the film

In the film, Discovery's mission is to Jupiter, not Saturn. Director Kubrick used Jupiter because he could not find what he considered to be a convincing model of Saturn's rings for the film. Clarke also replaced Saturn with Jupiter in the novel's sequel 2010: Odyssey Two.

Death of the three crew members in hibernation: in the film, after Poole's murder, Bowman rushes out to rescue him. HAL denies him reentry and had killed the crew members by turning off their life-support. In the novel, while Bowman was waking up these crew members, HAL opens both the internal and external airlock doors, suffocating these three and almost killing Bowman. In the sequel 2010: Odyssey Two, however, the recounting of the Discovery One mission is changed to the film version.

[edit] Iapetus vs. Japetus

The name of the Saturnian moon Iapetus is spelled Japetus in the book. This is an alternative rendering of the name, which derives from the fact that 'consonantal I' often stands for 'J' in the Latin language (see modern spelling of Latin).

In his exhaustive book on the film, The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (Signet Press, 1970, p.290), author Jerome Agel discusses the point that "Iapetus" is the most common rendering of the name, according to many sources, including the Oxford English Dictionary. He goes on to say that "Clarke, the perfectionist", spells it Japetus. Agel then cites the dictionary that defines "Jape" as "to jest; to joke; to mock or make fun of." He then asks the reader, "Is Clarke trying to tell us something?"
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:18 AM   #10
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A Meeting with Medusa

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A Meeting with Medusa is a science fiction novella by Arthur C. Clarke. It was originally published in 1971 and has since been included in several collections of Clarke's writings.

Plot summary

Taking place partly on Earth and partly in the atmosphere of Jupiter, the story tells of Howard Falcon, the captain of a new and experimental giant-sized helium-filled airship. When an accident causes the ship to crash, Falcon is badly injured and takes over a year to fully recover. Whilst recovering , much of his body is replaced by prosthetics, converting him into a cyborg with greatly increased powers of speed, reactions etc.

In an effort to fully exploit his new powers, Falcon promotes an expedition to explore the atmosphere of Jupiter. Several years later, after many trials, the expedition is launched, with Falcon at the controls of the Kon-Tiki, a hot-hydrogen balloon-supported craft that descends through the upper atmosphere of Jupiter.

As the craft descends through the various cloud layers, Falcon discovers that the atmosphere supports at least two large forms of life, as well as microscopic and bioluminescent air plankton, producing atmospheric sea-fire. One form is a giant jellyfish-like creature (the Medusa of the title) about one mile across, and the others are manta ray-like creatures about a hundred yards wide that apparently prey on the Medusa.

The Medusa begins to show an interest in the Kon-Tiki, and for his own and the expedition's safety, Falcon ignites his emergency power and escapes back into the upper atmosphere.
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:20 AM   #11
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Imperial Earth

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Imperial Earth (ISBN 0-15-144233-9) is a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in time for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976 by Ballantine Books. The plot follows the protagonist, Duncan Makenzie, on a trip to Earth from his home on Titan, ostensibly for a diplomatic visit to the U.S. for its 500th birthday, but really in order to have a clone of himself produced.

Plot summary

Duncan Makenzie is the latest generation of the 'first family' of Titan, a colonised moon of Saturn. Originally settled by his grandfather Malcolm Makenzie in the early 23rd century, Titan's economy has flourished based on the harvest and sale of hydrogen mined from the atmosphere, which is used to fuel the fusion engines of interplanetary spacecraft.

As the plot opens in 2276, a number of factors are combining to make a diplomatic visit to the 'mother world' of Earth a necessity. Firstly, the forthcoming 500th anniversary of US Independence which is bringing in colonists from the entire Solar System, obviously needs a suitable representative from Titan. Secondly, the Makenzie family carry a fatal damaged gene that means any normal continuation of the family line is impossible — so both Duncan and his father Colin are clones of his grandfather Malcolm. Human cloning is a mature technology, but is even at this time ethically controversial. And thirdly, technological advances in spacecraft drive systems — specifically the 'asymptotic drive' which improves the fuel efficiency by orders of magnitude — means that Titan's whole economy is under threat as the demand for hydrogen is about to collapse.

A number of other sub-plots suggest some sort of greater mystery, but remain unexplored. The book ends with him returning home with his new "child" Malcolm (who is a clone of his dead friend Karl), leaving the other plot threads dangling.

[edit] Major themes

The puzzle game Pentominos features in a prominent subplot of the novel.

The book offers socially liberal ideas about sexuality and racial attitudes. For example, Duncan Makenzie is Black. This is not mentioned until approximately halfway through the book; his race is no more significant to him than his hair color. At several points Makenzie also reminisces about sexual affairs with males, and that bisexuality is now considered the norm. Exclusive heterosexuality or homosexuality is not generally practiced.

Clarke describes in great detail throughout the book a personal communications device called a 'minisec' combining mobile video phone and PDA with global data connectivity. He also describes a larger desk 'comsole' or communications console giving similar access to global information services.

[edit] Editions

The original UK hardcover edition (ISBN 0-575-02011-3) has the subtitle "A Fantasy of Love and Discord" and has 38 chapters and "Acknowledgments and Notes". The later US hardcover edition adds a quote from Ernest Hemingway, has 43 chapters, drops the subtitle, and expands the Acknowledgements and Notes. The later US paperback edition also features an "Additional Note" about a possible biological error in the plot.
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:37 AM   #12
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2010: Odyssey Two

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2010: Odyssey Two is a best-selling science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, which was released in January 1982. It is the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1983. The novel was turned into a 1984 film, 2010

Plot summary


Unlike 2001: A Space Odyssey, the novel and the screenplay were not written simultaneously, and there are significant differences between the two.

In one aspect, a part of this novel has similarities with a much older short story by Clarke, "History Lesson" - the plot involves superfast evolution on a world just made habitable. See "History Lesson" for more specific comments.

For both the book and the movie, the story is set nine years after the failure of the Discovery mission to Jupiter. Note that the novel version of 2001 featured the journey to Saturn instead: Clarke acknowledges this retroactive continuity in his author's foreword.

A joint Soviet-American crew (the Soviet Union did not dissolve until 9 years after this book was written), including Heywood Floyd from 2001, on the Soviet spaceship Alexei Leonov (named after the famous cosmonaut) arrives to discover what went wrong with the earlier mission, to investigate the monolith in orbit around the planet, and to resolve the disappearance of David Bowman. They hypothesize that much of this information is locked away on the now-abandoned Discovery One craft. The Soviets have an advanced new "Sakharov" drive (a reference to the physicist Andrei Sakharov) which will propel them to Jupiter ahead of the Americans Discovery Two mission, so Floyd is assigned to the Leonov crew as part of a joint mission. However, a Chinese "space station" rockets out of Earth orbit, revealing itself to be an interplanetary spacecraft named the Tsien, (a reference to Tsien Hsue-shen) which is also aimed at Jupiter. The Leonov crew comment on the kamikaze-like method of the Chinese team, but Floyd eventually surmises that due to the large water content of Europa, they are destined to land there and use the water content to refuel their tanks.

The Tsien's daring mission ends in failure, when it is destroyed by an indigenous life-form on Europa. The only survivor radios the story to the Leonov; it is presumed that he dies when his spacesuit air supply runs out.

The Leonov eventually performs a rendezvous with the Discovery, and Hal's creator, Dr. Chandra, on the mission, reactivates the HAL 9000 computer to ascertain the cause of his earlier aberrant behavior.

A sequence of scenes follows the explorations of David Bowman, who has been transformed into a non-corporeal, energy-based life-form, much like the aliens controlling the monoliths. During his journey, the avatar of Bowman travels to the Earth, making contact with significant individuals from his human past: he visits his mother and brushes her hair (shortly before she dies), and he appears to his ex-girlfriend on her television screen. In the novel, the aliens are using Bowman as a probe to learn about humankind. He then returns to the Jupiter system to explore beneath the ice of Europa, where he finds aquatic life-forms, and under the clouds of Jupiter, where he discovers gaseous life-forms. Both are primitive, but the aliens deem the Europan creatures to have evolutionary potential.

An apparition of Bowman appears before Floyd (shaping itself from dust), warning him that they must leave Jupiter within fifteen days1+5=6. Floyd has difficulty convincing the rest of the crew, at first, but then the monolith vanishes from orbit and a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter begins to form and starts growing. HAL's telescope observations reveal that the Great Black Spot is in fact a vast population of monoliths, increasing at a geometric rate, which appear to be eating the planet.

The Leonov crew devises a plan to use the Discovery as a "booster rocket", enabling them to return to Earth ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, HAL and the Discovery will be trapped in Jupiter's orbit, with insufficient fuel to escape. The crew are worried that HAL will have the same neuroses on discovering that he will be abandoned yet again, and Chandra must convince HAL that the human crew is in danger.

The Leonov crew make a hasty exit from Jupiter, observing as the swarm of monoliths spread to engulf Jupiter. Through a mechanism the novel only partially explains, these monoliths increase Jupiter's density until the planet achieves nuclear fusion, becoming a small star. In the novel, this obliterates the primitive life-forms which had inhabited the Jovian atmosphere, which the Monoliths' controllers had deemed less worthy than the aquatic life of Europa.

As Jupiter is about to transform, Bowman returns to Discovery to give HAL a last order to carry out. HAL begins repeatedly broadcasting the message "ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE." The creation of the new star, which Earth eventually names "Lucifer", destroys Discovery entirely. However, HAL's artificial intelligence is removed from Discovery's computer core and transformed into the same kind of lifeform as David Bowman, and becomes his companion.

[edit] Epilogue: 20,001

The book ends with a brief epilogue, which takes place in AD 20,001. By this time, the Europans have evolved into a species that has developed a primitive civilization, most likely with assistance from a monolith. They are not described in detail, though they are said to have “tendril”-like limbs. They regard the star Lucifer (formerly the planet Jupiter) as their primary Sun, referring to Sol as “The Cold Sun”. Though their settlements are concentrated primarily in the hemisphere of Europa which is constantly bathed in Lucifer's rays, some Europans have begun in recent generations to explore the Farside, the hemisphere facing away from Lucifer, which is still covered in ice. There they may witness the spectacle of night, unknown on the other side of Europa, when the Cold Sun sets.

The Europans who explore the Farside have been carefully observing the night sky and have begun to develop a mythology based on their observations. They believe (correctly) that Lucifer was not always there. They believe that the Cold Sun was its brother and was condemned to march around the sky for a crime. The Europans also see three other major bodies in the sky. One seems to be constantly engulfed in fire, and the other two have lights on them which are gradually spreading. These three bodies are the moons Io, Callisto, and Ganymede, the latter two of which are presently being colonized by humans.

Apparently, humans have been attempting to explore Europa ever since Lucifer was created in 2010. However, none of these attempts have been successful. Every spaceship or probe that has attempted to land on Europa has been destroyed in the atmosphere. The debris from every ship and probe falls to the surface of the planet, and the debris from some of the first ships to be destroyed is venerated by the Europans, in a manner similar to the Cargo Cults of Earth.

Finally, there is a Monolith on the planet, which is worshiped more by the Europans than anything else. The Europans assume (correctly) that the Monolith is what keeps humans at bay. Dave Bowman and HAL 9000 lie dormant in this Monolith. The Monolith is the guardian of Europa, and will continue to prevent contact between Humans and Europans for as long as it sees fit.

[edit] Discontinuities between 2010 and the other works

* Both novel and film of 2010 follow the film of 2001 in locating the events at Jupiter, rather than Saturn (as in the 2001 novel).
* In all of the Space Odyssey novels, HAL's instructor is named Dr. Chandra; in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is Mr. Langley.
* In 3001: The Final Odyssey, the Leonov mission is said to have taken place in the 2040s.
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Old 17-08-2008, 01:51 AM   #13
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2061: Odyssey Three

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2061: Odyssey Three is a science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke in 1987. It is the third book in the Space Odyssey series.

Origins

Because the Odyssey series is closely concerned with Jupiter and its moons, Clarke had originally intended to delay writing a third book until the Galileo mission to the planet had returned its findings. However, the probe's launch was delayed in the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster so that it would not arrive at Jupiter until 1995. Deciding not to wait, Clarke instead took his inspiration from the approach of Comet Halley in 1986 and focused his sequel on the comet's future return, in 2061.

[edit] Plot

In the previous novel, 2010: Odyssey Two, Jupiter was converted into a mini-sun which was dubbed "Lucifer" following the Soviet ship Leonov’s mission to Jupiter to find out what happened to the Discovery. A message was sent to Earth by Dave Bowman, through HAL: "ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS, EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE." (The movie version adds the words "USE THEM TOGETHER. USE THEM IN PEACE", as part of its heightened Cold War emphasis.) This is due to the discovery of alien life in Europa's ocean, which was frozen over at the surface until Lucifer melted the ice and caused an atmosphere to form.

[edit] 2010-2061

When the Leonov returned to Earth, Heywood Floyd (whose marriage had broken up while he was on the Leonov) suffered an accident and had to be shipped up to the orbital space hospital Pasteur for care. His recovery took longer than expected and he became a permanent resident of the space station after finding that his body could no longer handle Earth-level gravity. At the time the novel takes place, Floyd is one of only two remaining survivors of the Leonov mission. His son Chris, who also worked in astronautics, had died a number of years previously in the Copernicus disaster, leaving behind his own son, also named Chris. Now an adult, Chris Floyd II works aboard the spacecraft Galaxy, and he has not seen his grandfather in years.

Between 2010 and 2061, there have been several advancements, both technological and political. The USA, USSR, and China are now at peace with each other, all nuclear weapons are now under international control, and there is now a Planetary President (a former monarch, Edward VIII — his country of origin is not specified). The black population of South Africa had rebelled in the 2030s and formed the United States of Southern Africa (USSA). The white population of South Africa had seen this coming and mostly fled to Europe, taking most of the country's wealth with them and leaving the black population to rebuild the economy, which they did in a matter of weeks by use of diamonds (it is worth noting that this book was published in 1987, at which time South Africa was still federated and apartheid was still in force). In the wake of the breakthrough discovery of a new form of muon-catalyzed fusion, space travel has undergone many startling advancements; with the advent of fusion-powered spacecraft, large-scale interplanetary travel is now commercially viable. The largest such corporation is Tsung Spacelines, run by Hong Kong billionaire Sir Lawrence Tsung (the manufacturers of the crafts Cosmos, Galaxy and — most recently — Universe).

Strangest of all, there has been a startling development on Europa: an enormous mountain has sprung up out of nowhere. No one is sure of the origin of "Mount Zeus"; being asymmetrical, it cannot be a volcano.

[edit] 2061

In 2061, at the age of 103, Floyd is chosen as one of several "celebrity guests" to come aboard the Universe for the first-ever human landing on the surface of Halley's Comet, which will shortly be making its periodic pass through the solar system. Other celebrities on the voyage include septuagenarian actress Yva Merlin (most famous for her roles as Josephine Bonaparte in Napoleon and as Scarlett O'Hara in a remake of Gone With the Wind), writer Margaret M'Bala (known for her book on Greek mythology The Passions of the Gods - sometimes derisively called "Olympic Lusts"), astronaut Clifford Greenburg (the first man to land on Mercury), symphony conductor and composer Dimitri Mihailovich, and celebrity "pop-scientist" Victor Willis. The captain of the Universe is Captain Smith (as was the captain of RMS Titanic).

Meanwhile, there is a team of scientists on Ganymede who are working on terraforming the former moon. Scientist Rolf van der Berg, a second-generation Afrikaner refugee, studies pictures of Mount Zeus and determines that it is in fact one enormous diamond. He communicates his discovery to his uncle Paul Kreuger, speaking in Afrikaans as a security measure because it is now an endangered language, and decide that van der Berg will get aboard the Galaxy on their flyby of Europa in order to try and see if he is correct. However, their exchange is discovered both by SHAKA (a secret militant organization in the USSA, named for Shaka) and ASTROPOL (similar to Interpol). SHAKA sends an operative called Rose McCullen onto Galaxy undercover as a steward, and an unknown organization — presumably ASTROPOL — approaches Chris Floyd II on Ganymede and tells him to "keep his eyes open."

As Galaxy nears Europa, Rose McCullen delivers coffee to the bridge and then hijacks the ship, sealing the cockpit and ordering Second Officer Chang at gunpoint to pilot Galaxy down to the moon's surface, where, after Chang does not exactly follow Rosie's directions, it splashes down into Europa's ocean, the Sea of Galilee. Having essentially accomplished her mission, Rosie then shoots herself. Other crew members throw her body overboard: a large creature rises to the surface of the ocean, swallows the body, vomits, and dies. The crew conclude that Europan biology and Earth biology are incompatible: they won't be able to forage there after exhausting the ship's stores.

Universe receives the news that Galaxy is marooned on Europa, and that they need to undertake a rescue mission. After fueling itself from a geyser on Halley's Comet, Universe heads for Europa.

Meanwhile, Galaxy’s Captain Laplace steps down for the acting captain Lee, who is a professional sailor. Lee pilots Galaxy through the water to come to the shore of a small—and rather dismal—island named Haven. Captain Laplace takes command again, and accepts the suggestion that Rolf van der Berg and Chris Floyd II take the shuttle William Tsung or Bill Tee (named after Sir Lawence Tsung's son William) to study Mount Zeus, the wreck of the Chinese spacecraft Tsien and the enormous monolith lying on its side at the border between the dayside and nightside, dubbed the Great Wall. Van der Berg and Chris take the Bill Tee to Mount Zeus. Up close, van der Berg relays a message to his uncle Paul through Ganymede stating "LUCY IS HERE", verifying that Mount Zeus is indeed one large diamond. The code word "Lucy" was chosen both in reference to the mini-sun Lucifer and to an article in the journal Nature in 1981 hypothesizing that the cores of Uranus and Neptune were in fact diamonds the size of Earth (caused by the compression of carbon), with the hypothesis making a logical extension to Jupiter. The article was subtitled "Diamonds in the Sky?" in reference to the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Mount Zeus is a fragment of Jupiter's core which survived the creation of Lucifer and later impacted on Europa.

On the Universe, the celebrity guests discuss the mystery surrounding Dave Bowman and the monoliths, and whether they would be allowed to land on Europa to rescue Galaxy’s crew. Floyd follows Yva Merlin's suggestion that he simply try to call Bowman on the radio, and that night has a strange dream in which he sees the monolith floating at the foot of his bed.

The Bill Tee flies by Tsien, which has been completely stripped of its metals, and on to the Great Wall. In the shadow of the Great Wall they find a deserted Europan village made up of igloo-like structures. An image of Heywood Floyd appears to Chris in the same way that Dave Bowman appeared to Floyd in 2010, telling him that the Universe was coming and that the Europans had left until "the wind blows the poison away." Van der Berg thinks that Chris is crazy until he realizes that the heat of the engine cracked the steam exhaust of the Bill Tee into hydrogen and oxygen, oxygen being poisonous to Europans. The shuttle's fuel is expended so they wait there until the Universe arrives.

Chris contacts Universe and finds that his grandfather is not dead at all, but alive and well. The crew are rescued and brought to Ganymede, where they watch via satellite as Mount Zeus, which has been steadily sinking, finally disappears beneath the Europan surface. Soon thereafter, Paul Kreuger writes a follow-up article for Nature (80 years after the original article's publication), stating that Mount Zeus was a mere fragment of Jupiter's core and it is almost certain that many more such large pieces of diamond are currently in orbit around Lucifer, and proposing that a program be initiated immediately to collect these enormous quantities of diamond and put them to use.

Floyd and Chris II become close again, and both become friends with van der Berg. They talk about how Floyd called Bowman on the radio, and Chris asks "Did you ever get a reply?" Floyd almost tells his grandson about the monolith in his cabin, but does not after rationalizing that it was probably a dream.

[edit] The conversation inside the Great Wall

As it turns out, it was not a dream. The monolith duplicated Floyd's consciousness: there are now two Heywood Floyds — one is a normal human who has just found a new lease on life, and the other is an immortal being who resides with Dave Bowman and HAL inside the Great Wall. The three immortal beings converse, and Floyd finds out that the impact of Mount Zeus set Europa's life back by years and caused the extinction of many promising species. HAL and Dave are also worried that the collision might have damaged the monolith; the impact knocked the monolith over. Dave tells him of how the Jovians had to be exterminated in the creation of Lucifer so that the Europans might survive, and tells Floyd that they have less than a millennium to work in.

In the epilogue, the star Lucifer stops shining in 3,001, and "the monolith awakes". It is also indicated that humans have found more quantities of diamond from the former Jupiter and used it to create space elevators and an orbital ring connecting them, as suggested by Paul Kreuger in his article. (This idea will later be a central concept in 3001: The Final Odyssey.)

[edit] Aborted plans for film version

Shortly after the novel was released, Tom Hanks expressed great interest in producing a film adaptation, with himself cast in the role of Floyd, and Keir Dullea and Douglas Rain reprising their roles as David Bowman and HAL 9000. These plans never went beyond the initial announcement.
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Old 17-08-2008, 02:08 AM   #14
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3001: The Final Odyssey

Bookcover_3001_The_Final_Odyssey.jpg

3001: The Final Odyssey (1997) is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the fourth and final book in the Space Odyssey series.

Plot summary

The book begins with a brief prologue. The prologue describes the aliens who created the Monoliths. As they explored the galaxy, they saw that few intelligent species ever successfully evolved. Therefore, they catalyzed the evolution of intelligent species wherever they went, including Earth. Upon reaching Earth, they performed experiments on many species to encourage the development of intelligence. Then they left, leaving the Monoliths behind. After visiting Earth, the aliens continued to evolve — eventually into non-corporeal beings. Meanwhile, back in the Sol system, the Monoliths continued to watch over humanity. However, the Monoliths were capable of degenerating and acting independently of their original programming.

3001 follows the adventures of Frank Poole, an astronaut who was murdered by HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey. His body is discovered after drifting in space for a millennium and brought back to life, exposure to vacuum having preserved him sufficiently for the advanced medical technology of the time to be able to revive him. He then explores the Earth of 3001, notable features of which are the BrainCap, a technology which interfaces computers directly with the human brain, genetically engineered dinosaur servants, and four huge space elevators spaced around the Earth's Equator connected by a spaceport ring in geostationary orbit. Humanity has also colonized Jupiter's moons Ganymede and Callisto, and performed manned missions to Neptune.

In the 26th century, the monolith in Africa (dubbed TMA-0) that kickstarted human intellectual evolution, has been discovered. TMA-1, the monolith found on the moon, had earlier been brought to Earth in 2006 and erected in front of the United Nations Building in New York City.

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sorry have to ad some pics of the un building in new york and it looks like a monolith to me

un building.jpg

20040921-11_012t2990-515h.jpg

USA, New York, NY, 860-880 United Nations Plaza.jpg

The committee considered 50 different designs before arriving at a decision. The basis for the final design was based on Niemeyer/Le Corbusier's design, known as "Scheme 23/32." note skull number is 322. kind of close don't you think



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In the course of the novel, it is determined that following the events of 2010: Odyssey Two the Jupiter monolith sent a report back to its "superior" 450 light years away and is about to receive its orders on how to deal with humanity (since the report would take 450 years to reach the superior, and the orders 450 years to come back). Presumably, the monolith was empowered to obliterate the nascent biosphere of Jupiter but needed a higher authority's approval to obliterate the technological civilization on Earth. There is considerable worry that the judgment, which was based on the monolith's observations of humanity up to 2001, will be negative. The entire human race, then, may be in danger of being obliterated by the aliens, just as the Jovian life-forms discovered by David Bowman were deliberately destroyed. Frank manages to conscript Bowman and HAL, who have fused into a new entity — 'Halman' — and now reside in the monolith's computational matrix, to infect the monolith with a computer virus in an attempt to avert the potential apocalypse.

Just as the humans feared, the Monolith does indeed receive orders to exterminate mankind, and it begins to duplicate itself many hundreds of millions of times over. These millions of monoliths assemble themselves into two separate screens in front of Sol and Lucifer to prevent all vital light and heat from reaching Earth and its colonies. The intent is to shut down the entire Terran biological life-cycle. However, the Monolith was already infected with Halman's virus at the time it began duplicating itself, and fifteen minutes after the screens are formed, all the Monoliths disintegrate, including TMA-0 and TMA-1.

Halman manages to download its combined personalities into a petabyte-capacity holographic 3D storage medium and thus survives the disintegration of the monoliths. However, it is infected in the process with the virus it itself created and is subsequently sealed by human scientists within a special containment facility used to house various chemical, biological, and cybernetic weapons, where it will presumably be stored until such time as humans (or others) choose to release it.

At the close of the story, Poole and the other humans land on Europa and attempt to start peaceful relations with the primitive native Europans.

Apparently, the creators of the Monoliths had been watching humanity. They decide that they should not decide humanity's fate until "the Last Days".

[edit] Differences between 3001: The Final Odyssey and earlier books

This portrayal of the monoliths is notably different from that in the earlier novels. In particular, the 2001 monolith was capable of faster-than-light transmission, and was generally portrayed as both less malevolent and more of a thinking entity than the one seen in this novel (in particular, Dave Bowman's transcendence as a star child is now explained as a mundane case of being uploaded into a computer).

The very end of 2010, entitled simply "20,001", could not have happened as portrayed because of the disappearance of the monoliths at the end of 3001.

Additionally, some of the dates are changed. The USSR is acknowledged as having crumbled in 1991, whereas in the earlier three books it lasts well into the 21st century. Frank Poole's birth date is set at 1996; the Discovery mission is pushed forward to the 2030s and the Leonov mission to the 2040s, when in the earlier three books, they were in 2001 and 2010, respectively. Finally, Poole remarks that by the 2020s his world had learned to tap unlimited vacuum energy, when the previous books had established only cold fusion as the highest source of power by 2061; vacuum energy would have made the plasma drive and fission reactor on the original Discovery obsolete a decade prior to the ship's construction (under the new 3001 dates).

However, since 2010: Odyssey Two Clarke has consistently stated that each of the Odyssey novels takes place in its own separate parallel universe[citation needed] — this is demonstrated by the facts that the monoliths are still in existence in the year 20,001 at the end of 2010: Odyssey Two and that Floyd is no longer part of the trinity formed at the end of 2061: Odyssey Three. These parallel universes are a part of Clarke's retroactive continuity.

[edit] Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

It was reported on Yahoo Entertainment in 2000 that MGM was in discussions regarding turning 3001 The Final Odyssey into a movie. An update in 2001 states that there has been no further development on the project. [1]

[edit] Similarities with other works of Clarke

* The story features a ring-shaped habitat in geostationary orbit around Earth, connected by four "towers" (space elevators) equally spaced around the equator. This sort of habitat first appeared in Clarke's work at the end of The Fountains of Paradise, though the Fountains' version is connected to earth's surface with six space elevators rather than four.
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Old 17-08-2008, 02:32 AM   #15
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Rendezvous With Rama

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Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a thirty-mile-long cylindrical alien starship that passes through Earth's solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers, who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries.

This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is widely regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke's bibliography. It is considered a science fiction classic, and is particularly seen as a key hard science fiction text.

Plot summary

The "Rama" of the title is an alien starship, initially mistaken for an asteroid and named after the Hindu God Rama. (Clarke mentions that by the 22nd century, scientists have used the names of all the Greek and Roman mythological figures to name astronomical bodies, and have thus moved on to Hindu mythology.) Asteroid 31/439 is detected by astronomers in the year 2131 while still outside the orbit of Jupiter. The object's speed (100 000 km/h) and the angle of its trajectory clearly indicate that this is not an object on a long orbit around our sun; it comes from interstellar space. Astronomers' interest is piqued when they realize that this asteroid not only has an extremely rapid 4 minute rotation period but it is quite large in size for an asteroid. An unmanned space probe is launched from the Mars moon Phobos, and photographs taken during its rapid flyby reveal an absolutely cylindrical object 16 kilometers wide and 50 kilometers long, made of a highly reflective material. In other words, this is humankind's first encounter with an alien space ship.

The manned solar survey vessel "Endeavour" is sent to study Rama, as it is the only ship close enough to do so in the brief period of time Rama will spend in our solar system. Endeavour manages to rendezvous with Rama one month after the space ship first comes to Earth's attention, when the giant alien spacecraft already is within Venus orbit. The 20+ crew, led by Commander Norton, enters Rama and explores its vast interior, but the nature and purpose of the starship and its creators remains enigmatic throughout the book. The only lifeforms are the cybernetic "biots" who completely ignore the humans. Endeavour is finally forced to leave a few weeks later as Rama moves too close to the Sun for Endeavour's cooling systems to compensate. Rama then is flung out of the solar system toward an unknown location in the Large Magellanic Cloud, using the Sun's gravitational field as a slingshot.

The book was meant to stand alone, although the final sentence of the book seemed to suggest otherwise:

And on far-off Earth, Dr. Carlisle Perera had as yet told no one how he had wakened from a restless sleep with the message from his subconscious still echoing in his brain: The Ramans do everything in threes.

Clarke, however, denied that this sentence was meant to hint at the continuity of the story — according to his foreword in the book's sequel, it was just a good way to end the book, and was added during a final revision.

[edit] Design and geography of Rama

Main article: Rama (spacecraft)

A 3D artist's impression of the interior of Rama.
A 3D artist's impression of the interior of Rama.
Interior view of an O'Neill cylinder showing alternating land and window stripes
Interior view of an O'Neill cylinder showing alternating land and window stripes

Rama contains a strip-like body of water, the Cylindrical Sea, which girdles the cylindrical interior "surface" of Rama about halfway between the ends. In the center of the Cylindrical Sea is an island of unknown purpose, which the astronauts name 'New York' due to an imagined similarity to Manhattan. The Sea divides Rama into Northern and Southern Hemicylinders; at each end of the ship are North and South 'Poles'. The North 'Pole' is effectively the bow and the South Pole the stern, as Rama is traveling in the direction of the North Pole and its drive system is at the South Pole. The North Pole contains Rama's airlocks, and is where the Endeavour lands; the South Pole contains Rama's drive systems.

Other collections of "buildings" are found on the "surface" of the Northern "Hemisphere", arbitrarily named Rome, Peking, Paris, Moscow, London, and Tokyo.

[edit] Project Spaceguard

Clarke invented the fictional space study program which detects Rama, Project Spaceguard, as a method of identifying near-Earth objects on Earth-impact trajectories; it was initiated after an equally fictional asteroid 'struck' Italy on September 11, 2077, destroying Padua and Verona and sinking Venice. However, a real Spaceguard project was initiated some years later, named after Clarke's fictional device. After interest in the dangers of asteroid strikes was heightened by a series of Hollywood disaster films, the United States Congress gave NASA authorization and funding to support Spaceguard.

[edit] Books in the series

Facing pressure, Clarke paired up with Gentry Lee for the remainder of the series. Lee did the actual writing, while Clarke read and made editing suggestions.[1] The focus and style of the last three novels are quite different from those of the original with an increased emphasis on characterization and more clearly portrayed heroes and villains, rather than Clarke's dedicated professionals. These later books did not receive the same critical acclaim and awards as the original.

* Rendezvous with Rama (1972) ISBN 978-0-553-28789-9
* Rama II (1989) ISBN 978-0-553-28658-8
* The Garden of Rama (1991) ISBN 978-0-553-29817-8
* Rama Revealed (1993) ISBN 978-0-553-56947-6

Gentry Lee also wrote two further novels set in the same Rama Universe.

* Bright Messengers (1995)
* Double Full Moon Night (1999)

[edit] Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

In the early 2000s, actor Morgan Freeman expressed his desire to produce a film based on Rendezvous with Rama. After a drawn-out development process — which Freeman states has been due to difficulties in procuring funding[2] — it now appears this will indeed be happening. IMDb, as of August 2007, upgraded the status of the project to "announced" with an estimated release date in 2009.[3] The film is to be produced by Freeman's production company, Revelations Entertainment. David Fincher, touted on Revelations' Rama website as far back as 2001, stated in a December 31, 2007 interview that he is still attached to helm.[4] IMDb indicates that Stel Pavlou has written the adaptation. Fincher is of the opinion that the novel was an influence on the films Alien and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.[4]

[edit] Other media

A graphic adventure computer game with a text parser based on the book was made in 1984 by Telarium (formerly known as Trillium) and exported to systems such as the Apple II and Commodore 64. Despite its primitive graphics, it had highly detailed descriptions, and it followed the book very closely along with having puzzles to solve during the game. It was adapted from the Clarke novel in 1983 by Ron Martinez, who went on to design the massively multiplayer online game 10Six, also known as Project Visitor.

Sierra Entertainment created RAMA in 1996 as a point and click adventure game in the style of Myst. Along with highly detailed graphics, Arthur C. Clarke also appeared in the game as the guide for the player. This game also featured characters from the sequel book Rama II.

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Based on the acclaimed novel by science fiction visionary Arthur C. Clarke – author of 2001: A Space Odyssey – Rendezvous with Rama weaves politics, religion, science and suspense with an epic scope and daring humanity. The result is a breathtakingly taut and intelligent film that pushes the boundaries of cinema and imagination, exploring the outermost in our solar system in order to discover the innermost in ourselves.

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial artifact that astronomers dub ‘Rama.’ It is huge. It weighs more than ten trillion tons. And it’s hurtling through the solar system at an inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. But Rama is impervious to attempts at communication, so Earth orders a manned, deep space maintenance ship, the Endeavor, to undertake a rendezvous. It will kindle the crew’s wildest dreams and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows what Rama is or why it has come. And now the moment of discovery awaits…

Morgan Freeman plays Endeavor’s Commander, who leads his crew on an exploration into the spacecraft’s singularly unique and vast interior, an evolving world that staggers the mind. Intrigued by what they see, and more importantly, by what they don’t see, the Commander is driven by a passion for the truth, willing to risk everything to unveil the stunning mystery at the heart of Rama.

Stars: Morgan Freeman

Director: David Fincher (Se7en, Panic Room, Fight Club)
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Old 17-08-2008, 02:38 AM   #16
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I have read them all.......Profiles of the Future , too

yes, free canada, he had an inside seat.......all predictive porgramming straight from the Royal Institute, NASA , ect.

Last edited by lizzy; 17-08-2008 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 17-08-2008, 04:05 AM   #17
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12665matrix22jpgnl8.jpg


"Some personal information can be seen on Thomas Anderson's "criminal record" that Agent Smith glances at when he interrogates Neo: The place of his birth is CAPITAL CITY USA, his date of birth is the 13th of September 1971, the passport was issued on the 12th of September 1991 and will expire on the 11th of September 2001."

Pretty freaky coincidence, seeing that the film was released in 1999.
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Old 17-08-2008, 04:30 AM   #18
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Anyone read Sunstorm and Time's Eye? What do you make of those?
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Old 17-08-2008, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzy View Post
I have read them all.......Profiles of the Future , too

yes, free canada, he had an inside seat.......all predictive porgramming straight from the Royal Institute, NASA , ect.
Same here,

A very strange man more akin to Crowley, Parsons etc..
Same sick occultist mind, his well known Pedophillia, that was strangly declared case closed as soon as he died.
In Retreat in Sri-Lanka, He was forced there, he could not come back to UK. So he lived out the last of his sick days in a Pedo's heaven...

Free Canada fantastic Thread, there's a lot more about this sicko if you look about.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofangels View Post
Same here,

A very strange man more akin to Crowley, Parsons etc..
Same sick occultist mind, his well known Pedophillia, that was strangly declared case closed as soon as he died.
In Retreat in Sri-Lanka, He was forced there, he could not come back to UK. So he lived out the last of his sick days in a Pedo's heaven...

Free Canada fantastic Thread, there's a lot more about this sicko if you look about.

Holy shit, good research and thanks free canada. A always thought he knew more than what he was telling. I remember reading 2010 at school.

lordofangels - didn't know he was a pedophillo though where can one find out more?
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