I wasn't as disappointed by 3001 as many other people. Frank Poole is found in deep space and brought back to life (he was cryogenically frozen, so it isn't that hard to work out). He spends a lot of time finding out about the development of society in the Third Millenium, and then saves humanity.

The first two-thirds of the novel is pretty interesting, as long as you think of it as Arthur Clarke's summary of his dream of the future. Unfortunately, Clarke felt obligated to include a plot in his book, and so he tacked on a story about the monolith to finish it off. He would have been better off publishing the beginning on its own as a sort of travelogue of the future, or taking the time to write a story big enough to be proportionate to the intro--this would have tripled the size of the book, but would have been an improvement.

As long as you don't expect to read a conventional novel, you'll find this book to be about as rewarding as 2010 and a lot better than 2061 (which still doesn't make any sense to me).

The final installment in Author C. Clark's monolith series. Like the other books, it is not a direct sequel to any of the books before it and should be considered a variation on the same theme. 3001 is a grand vision of the future of the human race and seems more real than many other plans of the future because it is reserved in many ways. Just under a millennium from now, humans are still in their own solar system and concentrated around Earth. We never meet anyone but the privileged people of the time, although there is a character who is a criminal who is being used for public service until he is deemed fit to reenter society.

The book starts out past Neptune on a ice capture mission. Frank Poole's body was found drifting out to deep space and since he had been cryogenically frozen, it was possible to revive him.

Most of the novel is Poole exploring the fourth millennium. From implanted ID chips, to bases on Ganymede, to living dinosaurs, it feels like we could be living something similar in the next 1000 years. Most people no longer live on Earth, but in towers that rise from four points on the globe to be connected by a ring that circles the equator. Space ships take off from orbit, Venus is being cooled with ice from the comet cloud, and no one eats real meat.

In order to tie it into the other books, at the end Poole ends up helping to sabotage the monolith and saving the solar system. If you're looking for an ending to 2001, then this isn't the book for you. If you're looking for Clark's vision of the future and would like to meet some familiar characters along the way then you'll love this novel.

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