''The Space Odyssey Series'' is a series of novels written by Creator/ArthurCClarke, which takes a philosophical look at many SpeculativeFictionTropes, such as {{Precursors}}, [[AIIsACrapshoot Intelligent Computers]], space travel and the humankind's place in the universe.


[[folder: The novels are in chronological order: ]]

* ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' (1968): A interesting case since the novel is actually the byproduct to a collaboration between Clarke and Creator/StanleyKubrick, which resulted in [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey the film of the same name]] that came out the same year, which makes the book the {{Novelization}} (Clarke himself said the book should have been credited to "Clarke and Kubrick", just like the movie was credited to "Kubrick and Clarke"). The book and the film are both based on some of Clarke's earlier short stories, most prominently ''The Sentinel'', and they largely follow the same plot, but with some small differences.\\
A strange [[TheMonolith Monolith]] is discovered on the moon, apparently having been left there by a race of extra-terrestrial lifeforms. As it is being studied by human scientists, it sends some kind of transmission into outer space. About a year later a crew of five astronauts leaves for a scientific exploration travel to Saturn on the space-ship Discovery. Only two of them, David "Dave" Bowman and Francis "Frank" Poole, are left awake to help the sixth crew member, a supercomputer by the name of HAL 9000, with monitoring the ship's day-to-day function. This is just boring routine, until HAL starts acting weird and unpredictable, not only jeopardizing the mission, but also the life of the crew.
* ''2010: Odyssey Two'' (1982): While not initially thought up by Clarke as a movie idea, the book was, in 1984, adapted, with his and Kubrick's blessing, into the film ''Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact''.\\
Nine years after the Discovery's travel to Jupiter (changed from Saturn to match the film), a joint Soviet-American crew is heading for the mighty gas-planet to [[SendInTheSearchTeam find out what happened]] to the Discovery and its crew. Meanwhile David Bowman, now reborn as a EnergyBeing, is helping the race that created the Monoliths with scouting Jupiter and its moons for primitive lifeforms, hopefully finding one that has potential to turn sentient.
* ''2061: Odyssey Three'' (1987): Heywood Floyd, one of the main characters from the previous novels, has been invited as a celebrity guest for the spaceliner Universe's landing on Halley's Comet. Meanwhile a militant anti-Afrikaner takes control of the shuttle Galaxy, which she crashes into Jupiter's moon, Europa, leaving Universe as the crew of the Galaxy's only hope of rescue.
* ''3001: The Final Odyssey'' (1997): The Discovery crew member, Frank Poole, having been killed by HAL 9000 and left adrift in space for a thousand years, is brought [[BackFromTheDead back to life]] through the wonders of future science, and begins to explore the earth of 3001. Meanwhile, the creators of the Monoliths are making their final speculation about whether or not to sacrifice human kind for the greater good.
!!This series of novels contain examples of:
* AbsentAliens: Besides the unseen creators of the Monoliths, the Europans and Jovians, mankind has not made any contact with other aliens even by the year 3001.
%%* AdamAndEvePlot: Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' issue 7 has a Star Child ('New Seed' in the comics) taking two lovers from their doomed planet to repopulate on another.
%%* AllCavemenWereNeanderthals: The first two issues of the Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' series involves them.
* AmicablyDivorced: Poole's relationship and eventual marriage with Indra is a form of this. They even managed to stay friends after the split up romantically 15 years later.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Nicely averted when a Europan life form eats a human, and then vomits it back up, pointing out that alien predators wouldn't necessarily find us tasty or nutritious, and that our biochemistry could even be poisonous.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: "The creators of the Monoliths", David Bowman, HAL 9000.
%%* BarbarianHero: Marak in issue 3 and 4 of the Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' series.
* BackFromTheDead: Frank Poole, whose body was found essentially by chance, gets resurrected about a thousand years in the future by the advanced medical techniques. While he's something of a curiosity and living relic, his life is uneventful enough that he goes on to once again become a civilian.
* BroadStrokes[=/=]NegativeContinuity: While all of the novels takes pretty much all of the events of the previous ones in account, each installment also seems to ignore the ending of the previous one. WordOfGod is that each novel takes place in its own [[AlternateUniverse parallel universe]].
* CanonImmigrant: Mister Machine (now Machine Man in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse).
* CircumcisionAngst: Inverted. A woman loses interest in Frank because his ''is'' circumcised, something that isn't done in 3001. Subverted by Frank, who is bemused to learn why his one-night stand ran out on him, but declines restorative surgery and goes on to date more favourably inclined women instead.
* TheDayOfReckoning: The last page of ''3001'' makes a statement that the Monolith's makers will not determine humanity's fate until "the Last Days".
* EarthShatteringKaboom: In ''3001'', the people observe a planet explode, which somehow triggered a supernova. They are left to wonder if there was intelligence on that planet and if they caused the supernova. Though everyone was so terrified of the phenomenon they [[LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain didn't want to speak of it again]].
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: In ''3001'', humans are able to clone raptors who are used for labor, and excellent babysitters. They tried using great apes (like gorillas), but as Frank learned, the apes "don't have the patience for it".
** A common joke in the 31st Century goes as follows:
--> '''Setup''' - Would you trust your children with a dinosaur?
--> '''Punchline''' - What? And risk injuring it?
* EndlessDaytime: Europa in ''2010'', thanks to Jupiter becoming a star.
* FasterThanLightTravel: In the first book, it's shown that [[spoiler: one of the monolith's functions is to work as a stargate. Bowman also learns how to travel faster than light on his own after being transformed by the monolith, despite knowing it's supposed to be impossible.]] Later books drop this.
* HalfwayPlotSwitch: ''3001'' is about a man brought back to life 1,000 years in the future and [[AuthorTract Clarke's thoughts]] on what it will be like, then only the last third returns to the ongoing plot of the series.
%%* InvisibleAliens: The creators of the Monolith, but averted in the Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' series which features different aliens.
* KillAllHumans: [[spoiler: In 3001, it turns out the monoliths have decided that humanity is no longer worthy of existence, due to how we behaved during the 20th century, and blocks out the Sun (and Lucifer) in an effort to kill us all.]]
* LivingGasbag: ''2010: The Year We Make Contact'' had the noncorporeal Bowman journeying down through the Jovian atmosphere, where he sees gigantic non-sentient living beings in various geometric shapes floating through the clouds and consuming similar smaller creatures. They are all killed when Jupiter is turned into a star.
%%* MatchCut: With two panels in Issue 1 and 2 of the Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' series. The first panel has a caveperson, and the second one has a modern human astronaut in the same position. Likely to invoke the famous match cut from the movie.
* MoreThanThreeDimensions: The first novel explicates that the Monolith has sides in a proportion of 1:4:9, the squares of the first three integers. Then it suggests the Monolith extends in more dimensions, presumably by squares.
--> "And how naive to have imagined that the series ended at this point, in only three dimensions!"
* {{Novelization}}: Technically, ''2001'' is a novelization of the film, although being based on an early version of the screenplay it contains many changes (Discovery goes to a different planet, for example, and the book ends with [[spoiler: World War III breaking out on earth]].)
* OhMyGods: In place of "God", the people of ''3001'' say "Deus", example: "By Deus - It's full of stars!".
%%* OutOfFocus: The Monolith appears in all but the final issue (#10) in the Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' series.
* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: By the year 3001, religion is abolished. That said, they aren't entirely disbelievers: they are generally either "Deists", believing in not more than one god, or "Theists", believing in not less than one god. What this God (or possibly gods) has to say about anything is eminently unclear, however.
* {{Precursors}}: The mysterious race only know as "The creators of the Monoliths". The prologue gave them the name "Firstborn", but was never used in-story.
* RipVanWinkle: Frank Poole, by dint of coming back from the dead after a thousand years.
%%* StrictlyFormula: Issues 1-6 of the Marvel Comics' ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' series replays the same idea with different characters in different situations, both prehistoric and futuristic.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: ''2061'' mentions that Dr. Chandra died in hibernation on the trip back to Earth after ''2010''. It's implied that he [[DeathByDespair died of grief]] over HAL having been destroyed by the explosion of Jupiter.
* {{Terraform}}: ''2061'' and ''3001'' depicts humankind as being capable of this.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: In-Universe, mixed with NonindicativeName. The monolith near Jupiter is designated TMA-2. This is in spite of the fact that TMA stands for Tycho Magnetic Anomaly, referring to the original monolith on the moon (which stopped being magnetic after it realized it had been dug up). The crew of the Leonov snarkily refuse to use the term. Happens later on when Moonwatcher's monolith is dug up and termed TMA-0.