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Half Past Human (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 30 Jan 2014


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Frequently Bought Together

Half Past Human (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + The Godwhale (S.F. MASTERWORKS) + The Long Tomorrow (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057512962X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575129627
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13.5 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A novel of dystopian future in the tradition of SOYLENT GREEN and H.G. Wells' THE TIME MACHINE. Introduction by Ken MacLeod.

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Barlow on 8 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SF at its quirky best. The style takes some getting used to, heavily couched as it is in biological and medical terminology, but that is part of its charm. The landmasses of the world are giant gardens that feed the teeming hives of Human-lites below, tended by friendly farm machinery and patrolled by drugged up hunters forever on the look-out for the barbaric five-toes - remnants of true humans. The only real detraction -as is stated in this edition's introduction- is Bass' rather tokenistic treatment of women, but that aside you'll probably never read anything quite like Half Past Human... other than the slightly more polished sequel, The Godwhale.
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By A. Unsworth on 17 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a crazy book. So here's the plot: mankind has evolved into 4-toed underground dwellers (no, not morlocks), unable to do anything (eat, reproduce, have sex) without beaurocratic sanction. Everyone lives in cavernous hives, stupefied by conditioning, breeding & narcotics into unthinking drones. The surface has been left to the few thousand or so people who have rejected this way of life and have returned to more primitive hunter/gatherer communities. So far so good, all sounds very interesting, and indeed life in the hive is when the book is most interesting, a nightmarish Orwellian vision. Trouble is its very difficult to care about any of this. Characters come and go, never staying long enough for us to really form an attachment to them. So we have a large cast but not much emotional involvement. The author also uses a whole heap of medical terminology at every opportunity, and has his characters use it too, until you get the impression that everyone except you has spent 5 years at medical school., even the hunter gatherers. Also, female characters, whats going on here? Male characters are reasonably well drawn and diverse, but the female ones are basically slaves to their hormones, becoming literally sex crazed beasts once a month, jumping on any male they can find. Nice fantasy for the author, and i'm sure i once read something similar in an old copy of Playboy, but it doesn't work so well here, within a Masterworks of SCi-Fi series. The book also covers a time span of several decades, so was clearly aiming for epic Frank Herbert/Tolkein territory. Decades are breezed through towards the end, and unfortunately, for all of these reasons, it doesnt really work.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lisa on 11 Mar. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I have fondly re-read another of his other books, The Godwhale, many times. Perhaps not the best written book ever, but this didn't detract for me as I love the far-future world he's created so much. If you want something different, read Godwhale first, and then come back for this one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin Williams on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes very good story. well written and I liked the characters, i read the God whale in 1978, its still on my bookshelf, i have read it 6 times, Half past Human will stay with it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mark brummitt on 27 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been looking for this book for years, in paper back but could not find. I was amazed to find this book and the God Whale on kindle and just had to buy them
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