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The Godwhale Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1975


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 12, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345246470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345246479
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,095,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

T. J. Bass (1932-2011) is the pen name of Thomas Joseph Bassler, an American science fiction writer and doctor, principally known for his "Hive" stories. The first of these were combined into the novel Half Past Human, which was nominated for the Nebula Award in 1972. Its loose sequel, The Godwhale, was also nominated three years later. His work explored the theme of overpopulation and was notable for its strong command of biological extrapolation. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David A. Watson on December 10, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when it was new and reread it again several years latter. Though about twenty years has passed it still stands in my memory for it's vision and feeling. The ideas and predictions for the future were frightening and thought provoking. It had the same kind of effect the hobbit and Stranger in a strange land had on me. It brought me to look at things from a different perspective and "changed me". What more can a novel do? I've spent the last couple of decades asking for more stuff from this writer when I go in the bookstore. Alas, I've found no more. Can anyone tell me why?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craig Stewart on June 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In The Godwhale T.J Bass posits a future that is a realistic extension of present trends in population growth and technology. People have devolved or evolved--depending on your viewpoint--into three-toed "nebbishes" subsisting on protein "flavours". The great cities have become "hive" societies--impersonal microbe-heaps that have subjugated the earth and humanity for the greater good of the collective. As men/women relinquish their individuality/viability for the sake of the "hive"--a very few break free from the hive and meet the marine "protein rake" otherwise known as Rorqual Maru-- the Godwhale!
I've read this book several times and have always been struck by the originality and vividness of Bass' vision of our future as portrayed here. While many would dismiss a book of this sort as "wild-eyed" pulp science fiction, it is actually a brilliantly drawn narrative that merely extrapolates a future from current trends in population growth and social/biological engineeering. Clairvoyant and fun to read--T.J. Bass--who are you?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David_A_Stever on September 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Half Past Human and The Godwhale are the sum total of Thomas J. Bassler's SF output, but even after 20 years, they remain two brilliant points of light, pointing to what might have otherwise been a long and brilliant career. I would love to see him come back and take up fiction again- these books rival Cordwainer Smith and Jack Vance in the richness of the world they create. If you read this book years ago, pick it up and read it again. It is nothing sort of stellar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Godwhale by T.J. Bass is a remarkable novel. It depicts the strugle of a people against the system and their strugle for survival in a very unhappy land. Bass has brought Science Fiction to a new level in human evolution and the strugle for what is just and right. This is one of the best Sci-Fi books of all time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Godwhale is, without question, one of the finest science fiction books I have ever read. Bass paints a vivid picture of a dismal Earth centuries in the future. It is hard sci-fi at its best and compares very favorably with futuristic works by better known authors such as Larry Niven and William Gibson. For anyone who loves science fiction, I strongly recommend it
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Simonn on August 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There I was, browsing idly in a charity bookstore, and came across The Godwhale by pure chance. The title piqued my interest, and I thought "For fifty cents, how wrong can I go?" so I bought it. I had recently finished Eternity Road and 2 Star Wars novels and was DESPERATE for some sci-fantasy with a decent narrative. In The Godwhale I wasn't disappointed.

In my opinion, there are 3 things that make the book work. Firstly, the major ideas driving the plot, while not totally original, have an original spin to them. Secondly the narrative style is economic; his use of understatement and events ocurring through implication left me feeling I was being treated with respect as a reader. So often, when writers spell out EVERYTHING, I feel patronised. With The Godwhale, this wasn't the case. And thirdly, as a yarn, the story is satisfying; many times for me, sci-fantasy consists of sterotypic characters going on long journeys for melodramatic reasons. Thankfully there are no long journeys, the events are credible within Bass's post-apocalyptic world, and the characters are plausible and lightly sketched rather than drawn in heavy outline. In summary, a jolly good read and one I'd be happy to come back to again.
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