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Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge | [Mike Resnick]

Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge

Thousands of years after mankind has become extinct, a party of alien archaeologists try to learn the mysteries of mankind as they excavate in a gorge on Earth. This Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella by Mike Resnick is a gripping exploration of human origins and motivations.
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Publisher's Summary

Thousands of years after mankind has become extinct, a party of alien archaeologists try to learn the mysteries of mankind as they excavate in a gorge on Earth. This Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella by Mike Resnick is a gripping exploration of human origins and motivations.

©1994 by Mike Resnick; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award, Best Novella, 1994

  • Hugo Award, Best Novella, 1995

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (192 )
5 star
 (78)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.0 (96 )
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 (20)
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Story
4.1 (96 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Eric C. Stover 12-05-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Birthright"

    This is essentially a sequel to, or the unwritten extended ending to, Resnick's earlier defining work Birthright: The Book of Man. If you enjoyed that, this is a must read. If you've not yet had the pleasure, pick that up first.

    I started listening to this not realizing this. I was still captivated and enthralled. I love this piece. When I realized the connection it got even better.

    While it certainly stands tall on its own, I believe it's best understood with the full background laid out in Birthright. If you read in it only a depressing epilogue consider first the glory, determination, and hubris that preceded it.

    If you still don't buy my review next to the negatives, don't miss the notes of it's winning both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 07-13-09
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 07-13-09 Member Since 2007

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "Short and interesting look at humanity"

    Essentially, a coalition of alien races is exploring the site where humankind originated (Olduvai Gorge) and discovering some "examples" of (now extinct) mankind's history. As the title would indicate, there are 7 examples of man's past (pre-historic, ancient, modern, future) - all of which indicate just how ruthless, power-hungry and destructive mankind is.

    It's not told in a depressing manner, but there are no "good" moments; humankind's worse moments are shown here, possibly because those are the moments that will be best remembered by future generations?

    The narrator is okay. The story is short (and perhaps overpriced for such a short story?) but it's interesting and entertaining and I'm glad I listened to it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Ukiah, CA, United States 02-27-13
    Ronald Ukiah, CA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Hard SF"

    This is a wonderful story in the style of Asimov, Heinlein, Clark and Herbert. It is a wonderful thought provoking story about the history of man and his impact on the earth and and the rest of the universe. The story if so well written you will want to keep listening all the way through.. Very enjoyable !!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ira Utopia, TX, United States 09-01-11
    Ira Utopia, TX, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Good short sequel"

    A very fitting follow up to his Birthright: Book of Man which leaves one with an undefined feeling at the end which was an excellent book. This book was creative and thoughtful. Good novella.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reginald Honolulu, HI, USA 01-26-10
    Reginald Honolulu, HI, USA 01-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lacking Imagination & Sophistication"

    Had it not won the Nebula and Hugo awards, I would never take the time to offer comments about a read I didn't much enjoy, but as it stands, I wonder what the Nebula and Hugo folks were thinking when awarding this piece an award as the best novella in 1994 and 1995, respectectivly. This is not a good book, short, long or otherwise.

    A clever and interesting title, but the book is a simplistic and morally wan exploration of the human condition and character. The characters are stupid and brutish, the scenes each formed from some representative object, into a tableau of human history, in its entirety, is appropriately critical, but neither artfully rendered, or insightful beyond the pedestrian.

    The plot is driven by the stupidity and unscrupulous behavior of its humans, and a truly banal group of investigatory aliens who respond to human behavior with only novelty and incredulity, as if the nature and history of a race that has, in this fictional universe, ruled wide areas, with much strength, go wholly unknown.

    The points made in this novella are all fair, and I would never question them on their own merits. They only lack scope and imagination one likes to see in the genre. In the plainest, there is nothing new here, in terms of character, or story. It's fine to portray the race of human narcissistic brutes, but we're not nearly so stupid as Mr. Resnick depicts in this awful novella.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 05-17-08
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 05-17-08 Member Since 2003

    MikeFromMesa

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    "Bad to the bone"

    Who knew? Mankind the scourge of the Universe. Enslaver of millions (MILLIONS???) of worlds. Gone, but not forgotten.

    Good writing and good narration, but a depressing book about humanity. If you are in the market for a really downbeat book this is it.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dan scott 10-05-09
    dan scott 10-05-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Humans stink."

    If you hate humans, you'll love this book!

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Sharon
    Wells, Somerset, United Kingdom
    6/28/08
    Overall
    "Are we really like this??"

    I was hooked - listened to it all in one go (with the odd cup of tea) because I just had to know what all the 'views' were and what the 'conclusion' would be - and the book certainly didn't disappoint. Quite depressing in a way as the story portrays humans as being incredibly bellicose and permanently on a course to 'self destruct'. Made me think 'Is this an accurate social commentary? Are we really that bad?'. Maybe we are. So, a very interesting listen and thought provoking too. Well worth it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    ReadingUnited Kingdom
    8/25/08
    Overall
    "Most enjoyable"

    I listened to this within minutes of purchasing it and was hooked from start to finish. With shades of 2001: A Space Odeseey and plenty to say on African oppression and the violence of man, this really was riveting.

    I must admit I saw the ending coming a mile off, but it never the less brought the story full circle.

    When it finished I simply commented, to no one in particular, 'good stuff!'

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

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