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Inherit the Stars Mass Market Paperback – February 12, 1978


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Mass Market Paperback, February 12, 1978
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--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (February 12, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345257049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345257048
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''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 --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

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 50,000 years old -- and that meant that this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read.
LeftyGtar
It's been more than 20 years since I first read Inherit the Stars, and yet I still rank this book #1 of all my favourite SF books.
S. J. Mihic
There's a fascinating and scientifically plausabile plot enmeshed in a great story.
D. S. Leite

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By W. Zeranski on February 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What makes 'Inherit the Stars' a good novel is the fact that it's genuine SCIENCE fiction, not science FICTION--or what some call science fantasy. Hardcore SF is difficult to find and it's difficult for publishers to fills those slots for hardcore SF. Most SF is actually social science fiction. Just because a story takes place in the future doesn't mean science and scientific theory is used, explained or investigated within the context of the novel. BUT `Inherit the Stars' has all that and more.

'Inherit the Stars' is something of a mystery--not that a crime has taken place but there is a mystery--a science mystery--which Hogan went to great pains to make consistent as well as interesting to read. Clues are found and examined by the characters. Theories are tossed about, and soon enough, some of the theories `stick,' and the story hangs together well.

Even though the book was published over twenty years ago, there are no glaring inconstancies due to the passage of time. The novel is solid as if it came off the press today, and very entertaining, and offers a startling future of possibilities.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Cagle on July 25, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I won't comment on the literary merit of this book, which I suspect is probably not all that high, but it was distinctly different in its time and probably influenced a lot of people for that reason. As others have mentioned, it's very much of a "science" fiction book. Even at the time, most of the speculative science seemed very plausible, and even reading it again today, most of it holds up really well. That was my first real introduction to evolutionary theory and, having studied it extensively since then, the way Hogan explained it via the Danchekker character, is a very good encapsulation of Darwinian evolution (interestingly, Hogan himself has become something of Darwin contrarian; check his web site and other novels).

What I find so interesting about the book is its lack of heroics, really. There's no real action taking place, no battles between aliens (sort of) and courageous Earthlings. No one's life is ever threatened. It's a scientific detective story that gradually unfolds, but logically and rationally, and based on the results of research. This is why it was particularly influential to me; I eventually went on to an advanced degree in the sciences. Hogan showed that normal, ordinary scientists can be interesting. That you don't need to wield a laser gun or a lightsaber (!) to be part of a fascinating story. Essentially, that the process of discovery and analysis can itself be intellectually exciting. He captured the essence of what drives working scientists all over the world. As a budding computer nerd, this was the right fertilizer at the right time.

Over the years, I've noted how his technology and societal predictions have held up. Some well, some not so well. Lots of people are still smoking all over the place in Hogan's 2027.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Camp on October 5, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious," wrote Albert Einstein. "It is the source of all true art and science". I have a fondness for good hard science fiction. But how much hard sf is really inspired by that sense of the mysterious? Only a small percentage, I would guess.

I do not know what inspired James P. Hogan's first novel, _Inherit the Stars_ (1977). But it is certainly _about_ a scientific mystery. Human explorers discover a mummy in a spacesuit on the far side of Luna. The body is determined to be 50,000 years old. It is physically human-- not a product of a different evolution that would occur on an alien planet. But if "Charlie" came from a high-tech civilization on Earth, where are the archeological traces of that civilization? There are none. Who is Charlie? Where did he come from? How is he important to the human race?

The novel is about how scientists make hypotheses (and, being human, are sometimes dogmatic about their own ideas) and change them as new information comes in. Hogan knows that this problem cannot be solved by a single scientific genius working out of a backyard laboratory. It will have to involve hundreds of experts in different fields working in scores of laboratories. It will need administrators to co-ordinate information and ask critical questions.

Many of the details of this novel have the ring of authenticity: How scientists talk to one another, how staff meetings are conducted, the comical signs placed on lab doors, how sugar and coffee are hidden from graduate students, how masses of papers are reviewed and evaluated and sent to various teams, and how personality conflicts can lead to false trails.

Some mysteries open with a spectacular puzzle and then peter out to an anticlimactic solution.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Mihic on April 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's been more than 20 years since I first read Inherit the Stars, and yet I still rank this book #1 of all my favourite SF books. Like other reviewers have already mentioned, how do you possibly explain a 50,000 year old corpse on the moon? Hogan spins an interesting and believable tale and the result is a page turner you can't put down. Three sequels followed this novel, and although all enjoyable reads, they can't match the freshness and originality of this hard SF classic. Read Inherit the Stars - you won't be disappointed.
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