Reply to post:

2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

Pat Harkin

"The monolith was originally designed as a crystal tetrahedron pyramid beacon, which is mentioned in Clark's The Sentinel. During production it became a large wooden block painted black with a graphite mixture that had to be swaddled in plastic sheeting to keep it free of fingerprints and dust. Why the change?"

I asked Clarke this in the summer of 1975 - he said they're tried transparent but they couldn't get it optically pure enough and it looked terrible and though a tetrahedron sounds good to nerds it doesn't look very impressive in the flesh.

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