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The Giants Novels (Inherit the Stars, The Gentle Giants of Ganymede, and… (1991)

– tekijä: James P. Hogan

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: Giants (Omnibus 1-3)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
371452,844 (3.96)-
Discover the first three books in the ground-breaking 21st century hard-science fiction saga by James P. Hogan: INHERIT THE STARS The skeletal remains of a human body are found on the moon. His corpse is 50,000 years old, and nobody knows who he was, how he got there, or what killed him. THE GENTLE GIANTS OF GANYMEDE A long-ago wrecked ship of alien giants is discovered by Earth's scientists on a frozen satellite of Jupiter. Then, spinning out of the vastness of space, a ship of the same strange, humanoid giants has returned.... GIANTS' STAR Humans finally thought they comprehended their place in the universe...until Earth found itself in the middle of a power struggle between a benevolent alien empire and a cunning race of upstart humans who hated Earth!… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 4/4
This review covers only the first novel: Inherit the Stars. After reading that one, I didn't bother continuing the series.

Inherit the Stars shares the trappings of many bad hard-science fiction novels: weak characterization, negligible plot line, and less than compelling conflict. Unlike some of those other books however, there is not much "hard science" here. Most of the big reveals in the story pivot off of fictitious scientific "discoveries" the author conveniently created to advance the narrative. One example is the main character's expertise in "nucleonics", a new branch of physics around imaginary undiscovered elements. Plausible? Yes but not really necessary. The final revelation that wraps the whole story up is not plausible however and scientifically impossible in a number of aspects.

If Hogan's works were labelled "science-fantasy" I'd likely give this three stars. From a hard science perspective however I can barely give the novel two stars. Call it one star plus a bonus for the intriguing idea (50000 year old corpse on the moon) and well written epilogue. ( )
  pahoota | Aug 31, 2017 |
This is the third of the Giants novels, after Inherit the Stars and The Gentle Giants of Ganymede. In the first novel, a body is found inside a space suit on the moon--and turns out to be 50 thousand years old. Later, on Ganymede, is found a derelict alien ship, with the remains of alien giants--and it turns out to be 25 million years old. These are the central mystery around which the first novel revolves, and the interesting part is the play of scientific ideas. In other worlds, the novel his hard science--pretty hardcore. In the second novel, those aliens, the "Gentle Giants of Ganymede" return. I found the Ganymeans interesting foils for humans, and found the interplay of ideas very lively. At first I thought the third novel would prove the best of the three. There was more at stake, more conflict than in the first two, and just as lively imagination and exploration of scientific ideas. I was pretty sure this would be at least a four-star book--until about half way through the book. And then.... Well, WTF?

I have to say I'm rather allergic to conspiracy theories. I consider it just as brain-rotting, as toxic, as the superstition and pseudoscience Hogan so deplores in this book. The more global, the more sustained the conspiracy presented, the more I simply reject it, not simply out of disbelief, but distaste. And the one presented here is a doozy. The Giants series are among Hogan's earliest novels, and his earlier ones are generally considered his best. As put by a critic quoted in the Wiki bio of Hogan, late in life he encountered a "brain eater" and became enveloped in a lot of fringe theories. A late novel is even dedicated to Immanuel Velikovsky. Actually, I think I can see hints of such beliefs even in these early novels. But they mostly come across as thinking outside the box rather than crackpot. After all, what else is science fiction for? But this conspiracy angle just annoys me no end. I'd still recommend Hogan's Voyage to Yesteryear, Code of the Lifemaker, and I did enjoy the first two Giants books. But beyond that? No. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jun 8, 2013 |
I have fond memories of reading James P. Hogan's Inherit the Stars from when I was a kid. It was passed on to me by my father, and I know I read it at least twice. A few years ago, I acquired this book-- the first I knew that Inherit the Stars had any sequels, much less four. It's first two are collected here, and I took the opportunity to reread the original and read the other two for the first time:

Inherit the Stars
It's pretty easy to read many sf stories as essentially detective fiction, but perhaps that has never been more true than with this novel. The novel lays out a very intriguing mystery-- how did the corpse of a human being in a spacesuit end up on the moon 50,000 years ago?-- and all of the information, and then proceeds to have the characters solve it. There's not much of characterization or depth here, really, but that's not what you're reading it for. Even if you've read the book before and know the answer, there's a certain joy in watching a set of skilled professionals at work, slowing piecing together the clues and unraveling the mystery.

Inherit the Stars was published around a decade after Thomas Kuhn blew open the scientific world with The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and it would not surprise me at all to learn that Hogan had read his work; the book in many ways epitomizes what Kuhn says about the moment of crisis that causes a paradigm change. Some attempt to keep on working in the old paradigm, ignoring bits that don't fit, others plunge ahead, and it's hard for everyone to communicate without a common language.

There are also some interesting echoes of Darwin. One of my favorite parts of The Descent of Man is when Darwin talks about the valiant little ape who saved his comrade, as it's inspiring; we as a species came into existence because of a countless number of events of tenacious survival. Inherit the Stars ends similarly, with the solution to the mystery actually being quite inspirational in what it says about humankind.

The Gentle Giants of Ganymede
This book suffers one of the most common problems of sequels. It's essentially the same book as the first one, only less compelling. It's structured around a mystery, but instead of "how did the corpse of a human being in a spacesuit end up on the moon 50,000 years ago?", it's something about amino acids. Of course, it grows more complex from there, but one central mystery never drives the novel, just a number of small and underdeveloped ones.

One of the big weaknesses in Inherit the Stars, by the by, is that the characters uncover the spaceship on Ganymede at the exact moment they need the information it contains. Lucky them! The Gentle Giants of Ganymede exacerbates this tenfold with its big coincidence; all in all, I found this a dull and pointless sequel.

Giants' Star
Thankfully, things pick up with Giants' Star, which takes the series from scientific mysteries to political ones; this is actually a pretty fast-paced thriller about alien interference in human development. There's spy missions, space warfare, alien invasions, and some really cool mysteries to unravel. It's a massive change in tone from the first two books, and involving in a much less intellectual way than Inherit the Stars, but I liked it a lot anyway-- you just have to enjoy it for what it is. The plots within plots get pretty elaborate at some points.

It does undermine the series' own mythology in some key ways, though. One of the problems I have with the Foundation series as it goes on is that it constantly undoes its own purpose: you start out thinking psychohistory predicts everything, but soon you find out that the Second Foundation's telepaths manipulated everything, and then you find out that there are even further levels of manipulation, so that psychohistory (ostensibly the core premise of the series) doesn't work at all. Something similar happens here; by the end of Giants' Star, you've learned that the scientists in Inherit the Stars were right about what happened... but for all the wrong reasons. It reads as though readers objected to Hogan's solution on scientific grounds, and he had to keep on coming up with reasons it could still work, disrupting the sheer elegance of the original. I also think that focusing on the giants is focusing on the less interesting part of the series premise-- Charley's people are the cool ones!

If you can just look at Giants' Star as a standalone though, it works pretty well, and I'm interested enough that I've picked up the last two books in the series, and hopefully I'll read them soon...

(These books also introduced me to the UK idea of the "cryptic crossword." Geeze! I struggle with the L.A. Times one enough, and I'll stick to that, thank you very much.)
  Stevil2001 | Aug 12, 2012 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Hogan, James P.Tekijäensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Miller, TomKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sweet, Darrell K.Kansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Van Dongen, H. R.Kansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Giants (Omnibus 1-3)

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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
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Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
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Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
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Omistuskirjoitus
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Inherit the Stars
To the memory of my Father
The Gentle Giants of Ganymede
To my wife, Lyn, who showed
me that greener grass can
always be made to grow on
whatever side of the field one
happens to be.
Giants' Star
To Jackie
Ensimmäiset sanat
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Inherit the Stars
He became aware of consciousness returning.
The Gentle Giants of Ganymede
Leyel Torres, commander of the scientific observation base near the equator on Iscaris III, closed the final page of the report he had been reading and stretched back in his chair with a grateful sigh.
Giants' Star
At the beginning of the fourth decade of the twenty-first century, it seemed that the human race was finally beginning to learn to live together and that it was on its way to the stars.
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
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Also published as The Minervan Experiment. This consists of the first three novels of the Giants series; please do not combine it with any work containing additional books.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Discover the first three books in the ground-breaking 21st century hard-science fiction saga by James P. Hogan: INHERIT THE STARS The skeletal remains of a human body are found on the moon. His corpse is 50,000 years old, and nobody knows who he was, how he got there, or what killed him. THE GENTLE GIANTS OF GANYMEDE A long-ago wrecked ship of alien giants is discovered by Earth's scientists on a frozen satellite of Jupiter. Then, spinning out of the vastness of space, a ship of the same strange, humanoid giants has returned.... GIANTS' STAR Humans finally thought they comprehended their place in the universe...until Earth found itself in the middle of a power struggle between a benevolent alien empire and a cunning race of upstart humans who hated Earth!

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