2061: Odyssey Three (1987)

2061: Odyssey Three Review

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2061: Odyssey Three Review

2061: Odyssey Three is a 1987 science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the third entry in the series which was a very satisfactory reading experience.

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He found it both sad and fascinating

that only through an artificial universe of video images

could she establish contact with the real world

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2061: Odyssey Three Review

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What I was promised but did not get in ‘2010’, I finally got here – an exploration of Europa! And of course I loved every bit of it. That is not to say that it is better than its predecessor which it isn’t, but it was probably more fun to read. I absolutely adored those passages about Europa even if I myself do not believe in convergent evolution. I loved the descriptions of the planet and all of its creatures with the highlight being the shark creature part.

The rest of the story is no fluke either. I absolutely loved the ending and can’t wait to read the sequel as this again sets it up really well. Diamond mountain is one great imagery to imagine and surely the novel has a lot of those superb set pieces and adventurous stuff that I do wonder why they have never filmed it when it is so obviously better suited for a film treatment than its too predecessor ever were.

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2061: Odyssey Three Review

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Chris Floyd isn’t a great case for nepotism, but he is not bad either. I loved his relationship with his grandfather and that ghost scene, although directly taken from ‘2010’, is still very heartwarming (by the way, Clarke admitting self-plagiarizing was hilarious to me). Rolf van der Berg is forgettable, but the two share a good dynamic.

Other characters are forgettable and once again the chapters that focus more on humans were the dullest of the bunch as character development was just never Clarke’s best suit. But even though the characters were not great, I liked 2061’s Earth parts and history. Even though unlikely in real life, I liked the formation of the new South African country and the politics surrounding the diamonds was very well established here. He showed us here how people will always be greedy and selfish. His writing and descriptions are strong as usual here.

2061 succeeds as a very solid sequel because it finally utilizes on the satellite of Europa along with other Jupiter’s moons and Lucifer. The exploration of them all was just fascinating to me and the formation of the new Solar System was beautifully envisioned by Clarke.

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2061: Odyssey Three Review

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Convergent evolution is very well explored here and I loved the focus on extraterrestrial animals for once. I actually really liked the choice to not portray Europans but only hint at their present or future appearance. Europa is set for their arrival and maybe ‘3001’ is going to explore that more in-depth. But here I liked that it was low-key and more realistic, yet consistently entertaining and adventurous. 2061 truly is a very adventurous book, the most fun out of all the entries in the series, though far from best. But my fingers are crossed for a potential film adaptation one day as that would be awesome.

In the end, 2061 is inferior to its predecessors and again the characterization is weak, but its high adventure is great, the exploration of Europan fauna was just so fascinating, I loved its more realistic approach, Clarke’s writing and descriptions are stellar per usual and the novel is a satisfactory look at extraterrestrial animals, convergent evolution and the potential changes in our Solar System.

My Rating – 4.5

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