2001: A Space Odyssey

Arthur C. Clarke

Illustrated by Joe Wilson

Introduced by Michael Moorcock

Every bit as ambitious and prophetic as the film that shared its inception, Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey remains a towering science-fiction classic. This Folio Society edition sees it illustrated for the first time.

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‘Arthur C. Clarke is one of the truly prophetic figures of the space age … the colossus of science fiction.’
  1. New Yorker

Developed from Arthur C. Clarke’s short story ‘The Sentinel’, 2001: A Space Odyssey was brainstormed together with legendary film director Stanley Kubrick and written alongside the screenplay. This spectacular edition includes the foreword written jointly by Clarke and Kubrick, as well as Clarke’s ‘Back to 2001’ preface written in 1989. An exclusive introduction by Clarke’s long-standing colleague Michael Moorcock reveals much of his friend’s personality, as well as casting a new light on the fractious relationship between Clarke and Kubrick. The edition is finished with a holographic foil binding that features a design by Joe Wilson. The British artist has also created seven remarkable illustrations, which interpret Clarke’s futuristic vision with an otherworldly detachment that is both chilling and exhilarating.

Bound in printed art paper and blocked with holographic foil

Set in Cartier Book with Univers for display

240 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations

Metallic slipcase

9½˝ x 6¼˝

‘And twice there passed slowly across the sky, rising up the zenith and descending into the east, a dazzling point of light more brilliant than any star’


A powerful exploration of space, artificial intelligence and the destiny of humanity, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a visionary work that has had an indelible impact on both cinema and genre literature. Arthur C. Clarke was a dedicated proponent of space exploration and the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, and his enthusiasm for the subject is evident in his detailed descriptions of space travel. Yet for all its scientific realism, this is a frightening, extraordinary and undoubtedly joyful trip to the very limits of human experience.

Clarke’s novel moves at a thrilling pace. From the appearance of the first monolith on prehistoric Earth, which unnerves the man-apes who are the ancestors of the human race; to a chilling episode on board the Discovery, when a mission to Saturn is jeopardised; to the isolated David Bowman exploring a ‘Grand Central Station of the Galaxy’. Full of prescient details and uncanny references that will seem very familiar to modern readers, 2001 was ahead of its time and remains one the best-selling and most influential books in the genre.

Arthur C. Clarke was born in 1917 in Minehead, Somerset. Volunteering for RAF service in 1941, Clarke worked on radar systems during the Second World War, and published an influential paper in 1945 which sketched the potential for orbital communication satellites. His passionate interest in science was allied with an early facility for fiction writing, and he went on to write more than seventy books, including Childhood’s End (1967), Rama II (1989), The Ghost from the Grand Banks (1991) and The Garden of Rama (1991). He became the world’s foremost science-fiction writer and won numerous international awards including the Hugo and Nebula. In 1968 he shared an Academy Award nomination for his collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was awarded a knighthood in 1998 and died in 2008 in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. Folio has also published Clarke’s novel Rendezvous with Rama (2020).

Michael Moorcock is one of the most important figures in British SF and Fantasy literature. His novels have won, and been shortlisted for, numerous awards including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Whitbread and Guardian Fiction Prize. In 1999, he was given the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award; in 2001, he was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame; and in 2007, he was named a SFWA Grandmaster. His tenure as editor of New Worlds magazine in the sixties and seventies is seen as the high watermark of SF editorship in the UK, and was crucial in the development of the SF New Wave. Although born in London, he now splits his time between homes in Texas and Paris. As well as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moorcock introduced the Folio edition of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2020) and wrote the preface to Marvel: The Silver Age 1960–1970 (2018).

Joe Wilson is an illustrator based in the UK and trained at Leeds Metropolitan University. Known for his focus on detail and drawing, alongside a preference for muted colour palettes, he specialises in hand-drawn illustrations and print. Working with a combination of pencil, ink and digital colour, he has developed a style reminiscent of woodcut printing, etching and screen-printing.


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