Odyssey three is the third part of Clarke’s odysseys quatrology. It is only partly connected to the previous books.
On the Earth’s sky there are now two suns - Jupiter was changed into one by an unknown civilisation from other solar system possibly from other galaxy. This civilisation is here represented by a black monolith which is in fact just a device which should take care of any life form developed in our Solar system.
So was the humankind given the ability to think in the first volume and after discovering life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, was this gigantic planet changed transformed into new sun - Lucifer. The other thing to be mentioned is that hero of the first volume David Brown became a non-material being to control the evolution with black monolith as a tool.
All of the Clarke’s stories are based on the latest scientific knowledge. He also follows all physical laws to the smallest detail, everything can be explained. The only fiction he adds to his stories is for example when in 1950s was discovered and theoretically described “cold fusion”, in Odyssey two (2010) are all the spaceships equipped with this kind of propulsion. Even the story itself has a scientific involution.
Now back to the plot. 103 years old Heywood Floyd, one of the main characters of the previous tome is sent as a consultant to a rendezvous with the Haley Comet in the ship Universe.
Meanwhile on Europe appears all of a sudden a new mountain, over ten kilometres high. Europe has been since the creation of Lucifer a forbidden area for humans. It is only being observed from near Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. After several probes have been dropped on the Europe’s surface without success it has remained an enigma. But this Mount Zeus, how is the massive called, now attracts the attention of every geologist. So the second ship, Discovery, is launched with new probes to examine this phenomena.
During this Dr. van der Berg creates a theory about the origin of Mt. Zeus. It is just a small part of Jupiter’s core that was thrown out of it while its change. It should consist of kind of carbon - diamond. This has also economical and political consequences, so while trying to drop the probe is Discovery hi-jacked and forced to land on Europa. Because Discovery is badly damaged and can’t take off Universe has to cancel its mission on the comet and save the crew. This takes some time so the shipwrecked scientists can prove the theory. They also find that the life has developed very rapidly, but after their rescuing remains Europe still unexplored.
Author prepares for the heroes still new problems mainly of technical character that they have to solve or go around it somehow. He shows us his opinions of how will technique develop and what will be possible in near future. As I have already written all of his imaginations have some real basis.