Frank Poole was last
seen alive in the vicinity of the United States Spaceship Discovery en
route to Jupiter's moons. The year was AD 2001 and the Series 900 HAL
computer on board Discovery had malfunctioned. Grappling frantically
with the broken air hose of his spacesuit, Frank died in the blackness
and vacuum of space.
In AD 3001 his perfectly preserved body is retrieved by Captain Dimitri Chandler of the spacetug Goliath; medical and electro-optical technologies restore his life and then enhance it with a Braincap. Thus Frank becomes a telepathic, machine-assisted inhabitant of the first years of the fourth millennium, with a lot to learn.
The alien Monoliths have been silent since the eruption of Jupiter into a sun in AD 2010. Their last message was a warning: ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE. But Frank Poole is an exception to the aliens' interdict. Or so he hopes. Frank has unfinished business on Europa. Perhaps Dave Bowman, his long lost colleague from the Discovery, is there, a thousand years older, but not dead. And alien.