2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY tells of an adventure that has not yet happened. But which many people-scientists, philosophers, writers and engineers-think will happen, and perhaps very soon. The adventure is the first contact that the human race-we on the planet Earth-will have with life elsewhere in the Universe. This limitless void, with its uncountable numbers of suns and planets, is like a gigantic theatre filled with
stages on which the drama of life can be acted out, and on which very probably, it has been acted out in past eons. What are the beings that inhabit these worlds? Will we be able to recognize them or will they appear so alien that if we were to see them we should hardly know them as intelligent life at all? Will they be biological life forms, machines or even disembodied creatures of pure energy? will they be