Here He Was

from 2010: Odyssey Two (1982) by Arthur C. ClarkeRating: 3.6     (25 ratings)

If he wished, he could focus his attention upon any one of its hundred billion stars.
*Here* he was, adrift in this great river of suns, halfway between the banked fires of the galactic core and the lonely, scattered sentinel stars of the rim. And *there* was his origin, on the far side of this chasm in the sky, this serpentine band of darkness, empty of all stars. He knew that this formless chaos, visible only by the glow that limned its edges from fire mists far beyond, was still unused stuff of creation, the raw material of evolutions yet to be. Here, Time had not yet begun; not until the suns that now burned were long since dead would light and life reshape this void.
Unwittingly, he had crossed it once: now, far better prepared, though still wholly ignorant of the impulse that drove him, he must cross it again...

- David Bowman

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2010: Odyssey Two