Eons ago, a gentle race of giants fled the planet Minerva, leaving the ancestors of man to fend for themselves. Fifty thousand years ago, Minerva exploded, hurling its moon into an orbit about Earth.
In the 21st century, scientists Victor Hunt and Chris Danchekker, doing research on Ganymede, attract a small band of friendly aliens who are lost in time - and who begin to reveal something of the origin of mankind. Finally, man believed that he comprehended his place in the universe...until he learned of the Watchers in the stars. Now Earth finds itself in the middle of a power struggle between a benevolent alien empire and an offshoot group of upstart humans who hate Earth more than any alien ever could.
©1981 James P. Hogan (P)2013 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Truly imaginative technology." (Publishers Weekly)
I first read Inherit the Stars 35 years ago... and I can honestly say that it was one of the inspirations that lead me to become a scientist. In a fit of nostalgia, I bought the audio book (along with the two direct sequels to the trilogy). 35 years ago, I found this installment so convoluted that I never finished it... and even in audio book form, I had a hard time finishing it. Of the three books, this one is VERY dated and very sexist. I rapidly slides into a mire of pysdo science-new age phooey. Enjoy the first two books of the trilogy and skip this one. The narration is passable at best.
l'enfer c'est les autres
This author really likes educating his reader about science and the moving parts that go into making up possible theories about the world from justified true beliefs and lays the ground work for explaining how science really works while telling a passable sci-fi story.
One also gets a peek into the angst that defined the 1970s and how at times we thought there would never be a future. The Russians are still the Russians in the future he describes and are a super power to be reckoned with. Oh yeah, he did something that Time Magazine used to always do in the 50s, he used the expression while describing someone as "Mediterranean looking" and "swarthy looking". With Time they would always say that when describing an Italian because they just didn't seem to like Italians (for whatever reason, I have no idea why). In this case for this author, I'll just say that we are always victims of the world we are thrown into and sometimes we are that world, but fortunately, we move ahead.
This book does propose one of my all time favorite theories regarding religion. According to a possible interpretation, all previous religious beliefs with their accompanying superstitions were enabled by aliens so that humanity would progress at a snails pace and not be a threat to the aliens when they return in the future. That explanation just cracked me up.
I once was talking with a neighbors and one had mentioned that Mars might have a fossil of a fish on it's surface. The other neighbor had mentioned that would be impossible, but I wanted to illustrate that science is always underdetermined by the facts, that there is always more theories possible than the known facts and one always bump up to the Quine Duhem thesis and not know it. This book with its alternate theories could fully explain the phenomenon of a fish on Mars.
The first two books of the Giant series were far better than Giants Star. I tried reading through it years ago, but could never finish. The audio book did the trick, but only because I was persistent with it. Others who point out the sexist nature of the dialog are correct. Also, the narration was overdone. John Pruden overemphasized the character voices to such a high degree, that many characters sounded like winey little kids. Certainly not how I imagined them. Think of the old silent movies where actors would overemphasize their acting because you could not hear them.
There were many "AhHa" moments in this series. Scientific principals that sound plausible. The reader conveyed the characters with a stunning flow that at times I could visually see the the book in my mind.
A fun summer romp. Narration not bad but not great. The main villain was a bit whiny.
The characters were not developed much from the first book but the scope was large.
"No loose ends." That's about all I can say about this book. It took me longer to read because I was getting tired of the story. The brilliance of "Inherit the Stars" has been almost completely distilled away by the third book, and all that's left is Hogan's pedantic lecturing about politics and religion. I finished this book because I had a nostalgic love of the trilogy from 30-plus years ago, but book 3 doesn't hold up very well--and I don't mean the sci-fi. I can give outdated science a pass, but over the years I've developed an aversion to being preached at. John Pruden is a good narrator, but Laurence Olivier couldn't improve this meager story. It's much too long and the characters are all alike. The villains are based on the Snidley Whiplash model, and they're often just silly.
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