2010: A Scrapbook Odyssey by Jean-Marc Deschamps (book review).

Confession time, I pulled ‘2010: A Scrapbook Odyssey’ by Jean-Marc Deschamps about eighteen months ago after a little time tracking a copy at a decent price. Considering this is basically a photo-book, you wouldn’t think it would be difficult to fit into my reading schedule but such is the woes of reviewing. However, as I’m working on another article about ‘2001’ at the moment, I thought I ought to read this one, even though it is really for the sequel.


Deschamps book is an English translation from the French and it’s nice to be reminded that there are fans outside the English language. He’s also an ardent fan of both films and owns the damaged remains of the second Starchild. The larger Leonov, which survived and is still owned by Planet Hollywood, France. He’s also a nifty scratch-build model-maker, bringing all of this into this 2010 released book and discusses the original models with special effects supervisor Mark Stetson in the interview.

Why should you buy this book? Photographs of the four main models from ‘2010’ is an obvious must for anyone planning to model them but he also shares construction details so you can made a detailed paper version of the Leonov so you can understand the detail before moving up to scratchbuilding it from more robust version. I’m still puzzled why no company has considered having a Leonov model kit in their reparatory as it is a unique shape. The three models shown in this boook are of the Leonov, EVA pod, Discovery plus the damaged Starchild – its eyes gone, destroying most of the face, because they were later taken out for a different version.

Seeing these models up close, even as photographs is still holy grail for fans of the films or even if you like to see how the pros do things. Considering that ‘2010’ also won an Oscar for its special effects also makes it significant study. I hadn’t realised just how detailed the models were made. Stetson points out that they were instructed to be as detailed as possible even though they didn’t expect to see more than 10% of this on screen. With the move to CGI, that has served in good stead as more detail is expected as the norm now. From a director’s POV, I suspect it also gives a lot more latitude to moving up close if need be without having to think such detail could have been done months ago. Even if its not shown close up, the eye will note that the model doesn’t have a smooth sterile surface.

Deschamps also examines the different scales of the Discovery model between the two films and to the actual size had it been real, pointing out ratio discrepancies. If you’ve ever though of scratch-building the American spaceship and even known there were two versions in ‘2001’, then knowing neither were exactly scale accurate should at least reassure you that you hadn’t made too much of a hash of it. Deschamps points out the best way to work out scale is from the airlock doors and the scale needed to get an astronaut or cosmonaut out.

This might be a small book but it is certainly an unusual one and if you haven’t got a copy keep your eyes open for it as I’m sure it will look nifty in anyone’s collection.

GF Willmetts

(pub: ARA Press. 88 page illustrated softcover. Price: You might have to look across the pond for $19.95 (US) if you know where to look). ISBN: 978-0-9707604-1-8)
check out website: www.arapress.com


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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