One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind--and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again. . .
Chapter 1: Comet Cowboy
Captain Dimitri Chandler [M2973.04.21/93.106//Mars//SpaceAcad3005//*//]--or "Dim" to his very best friends--was understandably annoyed. The message from Earth had taken six hours to reach the spacetug Goliath, here beyond the orbit of Neptune; if it had arrived ten minutes later he could have answered "Sorry--can't leave now--we've just started to deploy the sun-screen."
The excuse would have been perfectly valid: wrapping a comet's core in a sheet of reflective film only a few molecules thick, but kilometers on a side, was not the sort of job you could abandon while it was half-completed.
Still, it would be a good idea to obey this ridiculous request: he was already in disfavor sunwards, through no fault of his own. Collecting ice from the rings of Saturn and nudging it towards Venus and Mercury, where it was really needed, had started back in the 2700's--three centuries ago. Captain Chandler had never been able to see any real ...
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