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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH

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.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • Las Cruces, NM, United States
  • 10-06-16

Science, Logic make good scifi

The author represents what is best about science fiction. I've let the world pass me by and I really don't seem to care. Hogan knows how to write science fiction the way it was meant to be and which no longer seems to be.

There's very little character development as such but there are characters and their thoughts about the world are what matters most of all. One of the values of science (and even a value we all have within us) are that the facts we have about the world within a domain of interest of a problem needs a best explanation in order to explain them, and often, there can be more than one explanation that can be equally understood. As for this story there are anomalous facts about 'alien' life forms on the moon which start to challenge our understanding of us as human beings. What could be more intriguing?

My wife and I listened to this one together and I'm glad. Books like these not only offer entertainment with a somewhat exciting story but at the same time load the listener up with the proper way to understand science in general and evolution in particular.

I just really like James P Hogan and this period of scifi writing which ends up being better than 90% of the junk that is published today (Sturgeon's Law applied to books in general and scifi in particular). I'm an anachronism and I seem to value the older scifi books more than the stuff I come across today. Don't even get me started on today's movies, but if you want to talk about movies before 1945 than we can have a pleasant multi-day conversation!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Best of the 3 Giant books...

If you could sum up Inherit the Stars in three words, what would they be?

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.

Would you listen to another book narrated by John Pruden?

I would not seek out any particular book that John Pruden narrated

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Neenah, WI, United States
  • 02-11-15

It Has Aged Surprisingly Well

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

Would you be willing to try another book from James P. Hogan? Why or why not?

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.

What didn’t you like about John Pruden’s performance?

It was really slow. I had to listen to it at 2X speed or I would not have been able to bear it.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

If it was made into a movie today, I probably would.

Any additional comments?

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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great story, good narrator, inconsistent accents

love Hogan's work. narrator did a good job of sharing the story as opposed to reading the book. only quibble I have, and it's not limited to just this book ... if there's a British character, either do a consistent and recognizable British accent for that character throughout, or just ignore it entirely and read all characters in the same accent, please. it's a challenge finding narrators who can do a range of accents and do them credibly, but it's distracting to have inconsistent accents.

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Art Brostrom, PE

One of my favorite SiFi series. Read this over 30 years ago, and it's amazing how much I have forgotten.

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The start of a new friendship

I first read this book way back in high school and I had to get the rest of the series .

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who knows?

this might be a good book. But, it's impossible to tell because the author and editor have done such a fantastic job of filling the beginning sections of the book with completely uninteresting, unengaging, irrelevant, and useless information as set up to the book. Good luck trying to stay awake. On top of that the narrator who is fine at reading something technical, I am sure, is so monotone and soporific that the listening experience is almost painful. To those of you who can make it past this atrocious beginning let me know how it turns out.

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Not As Dated As I Feared

What did you love best about Inherit the Stars?

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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>

What other book might you compare Inherit the Stars to and why?

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.<br/><br/>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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fun in an old SF style

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul S.
  • 01-22-15

Ace!

Thought it was going to be hard going... Kept with it and was enthralled. Will be reading the next in series next.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-10-15

Very Good

Any additional comments?

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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  • Chris Doms
  • 06-07-17

Procedural, boring, repetitive

What would have made Inherit the Stars better?

Less repetitive technical details - MOVE ON WITH THE STORY, PLEASE! Also, more character personality.