Thursday, September 14, 2006

Alternative Past

2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke. I'd never read this before; I often stay away from commonly-read books, and have only just recently started reading more of them. One reason is because of all the total crap about the books that has become "common knowledge." I was under the impression that this book was all about a computer that goes crazy. While this book does feature an A-I computer character, the book isn't about it, nor does said computer really go insane. While that may happen in the movie (which I plan to watch tonight), it does not happen in the book. Because I was waiting for it to happen, it skewed my reading. In any event, I found this book quite enjoyable. It was written relatively early in the development of science fiction as a genre, so it didn't have to out-do every other novel with bunches of extravagant stuff, which becomes more and more outrageous every year. Also because this was an early work, there are many other books and movies that use little bits of it. I am thinking in particular of one movie, followed by now two tv series, which is based on the discovery and use of ancient alien technology, most notably the Star Gate; one of the main characters later ascends to a higher state of being. This blatant rip off makes me lose a little respect for what I had enjoyed as a good tv show: Star Gate SG1. I have started reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but it's about three inches thick, so it will take me a while. I don't have too much of an opinion as of yet.

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