Sunday, November 08, 2015


2001, the finest SF movie of all time, (Interstellar's No. 2) in tandem with Arthur C. Clarke's 2001, one of the finest SF novels of all time, (Starmaker's the other) gives one pause given just how deep and sophisticated both works are. When looking at Kubrick's masterpiece, one sees just how prescient both men were in describing a reality set 33 years into the future from 1968, regarding computers, tech and the nuance of space, where no sound resides, where ion engines rule and where science takes precedence over religion as the only viable way to try to understand the mysterious reality in which we all live, something altogether different from the fractured and increasingly illiterate environment of earth circa 2015.

Take the time to read the book as it's not only a seamless connect showing how writing is properly translated into film when done by a master like Kubrick but also it explains, in clear fashion, the raison d'ete of 2001 in a way impossible to do in a medium that plays out in just two hours and 22 minutes.

 Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead
outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked
the planet Earth.

 Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a
hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived,
in this Universe there shines a star.

 But every one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small,
nearby star we call the Sun. And many - perhaps most - of those alien suns have planets circling
them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human
species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven - or hell.

 How many of those potential heavens and hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of
creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars
or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. But the barriers of distance are
crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters, among the stars.

 Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become reality.
Increasing numbers, however, are asking: "Why have such meetings not occurred already, since we
ourselves are about to venture into space?"

 Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please
remembert thi sis only a work of fiction.

 The truth, as always, will be far stranger.

 To Stanley

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