The novel carries common themes of Clarke's science fiction: exploring the place of humans in the universe; learning to extend the life span of an individual human being; using technology to improve the quality of life for society encountering extraterrestrial life forms, both primitive and superior to humans; adapting lifestyles and even evolving into transformed beings with more extensive powers in the context of travel to new environments in the solar system and galaxy.

(The entire section is 74 words.)