This is the second book in a four book series.
Nine years after the first mission to Jupiter (changed from Saturn in the novel 2001 A Space Odyssey), the space ship Discovery drifts, abandoned. All its crew are known to be dead except for David Bowman, who disappeared in bizarre circumstances that left more questions than answers.
Now people want to know what happened. A lot of people. Three nations send missions to Jupiter to investigate the new monolith found by Discovery, and also to learn why Discovery’s onboard computer turned on it’s crew.
The Russian mission, which is expected to arrive ahead of the American ship, includes Heywood Floyd who investigated the monolith found on the Moon in 2001. The Chinese also launch a bold mission. To succeed, a risky refueling procedure will have to be carried out on Europa.
But when they reach Discovery David Bowman returns. No longer a physical being, but still human. He comes with a warning. They must leave Jupiter within fifteen days after which things will change. The solar system will no longer be purely man’s domain.