The man on the moon was dead. They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair, and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn’t know who he was, how he got there, or what had killed him. All they knew was that his corpse was 50 thousand years old - and that meant this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed.
©1977 James Patrick Hogan (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Pure science fiction…Arthur Clarke, move over!” (Isaac Asimov)
“Hard science fiction with a lovely vengeance but done so well that almost no scientific background is needed to understand and enjoy it…Highly recommended.” (Analog)
“Intellectual action portrayed as excitingly as any space war - a truly absorbing read and a reminder that learning is one of the greatest human adventures.” (Publishers Weekly)
I first read this novel shortly after it was published. It had profound effect on me. So, finding it on Audible was like old home week for me. I was afraid, like so much sci-fi from the '70's, it would be dated. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The story's internal history has obviously not come to pass, but that aside (and the frequent tobacco use) Hogan's 2028 is plausible, especially if it's pushed forward about 50 or 75 years.
There isn't much action. There's a lot of discussion. It's a book of ideas, so if you're looking for space opera, move along.
It's like no other book I've ever read. The reader is swept long with each new discovery, and because until the very end not all of the facts are in, each new hypothesis is interesting. It's somewhat like a mystery novel.
The sudden putting together of all the seemingly unrelated facts at the climax of the novel reminded me of another favorite of mine, THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE.
I listened to a chapter at a time. They're short, so it was easy to fit one in maybe once or twice a day. I often found myself pausing after a chapter to consider how much of the '70's science had become obsolete. As I wrote above, the book's science holds up well.
I loved this book like few in the last year because there was wonder, discovery, great imagination without the all to common nasty political axes to grind. Politics in science? sure, but the portrayal is much more characteristic of the human struggle for knowledge, and scientists will disagree. Rather than nasty portrayals of religion, for example, there was instead a demonstration of wonder of scientific discovery that wins far more converts. Some of the science is a bit outdated but the adventure is grand. I'm coming back for more.
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). Although the book feels very dated and sexist, it is still an enjoyable story without diverting too much into new age phooey (like the later books in the trilogy... most notably Giant's Star). The narration is passable at best.
I would not seek out any particular book that John Pruden narrated
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
THE MATHEMATICAL THEORY THAT HAD GROWN OUT OF MESON DYNAMICS INVOLVED THE EXISTENCE OF THREE HITHERTO UNKNOWN TRANSURANIC ELEMENTS.
Most of the book is in the math and science speak as above. I could open the book to any page and come up with sentences similar to above, but don't let that stop you from buying the book. I was a B student in High School taking mostly speech and drama type classes, yet I found myself listening intently to this story. I did not always understand the math and science, but did understand more then I thought I would and I loved the wonder of discovery. I loved the working out of the Universal Mystery. The discussions on Evolution, Man's Origin, space travel, Ice Ages, Galaxy Rotation and Theory jolting opened my eyes and my brain.
THIS WAS ALL VERY EXCITING, BUT ALL IT PROVED WAS THAT A WORLD HAD EXISTED.
The book takes you step by step through the scientific process. It made me feel that this is actually how real scientist would handle the mysteries they are handed. Like usual the solving of one mystery leads to a bigger mystery. What I liked even more was the questioning of the known facts. One thing I really gleaned out of this was how we must try not to get stuck on the supposedly known. To think out of the box so to speak. The main thing I remember from 8th grade science is that a Theory means unproved. Today Evolution and Global Warming are still Theory. (species have changed through out history, but it has never been proven that One species ever evolved into another Species.) Scientist, journalist and even your next door neighbor are so convinced today that these theories are fact, that they have closed their minds to other possibilities. It is keeping an open mind and questioning the norm, which helps the main scientist solve the many mysteries in this book.
IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH
Do not expect character development or a love story. I did find it amusing that several times when contemplating a question, someone would announce IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH. Lunch seem to be very important to these guys. I liked this book well enough that I will be getting the next book in the series.
I'm a fan of Sci-fi, fantasy and suspense. I like books that keep me guessing till the end.
Written in the mid 70s, this book stands up surprisingly well. almost 20 years before Alcubierre theory was known, and Quantum physics was still relatively unknown, this story still managed to travel pretty well. Where it fails is the lack of DNA and it's views on women. Apparently even the 60K year old astronauts were a little unenlightened when it came to gender stereotypes.
Probably not. This one was interesting, yet I crave the more current science and extrapolation. This was cutting edge Sci-fi at the time, I'm just looking for the current edge.
It was really slow. I had to listen to it at 2X speed or I would not have been able to bear it.
If it was made into a movie today, I probably would.
If you're looking for something to listen to, and are not offended my a mad-men era mentality towards women, give it a go.
Excellent, thought-provoking story. I liked the way the characters "evolved" by the end of the story, but loved the way the story made me think about our humanity. Just the right length (8-9 hours), so it was good for a long days' drive. Highly recommended.
Either would keep you enthralled.
Charlie - what a ride.
I would have liked the mix a British with American accents to make the international flavor of the characters more obvious.
OH YES. This is an old fashioned mystery with science as the tool. My favorite kind of mystery whether Sci-Fi or 1920s.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes to follow the process of investigation through the application of science and imagination.
A bit pedantic at times but worthy of a read especially for the glimpses into stellar scenes of beauty and wonder. The premise was a lot more interesting and surprising back in its day than in modern times, I would think, since this topic has been well explored since the seventies. I liked the hard science. It made the story more timeless. Classic sci fi.
I appreciated the way this story unfolded in a logical, scientific way. Personally, I would have liked more female scientists in important roles. It feels as if a sequel would be warranted.
Thought it was going to be hard going... Kept with it and was enthralled. Will be reading the next in series next.
A very good story from start to end, well read in my opinion. I shall buy more of James Hogans books.
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