After I began reading this book, I heard from two different people who had read the entire "Odyssey Series" (2001, 2010, 2061, & 3001). One of them said this was the best book in the series, and the other said it was the worst. Regardless, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. So as to not break with tradition (and to not give away the plot to those of you who haven't read it yet), I won't write a summary like I sometimes do with the non-fiction titles I review.
The interesting thing about Clarke is that even though he was an atheist and a humanist, the books he wrote that I have read have all contained supernatural/metaphysical elements. That's fine since he isn't pretending to be writing non-fiction. It is just unusual, it seems to me, for someone to write on a consistent basis about that which they don't even believe in.
Clarke's weaving of the past with a possible (perhaps over-optimistic) future is very entertaining. I think people in 2061 will know who The Beatles were, but other than this hint that Clarke makes, much of the book is realistic. The chapters are short and usually end in some sort of cliff hanger so it makes the book difficult to put down. Everyone, from early teenagers to adults as old as Dr. Floyd, should find much of interest in this book.
from the publisher:
In 2061, Heywood Floyd must once again confront Dave Bowman, a newly independent HAL, and the limitless power of an unseen alien race that has decided that Mankind is to play a role in the evolution of the galaxy--whether it wants to or not. Continuing the spellbinding excitement begun in 2001: A Space Odyssey. [an error occurred while processing this directive]