conte pastel pencils
We are professional custom pencil maker and You can customize any pencil and specify any logo, any style, any color. We offer pencil OEM, ODM service to our customers and provide pencils wholesale to traders worldwide at low price!
Normal Sizes: 17.8*0.72cm
Price: between $0.03 and $0.8
Shapes of Wooden Pencil: cylinder, hexagon, triangle, quadrangle, octagonal, oval, square etc.
Surface treatment of penholder: Thermal transfer, Painting and Mantle. Logo can be printed as customers requirements
Packing: 12pcs/opp,2880pcs/ctn GW:18.5kg NW:17.5kg，according to customer's requirement
Delivery Time: small order--5 to 10 days, big order--15 to 30 days
we supply different accessories.
1.Any size,color, design are available.
2.Weather Resistant and Environmental Protection
★The final Price depends on the quantity,specification,material of the customized。
conte pastel pencils| conte pencils| cool pencils| crayola colored pencils| crayola watercolor
Copyright © 2010,Treepencils.com
So began the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey when it was published in July 1968. But the first version, four years earlier, had started like this....
VIEW FROM THE YEAR 2000conte pastel pencils
Between the first and last decades of the twentieth century lay a gulf greater than the wildest imagination could have conceived. It was the gulf between gunpowder and nuclear bomb, between messages tapped in Morse and global television from the sky, between Queen Victoria, Empress of India, and Kwame Chaka, Supreme President of the African Federation. But above all it was the gulf between the first hundred-foot flight at Kitty Hawk, and the first billion-mile mission to the moons of Jupiter. All of these things, ages apart in terms of culture, lay within the span of that one incredible century.
The thunder of doom had barely ceased to roll above Eniwetok Atoll when the first Sputnik rose beeping into the sky. Across the constellations moved stars that no astronomers had seen before, and as the ancient dust of the Sea of Rains received the first emissary from Earth, the long loneliness of the Moon was ended forever.
Barely a moment later, as the universe counts time, Man followed his messengers into space. Project Apollo, dominating the '70's like a bloodless war, was to pass into history, with all its triumphs and tragedies. After that, nothing would ever again be the same. When men raised their eyes to the Moon, they would know that their comrades were looking down at them. And they would remember that there were some whom Earth could never reclaim, as it had gathered back all their ancestors since the beginning of time. These were the voyagers who had failed to reach their goals, but had won instead the immortality of space, and were beyond change or decay.
Before the '70's had ended, the first permanent colony had been established on the Moon. The cost of space travel had been slashed tenfold, and would be cut tenfold again with coming of nuclear power. The brief age of the rocket dinosaurs, each capable of but a single flight, was drawing to its close. Instead of the thousand-ton boosters whose bones now littered the Atlantic deeps, men were building far more efficient aerospace planes-giant rocket aircraft which could- climb up to orbit with their cargoes, then return to Earth for another mission. Commercial space flight had not yet been achieved, but it was on the horizon.
Only a few percent of the Moon's millions of square miles had been thoroughly explored, and the detailed examination of its vast wilderness might take centuries yet. But no one believed that it held any more surprises; it was hostile but familiar territory, and the home of more than a thousand men. The real frontier was far away, in the cold night beyond the path of Mars, the searing day inside the orbit of Venus.
Herald of the dawn, star of evening, Venus had been the first bitter disappointment of the space age. Even after Mariner II had repconte pastel pencilsorted the furnace heat of the eternally hidden surface, there were some who had hoped that the instruments might be wrong. But now, too many probes had been lost in the howling hell of the Cytherean atmosphere for any optimism to remain. Venus was dead; perhaps one day men would bring her to life, but that would be in the far, far future, with the aid of technologies yet unborn.
There remained Mars, source of so much mystery and romance, perhaps the only other home of life in the Solar System. After heartbreaking failures, a TV scanner was landed on the planet, and the whole world peered from forty million miles away, through a single mobile eye rolling jerkily across the desolation of the misnamed Lake of the Sun.
No one who saw will ever forconte pastel pencilsget that first encounter between Martian and machinconte pastel pencils. Undramatic, absolutely silent, it was one of the great moments of history. Advancing slowly on its broad balloon tires, its vision turret rotating continuously, the exploring robot moved with mindless purpose over a dry, dusty plain. It was on its own, beyond aid or advice from Earth. The scenes its makers were watching were already four minutes in the past: any orders they might send, though racing at the speed of light, could not reach Mars until as many in the future.
The plain was covered with large, spherical boulders, and the robot was rolling straight toward one. Its buiconte pastel pencilslders were not worried; the machine's obstacle-detecting skirt would warn it before there was danger of collision, and it would automatically turn off at a right angle. That was the theory; what happened was somewhat different.
Before the robot could reach it, the boulder moved. It heaved itself off the ground on a myriad stumpy legs, crawled slowly out of the track of the advancing explorer, and settled down again. As it plunged forward, unaware of the consternation it was causing on Earth and Mars, the robot disturbed two more of the boulders; then it was through them, and encountered no others until, ten hours later, it became trapped in a canyon and continued to radio back maddeningly repetitious views of bare rock until its batteries failed.
But it had done its work; it had detected life on Mars- life, moreover, of a fairly advanced form. Whether animal, vegetable, or neither, was a question that would not be answered for years-until the first expedition reached the planet in the mid-80's.
The early explorers knew that they would find life: they could only hope that they would find intelligence. But Mars has as much land area as Earth-for though it is a small world, it has no seas. Even to map the planet adequately would take decades; to learn all its secrets would be the work of centuries.
The main Martian life-forms-the "roving stones" browsing on the mineral deserts, the leechlike predators that hunted them in the desperate battle for existence, the yet fiercer parasites that preyed on them-showed only the dimmest flickers of intelligence. Nor was there any sign that these were the degenerate survivors of superior creatures, Mars, it appeared certain, had never been the home of Mind. Yet there were still-many who hoped that somewhere in the endless crimson deserts or beneath the frozen poles, or sealed in the eroded hills there might yet be found the relics of civilizations that had flourished when the giant reptiles ruled the Earth. It was a romantic dream, and it would be slow to die.
Beyond Mars, there were greater worlds, and mightier problems. Enigmatic Jupiter, with a thousand times the bulk of Earth, teased the minds of men with its mysteries. Perhaps there was life far beneath those turbulent clouds of ammonia and methane, thriving in the hot darkness at pressures unmatched in the deepest terrestrial seas. If so, it would be as unreachable as another universe; for no ship yet imagined could fight its way down through that immense gravitational field, or withstand the forces that were raging in the Jovian atmosphere. Some robot probes had been launched on that fearful journey; none had survived.
One day, perhaps in the early years of the new century, there would be manned expeditions to the moons of Jupiter-to Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, the beloved of the father of the gods, large enough to be called planets in their own right. But there was so much to do nearer home, with the buildup of the lunar colony and the establishment of a bridgehead on Mars, that the outer worlds must wait. Though there would be robot fly-by missions to all the giant planets, and even out into the comet-haunted darkness beyond Pluto, no men would travel on these lonely flights.
As for voyaging outside the Solar System, to the still undiscovered planets of other stars, few scientists believed that it would ever be possible. At the best, interstellar travel was certainly a dream of the very distant future, of no practical concern during the first few centuries of space flight.
That was a very sensible, very reasonable prediction, repeateconte pastel pencilsd over and over again in the writings of the '70's and '80's. For who could possibly have guessed-
SON OF DR. STRANGELOVE
Who could, indeed?
Those words were written five years before the first men reached the Moon: now, ironically enough, it seems that, far from "dominating the '70's," Project Apollo has been dominated by them, it has shrunk pitifully from the original plan of ten lunar missions. But if we survive our present Time of Troubles, history will restore the correct perspective. An age may come when Project Apollo is the only thing by which most men remember the United States-or even the world of their ancestors, the distant planet Earth.
Yet when Stanley Kubrick wrote to me in the spring of 1964, saying that he wanted to make the "proverbial good science-fiction movie," the lunar landing still seemed, psychologically, a dream of the far future. Intellectually, we knew that it was inevitable; emotionally, we could not really believe it-as indeed, some foolish people do not believe it even now.
To put early 1964 in perspective: it was eleven months since an American astronaut (Gordon Cooper-Mercury 9) had been in space; the first two-man Gemini flight (Grissom and Young) would not take place for another year; and argument was still raging about the nature of the lunar surface, owing to the heartbreaking failure of Ranger VI's TV cameras fifteen minutes before impact.
Though there was great activity behind the scenes, and NASA was spending the entire budget of our movie (over $10,000,000) every day, space exploration seemed to be marking time. But the portents were clear; I often reminded Stanley-and myself-that the film would still be on its first run when men were actually walking on the Moon. This turned out to be a considerable understatement; the Toronto release, for example, spanned Apollos 11, 12 and 13....
Our main problem, therefore, was creating a story whconte pastel pencilsich would not be made obsolete-or even worse, ridiculous-by the events of the next few years. We had to outguess the future; one way of doing that was to be so far ahead of the present that there was no danger of facts overtaking us. On the other hand, if we got too far ahead there would be a grave risk of losing contact with our audience. Though MGM'e motto has long been Ars Gratia artis, it is no great secret that movie companies exist to make money. We had to aim for an audience of about a hundred million-give or take a million, as General Turgidson would say.
Even before I left Ceylon to join Stanley in April 1964, I had run through my published stories in search of a suitable starting point for a space epic. Almost at once, I settled upon a very short piece called The Sentinel, written during the 1948 Christmas holiday for a BBC competition. (It wasn't placed, and I'd like to know what did win.) It is a story of the pioneering days of lunar exploration (1980+?); though it has been widely anthologized, and appears in my own collections Expedition to Earth and The Nine Billion Names of God, it is such an essential introduction to 2001 that I would like to repeat it here. Over, then, to The Sentinel, . . .
The next time you see the full moon high in the south, look carefully at its right-hand edge conte pastel pencilsand let your eye travel upward along the curve of the disk. Round about two o'clock you will notice a small, dark oval: anyone with normal eyesight can find it quite easily. It is the great walled plain, one of the finest on the Moon, known as the Mare Crisium-the Sea of Crises. Three hundred miles in diameter, and almost completely surrounded by a ring of magnificent mountains, it had never been explored until we entered it in the late summer of 1996.
Our expedition was a large one. We had two heavy freighters which had flown our supplies and equipment from the main lunar base in the Mare Serenitatis, five hundred miles away. There were also three small rockets which were intended for short-range transport over regions which our surface vehicles couldn't cross. Luckily, most of the Mare Crisium is very flat. There are none of the great crevasses so common and so dangerous elsewhere, and very few craters or mountains of any size. As far as we could tell, our powerful caterpillar tractors would have no difficulty in taking us wherever we wished to go.
I was geologist-or selenologist, if you want to be pedantic-in charge of the group exploring the southern region of the Mare. We had crossed a hundred miles of it in a week, skirting the foothills of the mountains along the shore of what was once the ancient sea, some thousand million years before. When life was beginning on Earth, it was already dying here. The waters were retreating down the flanks of those stupendous cliffs, retreating into the empty heart of the Moon. Over the land which we were crossing, the tideless ocean had once been half a mile deep, and now the only trace of moisture was the hoarfrost one could sometimes find in caves which the searing sunlight never penetrated.
We had begun our journey early in the slow lunar dawn, and still had almost a weekconte pastel pencilsof Earth time before nightfall. Half a dozen times a day we would leave our vehicle and go outside in the space suits to hunt for interesting minerals, or to place markers for the guidance of future travelers. It was an uneventful routine. There is nothing hazardous or even particularly exciting about lunar exploration. We could live comfortably for a month in our pressurized tractors, and if we ran into trouble we could always radio for help and sit tight until one of the spaceships came to our rescue.
I said just now that there was nothing exciting about lunar exploration, but of course that isn't true. One could never grow tired of those incredible mountains, so much more rugged than the gentle hills of Earth. We never knew, as we rounded the capes and promontories of that vanished sea, what new splendors would be revealed to us. The whole southern curve of the Mare Crisium is a vast delta where a score of rivers once found their way into the ocean, fed perhaps by the torrential rains that must have lashed the mountains in the brief volcanic age when the Moon was young. Each of these ancient valleys was an invitation, challenging us to climb into the unknown uplands beyond. But we had a hundred miles still to cover, and could only look longingly at the heights which Others must scale.
We kept Earth time aboard the tractor, and precisely at 2200 hours the final radio message would be sent out to Base and we would close down for the day. Outside, the rocks would still be burning beneath the almost vertical sun, but to us it was night until we awoke again eight hours later. Then one of us would prepare breakfast, there would be a great buzzing of electric razors, and someone would switch on the shortwave radio from Earth. Indeed, when the smell of frying sausages began to fill the cabin, it was sometimes hard to believe that we were not back on our own world-everything was so normal and homely, apart from the feeling of decreased weight and the unnatural slowness with which objects fell.
It was my turn to prepare breakfast in the corner of the main cabin that served as a galley. I can remember that moment quite vividly after all these years, for the radio had just played one of my favorite melodies, the old Welsh air "David of the White Rock." Our driver was already outside in his space suit, inspecting our caterpillar treads. My assistant, Louis Garnett, was up forward in the control position, making some belated entries in yesterday's log.
As I stood by the frying pan waiting, like any terrestrial housewife, for the sausages to brown, I let my gaze wander idly over the mountain walls which covered the whole of the southern horizon, marching out of sight to east and west below the curve of the moon. They seemed only a mile or two from the tractor, but I knew that the nearest was twenty miles away. On the Moon, of course, there is no loss of detail with distance-none of that almost imperceptible haziness which softens and sometimes transfigures all far-off things on Earth.
Those mountains were ten thousand feet high, and they climbed steeply out of the plain as if ages ago some subterranean eruption had smashed them skyward through the molten crust. The base of even the nearest was hidden from sight by the steeply curving surface of the plain, for the Moon is a very little world, and from where I was standing the horizon was only two miles away.
I lifted my eyes toward the peaks which no man had ever climbed-the peaks which, before the coming of terrestrial life, had watched the retreating oceans sink sullenly into their graves, taking with them the hope and the morning promise of a world. The sunlight was beating against those ramparts with a glare that hurt the eyes, yet only a little way above them the stars were shining steadily in a sky blacker than a winter midnight on Earth.
I was turning away when my eye caught a metallic glitter high on the ridge of a great promontory thrusting out into the sea thirty miles to the west. It was a dimensionless point of light, as if a star had been clawed from the sky by one of those cruel peaks, and I imagined that some smooth rock surface was catching the sunlight and heliographing it straight into my eyes. Such things were not uncommon. When the moon is in her second quarter, observers on Earth can sometimes see the great ranges in the Oceanus Procellarum burning with a blue-white iridescence as the sunlight flashes from their slopes and leaps again from world to world. But I was curious to know what kind of rock could be shining so brightly up there, and I combed the observation turret and swung our four-inch telescope round to the west.
I could see just enough to tantaconte pastel pencilslize me. Clear and sharp in the field of vision, the mountain peaks seemed only half a mile away, but whatever was catching the sunlight was still too small to be resolved. Yet it seemed to have an elusive symmetry, and the summit upon which it rested was curiously flat. I stared for a long time at that glittering enigma, straining my eyes into space, until presently a smell of burning from the galley told me that our breakfast sausages had made their quarter-million-mile journey in vain.
All that morning we argued our way across the Mare Crisium while the western mountains reared higher in the sky. Even when we were out prospecting in the space suits, the discussion would continue over the radio. It was absolutely certain, my companions argued, that there had never been any form of intelligent life on the Moon. The only living things that had ever existed there were a few primitive plants and their slightly less degenerate ancestors. I knew that as well as anyone, but there are times when a scientist must not be afraid to make a fool of himself.
"Listen," I said at last, "I'm going up there, if only for my own peace of mind. That mountain's lconte pastel pencilsess than twelve thousand feet high-that's only two thousand under Earth gravity-and I can make the trip in twenty hours at the outside. I've always wanted to go up into those hills, anyway, and this gives me an excellent excuse."
"If you don't break your neck," said Garnett, "you'll be the laughing stock of the expedition when we get back to Base. That mountain will probably be named Wilson's Folly from now on."
"I won't break my neck," I said firmly. "who was the first man to climb Pico and Helicon?"
"But weren't you rather younger in those days?" asked Louis gently.
"That," I said with great dignity, "is as good a reason as any for going."
We went to bed early that night, after driving the tractor to within half a mile of the promontory. Garnett was coming with me in the morning; he was a good climber, and had often been with me on such exploits before. Our driver was only too glad to be left in charge of the machine.
At first sight, those cliffs seemed completely unscalable, but to anyone with a good head for heights, climbing is easy on a world where all weights are only a sixth of their normal value. The real danger in lunar mountaineering lies in overconfidence, a six-hundred-foot drop on the moon can kill you just as thoroughly as a hundred-foot fall on Earth.
We made our first halt on a wide ledge about four thousand feet above the plain. Climbing had not been very difficult, but my limbs were stiff with the unaccustomed effort, and I was glad of the rest. We could still see the tractor as a tiny metal insect far down at the foot of the cliff, and we reported our progress to the driver before starting on the next ascent.
Inside our suits it was comforconte pastel pencilstably cool, for the refrigeration units were fighting the fierceconte pastel pencils sun and carrying away the body heat of our exertions. We seldom spoke to each other, except to pass climbing instructions and to discuss our best plan of ascent. I do not know what Garnett was thinking; probably that this was the craziest wild-goose chase he had ever embarked upon. I more than half agreed with him, but the joy of climbing, the knowledge that no man had ever gone this way before and the exhilaration of the steadily widening landscape gave me all the reward I needed.
I don't think I was particularly excited when I saw in front of us the wall of rock I had first inspected through the telescope from thirty miles away. It would level off about fifty feet above our heads, and there on the plateau would be the thing that had lured me over these barren wastes. It was, almost certainly, nothing more than a boulder splintered ages ago by a falling meteor, and with its cleavage planes still fresh and bright in this incorruptible, unchanging silence.
There were no handholds on the rock face, and we had to use a grapnel. My tired arms seemed to gain new strength as I swung the three-pronged metal anchor round my head and sent it sailing up toward the stars. The first time, it broke loose and came falling slowly back when we pulled the rope. On the third attempt, the prongs gripped firmly and our combined weights could not shift it.
Garnett looked at me anxiously. I could tell that he wanted to go first, but I smiled back at him through the glass of my helmet and shook my head. Slowly, taking my time, I began the final ascent.
Even with my space suit, I weighed only forty pounds here, so I pulled myself up hand over hand without bothering to use my feet. At the rim I paused and waved to my companion; then I scrambled over the edge and stood upright, staring ahead of me.
You must understand that until this very moment I had been almost completely convinced that there could be nothing strange or unusual for me to find here. Almost, but not quite; it was that haunting doubt that had driven me forward. Well, it was a doubt no longer, but the haunting had scarcely begun.
I was standing on a plateau perhaps a hundred feet across. It had once been smooth-too smooth to be natural-but fading meteors had pitted and scored its surface through immeasurable eons. It had been leveled to support a glittering, roughly pyramidal structure, twice as high as a man, that was set in the rock like a gigantic, many-faceted jewel.
Probably no emotion at all filled my mind in those first few seconds. Then I feconte pastel pencilslt a great lifting of my heart, and a strange, inexpressible joy. For I loved the Moon, and now I knew that the creeping moss of Aristarchus and Eratosthenes was not the only life she had brought forth in her youth. The old, discredited dream of the first explorers was true. There had, after all, been a lunar civilization- and I was the first to find it. That I had come perhaps a hundred million years too late did not distress me; it was enough to have come at all.
My mind was beginning to function normally, to analyze and to ask questions. Was this a building, a shrine- or something forconte pastel pencils which my language had no name? If a building, then why was it erected in so uniquely inaccessible a spot? I wondered if it might be a temple, and I could picture the adepts of some strange priesthood calling on their gods to preserve them as the life of the Moon ebbed with the dying oceans-and calling on their gods in vain.
I took a dozen steps forward to examine the thing more closely, but some sense of caution kept me from going too near. I knew a little archaeology, and tried to guess the cultural level of the civilization that must have smoothed this mountain and raised the glittering mirror surfaces that still dazzled my eyes.
Tconte pastel pencilshe Egyptians could have done it, I thought, if their workmen had possessed whatever strange materials these far more ancient architects had used. Because of the thing's smallness, it did not occur to me that I might be looking at the handiwork of a race more advanced than my own. The idea that the moon had possessed intelligence at all was still almost too tremendous to grasp, and my pride would not let me take the final, humiliating plunge.
And then I noticed something that set the scalp crawling at the back of my neck-something so trivial and so innocent that many would never have noticed it at all. I have said that the plateau was scarred by meteors; it was also coated inches deep with the cosmic dust that is always filtering down upon the surface of any world where there are no winds to disturb it. Yet the dust and the meteor scratches ended quite abruptly in a wide circle enclosing the little pyramid, as though an invisible wall was protecting it from the ravages of time and the slow but ceaseless bombardment from space.
There was someone shouting in my earphones, and I realized that Garnett had been calling me for some time. I walked unsteadily to the edge of the cliff and signaled him to join me, not trusting myself to speak. Then I went back toward that circle in the dust. I picked up a fragment of splintered rock and tossed it gently toward the shining enigma. If the pebble had vanished at that invisible barrier I should not have been surprised, but it seemed to hit a smooth, hemispherical surface and slide gently to the ground.
I knew then that I was looking at nothing that could be matched in the antiquity of my own race. This was not a building but a machine, protecting itself with forces that had challenged Eternity. Those forces, whatever they might be, were still operating, and perhaps I had already come too close. I thought of all the radiations man had trapped and tamed in the past century. For all I knew, I might be as irrevocably doomed as if I had stepped into the deadly, silent aura of an unshielded atomic pile.
I remember turning then toward Garnett, who had joined me and was now standing motionless at my side. He seemed quite oblivious to me, so I did not disturb him but walked to the edge of the cliff in an effort to marshal my thoughts. There below me lay the Mare Crisium - Sea of Crises, indeed-strange and weird to most men, but reassuringly familiar to me. I lifted my eyes toward the crescent Earth, lying in her cradle of stars, and I wondered what her clouds had covered when these unknown builders had finished their work. Was it the steaming jungle of the Carboniferous, the bleak shoreline over which the first amphibians must crawl to conquer the land-or, earlier still, the long loneliness before the coming of life?
Do not ask me why I did not guess the truth sooner- the truth that seems so obvious now. In the first excitement of my discovery, I had assumed without question that this crystalline apparition had been built by some race belonging to the Moon's remote past, but suddenly, and with overwhelming force, the belief came to me that it was as alien to the Moon as I myself.
In twenty years we had found no trace of life but a few degenerate plants. No lunar civilization, whatever its doom, could have left but a single token of its existence.
I looked at the shining pyramid again, and the more remoconte pastel pencilste it seemed from anything that had to do with the Moon. And suddenly I felt myself shaking with a foolish, hysterical laughter, brought on by excitement and overexertion: for I had imagined that the little pyramid was speaking to me and was saying: "Sorry, I'm a stranger here myself."
It has taken us twenty years to crack that invisible shield and to reach the machine inside those crystal walls. What we could not understand, we broke at last with the savage might of atomic power, and now I have seen the fragments of the lovely, glittering thing I found up there on the mountain.
They are meaningless. The mechanisms-if indeed they are mechanisms-of the pyramid belong to a technology that lies far beyond our horizon, perhaps to the technology of paraphysical forces.
The mystery haunts us all the more now that the other planets have been reached and we know that only Earth has ever been the home of intelligent life in our Solar System. Nor could any lost civilization of our own world have built that machine, for the thickness of the meteoric dust on the plateau has enabled us to measure its age. It was set there upon its mountain before life had emerged from the seas of Earth.
When our world was half its present age, something from the stars swept through the Solar System, left this token of its passage, and went again upon its way. Until we destroyed it, that machine was still fulfilling the purpose of its builders; and as to that purpose, here is my guess.
Nearly a hundred thousand million stars are turning in the circle of the Milky Way, and long ago other races on the worlds of other suns must have scaled and passed the heights that we have reached. Think of such civilizations, far back in time against the fading afterglow of Creation, masters of a universe so young that life as yet had come to only a handful of worlds. Theirs would have been a loneliness we cannot imagine, the loneliness of gods looking out across infinity and finding none to share their thoughts.
They must have searched the star clusters as we have searched the planets. Everywhere there would be worldsconte pastel pencils but they would be empty or peopled with crawling, mindless things. Such was our own Earth, the smoke of the great volcanoes still staining the skies, when that first ship of the peoples of the dawn came sliding in from the abyss beyond Pluto. It passed the frozen outer worlds, knowing that life could play no part in their destinies. It came to rest among the inner planets, warming themselves around the fire of the sun and waiting for their stories to begin.
Those wanderers must have looked on Earth, circling safely in the narrow zone between fire and ice, and must have guessed that it was the favorite of the sun's children. Here, in the distant future, would be intelligence; but there were countless stars before them still, and they might never come this way again.
So they left a sentinel, one of millions they have scattered throughout the Universe, watching over all worlds with the promise of life. It was a beacon that down the ages has been patiently signaling the fact that no one had discovered it.
Perhaps you understand now why that crystal pyramid was set upon the Moon instead of on the Earth. Its builders were not concerned with races still struggling up from savagery. They would be interested in our civilization only if we proved our fitness to survive-by crossing space and so escaping from the Earth, our cradle. That is the challenge that all intelligent races must meet, sooner or later. It is a double challenge, for it depends in turn upon the conquest of atomic energy and the last choice between life and death.
Once we had passed that crisis, it was only a matter of time before we found the pyramid and forced it open. Now its signals have ceased, and those whose duty it is will be turning their minds upon Earth. Perhaps they wish to help our infant civilization. But they must be very, very old, and the old are often insanely jealous of the young.
I can never look now at the Milky Way without wondering from which of those banked clouds of stars the emissaries are coming. If you will pardon so commonplace a simile, we have set off the fire alarm and have nothing to do but to wait.
I do not think we will have to wait for long.
When I met Stanley Kubrick for the ficonte pastel pencilsconte pastel pencilsrst time, in Trader Vic's on April 22, 1964, he had already absorbed an immense amount of science fact and science fiction, and was in some danger of believing in flying saucers; I felt I had arrived just in time to save him from this gruesome fate. Even from the beginning, he had a very clear idea of his ultimate goal, and was searching for the best way to approach it. He wanted to make a movie about Man's relation to the universe-something which had never been attempted, still less achieved, in the history of motion pictures.* Of course, there had been innumerable "space" movies, most of them trash. Even the few that had been made with some skill and accuracy had been rather simpleminded, concerned more with the schoolboy excitement of space flight than its profound implications to society, philosophy, and religion.
Stanley was fully aware of this, and he was determined to create a work of art which would arouse the emotions of wonder, awe . . . even, if appropriate, terror. How he set about it I have described elsewhere (see "Son of Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and love Stanley Kubrick"-reprinted in Report on Planet Three, Harper & Row). His success has been recorded or disputed in millions of spoken and written words, a fair sampling of which will be found in Jerry Agel's entertaining book The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (New American Library). I am concerned here, however, not with the movie but with the novel, regarded as an independent and self-contained work-even though it was created specifically as the basis for the movie.
* I once accused my friends in MGM's publicity department of having a special labor-saving key on their typewriters which, when pressed, automatically began to print out: "Never, in the history of motion pictures ...."
This, of course, is the reverse of the usual state of affairs. Most movies are adapted from already existing novels, preferably ones which have proved to be best sellers and so have a built-in box- office guarantee. (Good examples are Gone with the Wind and Doctor Zhivago.) Other movies are based on screenplays specifically written for them, and no novel version (or even-ugh!- "novelization") ever exists. All of Chaplin's films, Citizen Kane, and Lawrence of Arabia are in this category. They were conceived purely as movies from start to finish, the only thing that exists on paper is the screenplay and the subsequent shooting script.*
* The screenplay gives the dialogue, action, scenes, etc. in the order in which they will actually appear on the screen. But it would be absurd to film them in this order, so the shooting script groups together all the scenes involving the same locations, sets and actors.
Some directors of genius have even managed to dispense with these. Though it seems incredible, David Wark Griffiths is supposed to have carried Intolerance entirely in his head. I think that Stanley would like to have done the same with 2001, and would hesitate to say that, for him, it was theoretically impossible. But it was certainly impossible in practice-if only for the reason that he had to have a fairly complete treatment to show his backers. Banks and movie companies require more than a few notes on scraps of paper before they will disgorge their cherished millions.
Now a screenplay is not a work of art, though its production requires considerable skill. It bears somewhat the same relationship to a movie as the musical score does to a symphonic performance. There are people who can read a musical score and "hear" the symphony-but no two directors will see the same images when they read a movie script. The two-dimensional patterns of colored light involved are far more complex than the one-dimensional thread of sound-which can, in principle, be completely described on paper. A movie can never be pinned down in such a way, though the scriptwriter has to attempt this impossible feat. Unless the writer is the director, everything has to be specified in boring detail; no wonder that screenplays are almost as tedious to read as to write. John Fowles has put it very well: "Any novelist who has written scripts knows the appalling restrictions- obligatory detailing of the unnecessary-the cinema imposes. Writing a novel is like swimming in the sea; writing a film script is thrashing through treacle." ("Is the Novel Dead?"-Books, Autumn 1970).
Though I was only dimly aware of this in 1964, Stanley knew it very well. It was his suggestion that, before embarking on the drudgery of the script, we let our imaginations soar freely by developing the story in the form of a complete novel. Of course, to do this we would have to generate far more background than could ever be used in the final film. That wouldn't matter. Every good novelist "knows" much more than he writes down: every film maker should be aware of a larger universe than his script.
In theory, therefore, the novel would be written (with an eye on the screen) and the script would be derived from this. In practice, the result was far more complex; toward the end, both novel and screenplay were being written simultaneously, with feedback in both directions. Some parts of the novel had their final revisions after we had seen the rushes based on the screenplay based on earlier versions of the novel . . . and so on.
After a couple of years of this, I felt that when the novel finally appeared it should be "by Arthur Clarke and Stanley Kubrick; based on the screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Clarke"-whereas the movie should have the credits reversed. This still seems the nearest approximation to the complicated truth.
After various false starts and twelve-hour talkathons, by early May 1964 Stanley agreed that "The Sentinel" would provide good story material. But our first concept-and it is hard now for me to focus on such an idea, though it would have been perfectly viable-involved working up to the discovery of an extraterrestrial artifact as the climax, not the beginning, of the story. Before that, we would have a series of incidents or adventures devoted to the exploration of the Moon and Planets. For this Mark I version, our private title (never of course intended for public use) was "How the Solar System Was Won."
So once more I went back to my stockpile of short stories, to find material which would fit into this pattern. I returned with five: "Breaking Strain" (from Expedition to Earth ); "Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Orbiting . . .", "Who's There?", "Into the Comet", and "Before Eden" (all from Tales of Ten Worlds). On May 28, 1964, I sold the lot to Stanley and signed an agreement to work on the projected movie. Our initial schedule was hilariously optimistic: writing script, 12 weeks; discussing it, 2 weeks; revising, 4 weeks; fixing deal, 4 weeks; visuals, art, 20 weeks; shooting, 20 weeks; cutting, editing, 20 weeks-a total of 82 weeks. Allowing another 12 weeks before release, this added up to 92, or the better part of two years. I was very depressed by this staggering period of time, since I was (as always) in a hurry to get back to Ceylon, it was just as well that neither of us could have guessed the project's ultimate duration-four years....
The rest of 1964 was spent braiconte pastel pencilsnstorming. As we developed new ideas, so the original conception slowly changed. "The Sentinel" became the opening, not the finale; and one by one, the other five short stories were discarded. A year later, deciding (not necessarily in this order) that (a) it wasn't fair to Stanley to make him pay for something he didn't need and (b) these stories might make a pretty good movie someday, I bought them back from him....
The announced title of the project, when Stanley gave his intentions to the press, was Journey Beyond the Stars. I never liked this, because there had been far too many science-fictional journeys and voyages. (Indeed, the innerspace epic Fantastic Voyage, featuring Raquel Welch and a supporting cast of ten thousand blood corpuscles, was also going into production about this time.) Other titles which we ran up and failed to salute were Universe, Tunnel to the Stars, and Planetfall. It was not until eleven months after we started-April 1965-that Stanley selected 2001: A Space Odyssey. As far as I can recall, it was entirely his idea.
Despite the unrelenting pressure of work (a mere twelve hours was practically a day off) I kept a detailed log of the whole operation. Though I do not wish to get bogged down in minutiae of interest only to fanatical Kubrickologists, perhaps these extracts may convey the flavor of those early days:-
May 28, 1964. Suggested to Stanley that "they" might be machines who regard organic life as a hideous disease. Stanley thinks this is cute and feels we've got something.
May 31. One hilarious idea we won't use. Seventeen aliens-featureless black pyramids-riding in open cars down Fifth Avenue, surrounded by Irish cops.
June 20. Finished the opening chapter, "View from the Year 2000," and started on the robot sequence.
July 1. Last day working at Time/Life completing Man and Space. Checked into new suite, 1008, at the Hotel Chelsea.
July 2-8. Averaging one or two thousand words a day. Stanley reads first five chapters and says "We've got a best seller here."