It began four million years ago with a gleaming black monolith - an inexplicable apparition that ignited the spark of human consciousness transforming ape into man. It continued at the dawn of the twenty-first century when an identical black monolith was excavated on the moon - beginning the adventures of Dave Bowman, his deputy, Frank Poole, and the supercomputer HAL. Only Dave Bowman would survive to encounter a third, and far more massive, monolith on Jupiter's moon Europa - and be forever transformed into the star child. It is the world of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And now, the odyssey enters its perilous, ultimate stage. In 3001, the human race, incredibly, has survived, fearful of the trio of monoliths that dominate the solar system. Then a single hope flickers. The body of Frank Poole, believed dead for a thousand years, is recovered from the frozen reaches of the galaxy. Poole is restored to conscious life, and readied to resume the voyage that HAL abruptly terminated a thousand years ago. He knows he can't proceed without Dave Bowman. But first he must fathom the terrifying truth of what Bowman - and HAL - have become inside the monolith.