The Giant Novels
By James P Hogan
The Giant Novels are a series of science fiction novels by James P Hogan.
I'm usually not a man that believe in miracles, but something fairly fantastic must have happened at Del Ray Books, the day they came up with the idea for this book. To put three classics, Inherit the Stars, The Gentle Giants of Ganymede and Giants' Star, in one book and then sell it for the price of a normal book? Are they nuts? Anyway I just had a look at their online catalogue and there's only two other authors who has "three for the price of one" books out – I guess it didn't work. Whether they didn't make enough money out of it or they just couldn't sell these worthless old classics, well, I don't know (but I'll give you one hint: My copy is the third edition of the mass marked paperback since it was first released in 1994 and that was after surviving nearly three years in hardcover only).
I've decided to review these three novels together, simply for the reason that they should be read that way – together, and preferably back to back. Oh, and for one other reason – it's very hard to review the second and third book in a trilogy without spoiling something in the first book and it's even harder with the third book. But I'll try...
The main character of all three novels is Dr. Victor Hunt. Hunt is not your average English country Doc', oh no, he's the kind of guy who uses diplomas as wallpaper and Nobel Prices as paperweights (okay, he actually hasn't any of those, but you know what I mean). All in all, your average science fiction hero scientist. And he has that annoying ability to come up with solutions that are so simple and obvious that everybody else looks stupendously stupid for not figuring it out. I like him, probably because Hogan manages to make me feel nearly as clever as Hunt.
Sometimes in our near future, man decides that all this war stuff is pretty silly and starts to use a large chunk of the money that previously went into the weapons race to go into space instead. A fairly good idea, even if Hogan kind of forgets to explain how this happened (what's the opposite of a mass-psychosis?). Soon we have a couple of bases on the moon and manned probes all over the solar system. A couple of days later..eh... I mean; then, one day a spacesuited corpse is found in a cave on the moon, kind of what one could expect with a lot of people on the moon, accidents do happen, only there's nobody missing and further studies show that the body is fifty thousand years old! Hunt is given the job of figuring out where the body came from and what it's doing on the moon. As if that wasn't enough we also discover a twenty-five million year old alien spaceship in the ice on Ganymede. With not only frozen aliens bodies but also the frozen cadavers of earth animals as they existed those twenty-five million years ago! Dr. Hunt is never going to get bored.
Will Hunt ever figure out what's happening? Positively! Will we have lots of fun while he figures it out? You bet! Will we meet aliens and hear about technology so fantastic that it will make the Batmobil look silly? Right again! Will I hunt you down and do nasty thing to you if you don't rush out and get this book? Well, no, but you will be cheating yourself if you don't.
(There's a forth book - Entoverse).
Written on 1st January 1999 by TC .