woh! that's a lot of suggestions, thanks and keep them coming.
i feel some people have considered my points completely. please try to adhere to them as much as possible.
here's what i reckon about some of the books suggested, correct me if i am wrong.
1. 2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke - isn't it somewhat like a grade school textbook. i have only seen its movie and it felt like a observatory/documentary kind of movie.
2. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - to my best knowledge it doesn't belong here.
3. Foundation - it is a very long series.
as for other novels, they are all new to me. it will take some time to go through their summaries and decide.
If you are wondering why i am being so specific, its because i have had ample share of bad books and plus i always like such setting in stories.
People, please, avoid long series (except if it is a strong contender) because again i don't want to experiment (just this time).
One more movie that strongly matches my requirements is Pandorum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandorum
-it is mostly in spaceship
-very few characters
-i really liked its ending