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3 in 1 Giants Omnibus Mass Market Paperback – May 1 1994


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (May 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345388852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345388858
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.9 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,255,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Giants Novels is a compendium of a trilogy of books by James Hogan, Inherit the Stars, The Gentle Giants of Ganymede and Giant's Star. (btw, I really appreciate Del Rey for publishing these in one book). All three are tightly coupled and deserve to be read together. The basic premise of the trilogy is man's discovery of his origins after a 50,000 year-old human corpse is found in a cave on the moon. This is followed by the discovery of a 20 million year old spaceship on Jupiter's moon Ganymede that contains both alien corpses and animal specimens that clearly came from Earth. It was very fun to follow our protagonist Vic Hunt as he works to come up with a plausible explanation for these discoveries and how they fit into man's evolution. Much of the speculation is made clearer by the arrival of a 20 million year-old spaceship full of live aliens who used to inhabit our solar system. Seems they had some technical problems and although they had only been gone for 20 years their time, relativistic effects delayed their return by 20 million years. Eventually we learn that the returned aliens are not the last of their species as their forbearers moved to another star system millions of years before. When they make contact with their long lost descendents events are put in motion that forces their ancient species to get help from Earth to combat the biggest threat in their history.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Giants Novels is an omnibus edition of the Giants series. This volume contains Inherit the Stars, The Gentle Giants of Ganymede, and Giants' Star. These novels were the first published by the author.
Millennia before the Apollo project, mankind had reached Luna. As man returns to the Moon, he finds evidence of a prior human technological society. Moreover, he finds artifacts of another alien civilization on Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter.
In Inherit the Stars, a survey party finds someone in a spacesuit within a cave-like hole in the Copernicus crater. The body was that of a human being who had died over 50,000 years ago. Apparently it had come from Minerva, the long destroyed planet between Mars and Jupiter.
In The Gentle Giants of Ganymede, an alien spaceship has been found under the ice of Ganymede. Inside are found the remains of eight-foot tall entities who have been named Ganymedeans. Then the Shapieron, a fully operational Ganymedean spaceship, appears near Ganymede.
In Giants' Star, the Shapieron leaves to search for the migrated Ganymedeans at a star in the constellation of Taurus. Before their departure, a message is sent from a human installation on the Luna Farside toward this star telling of the ship's departure and a response is received soon thereafter welcoming the crew to their new home. Although no other responses are received for some time, months later messages start arriving in English using standard communication codes from a source in the fringe of the solar system.
These novels established the author's reputation as a writer of hard science fiction capable of inducing a sense of wonder.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I get into my somewhat lengthy list of complaints, I'd like to make it clear that for all ths books' faults, the Giants novels really are classic, solid science fiction. The ideas are really the main characters here, and they take you on a fun ride through a well-conceived speculative vision of our future and our past.
That said, I have a few issues that might concern other prospective readers:
In these novels, James P. Hogan writes a lot like Heinlein, only with a bit more science behind his fiction. He offers a very Utopian view of the future of earth, at least where men are concerned. Where women are concerned, though... Well, again he writes a lot like Heinlein. To be fair to Mr. Hogan, most of his later works are better on this score, but they're not under discussion here.
In "Inherit the Stars" (the first of the 3 novels in this edition), for example, there is only one woman mentioned by name, and she's some kind of assistant. Her biggest contribution in the few pages of the novel where she appears, is to recognize that some alien writing is probably a calendar because it's in something the "looks like a diary". That's right, he introduced a woman to recognize the diary because it's obviously a "woman thing". Her reward for her contribution is a condescending smile of acknowledgment from one of the men who did the "real" work. Ugh. He also consistently refers to women as girls.
The trend continues through the second novel ("The Gentle Giants of Ganymede"), though by "Giants' Star" (the last and best of the three) there are signs that Hogan has been thoroughly taken to task for his poor treatment of women in his novels, and he makes a certain amount of effort to redress the problem.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Giant's Trilogy speculates about an alternative path for human evolution, the source of human aggressiveness, and the irrationality of evil. My copy call it "A novel about man's place in the Universe." This trilogy weaves a multi-dimensional tapestry to point out the absurdities and dangers of a warrior/dominator culture.
The story introduces itself with the discovery of "Charlie," a 50,000 year-old human corpse on the moon. How did he get there when Neanderthals still walked the Earth? The first book answers this question, but opens up to deeper mystery. In the process it introduces the reader to one of the processes in the scientific community.
New scientific theories begin when attempts to explain a discovery challenge the assumptions of the current paradigm. Complicated theories develop more and more unsupportable mechanisms until somebody has the courage to challenge a fundamental tenet of the old paradigm: "the earth is not the center of the universe" or "the continents drift." Hogan makes this process seem relatively quick and painless. In the real world, it may take decades--once people were even burned at the stake for this kind of breakthrough.
The Gentle Giants of Ganymede, the second book in the trilogy, avoids the abyss many authors fall into between the hook of the first book and the climax of the third. An interesting book in its own right, it tells a story about humankind's first extraterrestrial contact. It explains more pieces of the mystery of "Charlie," but it also raises more questions--questions the aliens cannot answer.
Philosophically, this book allows Hogan to describe a non-violent, non-coercive society, and how it might have evolved naturally.
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