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The Godwhale Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1975

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Hive Series

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Mass Market Paperback, October 12, 1975
$58.24 $0.01
--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bass demonstrated a thorough command of biological extrapolation and a sustained delight in the creation of a witty, acronym-choked language―THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Thomas Joseph Bassler was an American science fiction writer and doctor, principally known for his 'Hive' stories. The first of these, published in GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION and IF, were combined into the novel HALF PAST HUMAN, which was nominated for the NEBULA AWARD in 1972. 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. He died in 2011. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding 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 (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,722,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The ideas in this book are thought provoking, and the story itself is a fun read. It's the rare book that combines a fun read with this much "bigthink": Blood Music by Greg Bear and Snow Crash are two that come to mind. While it may not be of quite the stature as those books, it makes no sense to me that this book should be so relatively unknown when it's of such high quality in both the clarity of the author's thought & the quality of his writing. A very recommended read for sci-fi fans.
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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Glad to see this classic in e-book form. This and its prequel _Half Past Human_ are excellent examples of 70s science fiction and highly recommended for readers interested in the literary evolution of cyber- and bio-punk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel is the loose sequel to "Half Past Human" you don't need to read the first book to understand this one but I recommend it because it's just a great book.
The Godwhale is in the cream of the science fiction genre. The ideas and concepts explored here have lasting impact and really get the reader thinking long after you've finished reading the novel. I especially liked how the author dealt with the idea of overpopulation and what sort of society might evolve in response to it.
If you like your science fiction with some real meat in it then this book is for you.
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