I started to read 2010 and I don't understand why some of the facts of 2001 are different from what the characters say in 2010. For example:

  • The most obvious one, Discovery One travels to Saturn in 2001, whereas in the second odyssey they say that it went to Jupiter.
  • The monolith, AMH-2, is on Saturn in 2001, while on Jupiter in the second odyssey.
  • HAL is called CARL (in French) in the first book.
  • Saturn is about twice as far as Jupiter. "Just more fuel" may be a very large undertaking. If properly calculated, you could probably use the gravity of Jupiter to give an extra push, but still, the extra fuel for another 645 million kilometres may prove impossible. Taking the extra weight of the extra fuel and the larger fuel tanks into account, the amount needed would increase exponentially, not linearely. – user36119 Mar 20 '15 at 10:06
  • @BESW Is there a site policy about not presenting theories with your question? A theory without proper backing could be considered an implicit question about the validity of that theory. – user36119 Mar 20 '15 at 10:47
  • @SixthOfFour It's an XY Problem sort of thing: ask the question and trust the experts to provide answers, rather than asking if your answer is correct and thus expecting experts to address your theory whether it's got anything to do with the answer to your actual question or not. – BESW Mar 20 '15 at 10:50
  • @BESW I believe that this is more analogous to e.g. showing what you've tried so far, which is encouraged practice on e.g. Math.SE, than to asking what is wrong with your solution rather than presenting your problem. – user36119 Mar 20 '15 at 11:06
  • @SixthOfFour It's something that should be taken to meta if you're concerned about it. You've said that it could be asking about the validity of the theory, and that it could be showing your work. Either is possible, but they aren't equally useful for the site to condone. – BESW Mar 20 '15 at 11:10

2001: A Space Odyssey was written concurrently with the development of the film. This is covered in the Development section of the Wikipedia article, for example:

Early drafts included a short prologue containing interviews with scientists about extraterrestrial life, voice-over narration (a feature in all of Kubrick's previous films), a stronger emphasis on the prevailing Cold War balance of terror, a slightly different and more explicitly explained scenario for Hal's breakdown, and a differently envisaged monolith for the "Dawn of Man" sequence. The last three of these survived into Arthur C. Clarke's final novel, which also retained an earlier draft's employment of Saturn as the final destination of the Discovery mission rather than Jupiter, and the discarded finale of the Star Child exploding nuclear weapons carried by Earth-orbiting satellites.

See also this note:

The novel version of 2001 featured the journey to Saturn instead: Clarke acknowledges this retroactive continuity in his author's foreword.

In terms of the destination of Discovery One and location of the second monolith: they will inevitably be the same in a given version of the story, because otherwise it makes no sense ("But wait, if the monolith was discovered on X, why are we headed to Y?").

I don't know about renaming HAL, this may have been a translation issue (perhaps, following the film's success, the name was famous enough to not need translation?)

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    HAL 9000 was renamed CARL 500 in 2001 (both in the movie, and in the book, with an acronym translation), but his name was reverted to HAL in 2010. Cf. French Wikipedia. – Jean Hominal Mar 20 '15 at 11:28

More than one version of the 2001 book were published.

You are correct in that the first draft had the monolith in orbit around Saturn. However, during the development of the film, this was moved to Jupiter. It is said that the special effects of the time could not show a ring system to tha satisfaction of Stanley Kubrick.

Another 2001 book was published about the time of the film but the film's ending was changed. Then a third book published matching the film ending. These are all explained in the forewords of the relevant publications

The following books, 2010 Odyssey 2, 2061 Odyssey 3 and 3001 The Final Odyssey all follow the final, film-based, story.

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    Clark also said (I think in the introduction to 3001, but I can't get my hands on it) that each of the novels should be considered to take place in very similar but not identical parallel universes. – BESW Mar 20 '15 at 10:19
  • @BESW; I think you're right. The nature of the monolith does change slightly from book to book. They are not direct sequels of their predecessors. – Chenmunka Mar 20 '15 at 10:22
  • @BESW You are right: That is indeed explained in the authors introduction to 3001. – Tonny Apr 21 '15 at 13:11

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