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THE GODWHALE [Mass Market Paperback]

T.J. Bass
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 12 1975

A post-apocalyptic dystopian fable and sequel to Half Past Human

Rorqual Maru was a cyborg—part organic whale, part mechanized ship—and part god. She was a harvester: a vast plankton rake, now without a crop, abandoned by earth society when the seas died. So she selected an island for her grave, hoping to keep her carcass visible for salvage. Although her long ear heard nothing, she believed that man still lived in his hive. If he should ever return to the sea, she wanted to serve. She longed for the thrill of a human's bare feet touching the skin of her deck. She missed the hearty hails, the sweat, and the laughter. She needed mankind. But all humans were long gone—or were they?

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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

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4.0 out of 5 stars Full of the obsessions of its time May 7 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wonder what the novels of the 00's will say about this generation of science fiction? It seems to me that science fiction often says a great deal about the collective fantasies and fears of the generation that spawned it-- I enjoyed reading _The Godwhale_ (which I read for the first time now), but found some of the more obvious political points about environmentalism, entertainment, and overpopulation to be a little bit grating.
_The Godwhale_ tells the story of a young man named Larry Dever who is put into Temporary Suspension when he's decapitated in a youthful prank. The idea is that he will be revived when science has caught up to the need of his physical problem. He's revived once, but isn't satisfied with the level of care he will receive, and when he's revived a second time he's revived into a hellish hive world where humans have overpopulated the globe at the expense of everything else and the population has devolved into helpless nebbishes of limited physical strength and form.
I was oddly reminded of Steven Spielberg's AI when I read the book-- perhaps because of the ultimate darkness of both stories combined with the length of time portrayed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars T.J. Bass-where/who are you? 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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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the MOST memorable Dec 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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By A Customer
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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