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The Genesis Quest Paperback – 1 Dec 1986

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Paperback, 1 Dec 1986
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: (1 Dec. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585863475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585863471
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,555,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In The Genesis Quest, man beams the DNA coding across the universe to a super cluster of galaxies in the hope that someone will hear him. The peaceful alien herbivores who receive the message promptly recreate the human race and spare no expense in making them as comfortable as possible.
Donald Moffitt explores politics and human hubris in this great sci-fi yearn and looks at how humans are ill fitted for life with another species.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Nar was a nice race. 8 April 2004
By Michael Valdivielso - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
They were a kind and gentle alien race. They were also very smart. So when they detected human radio messages, full of mankind's knowledge and culture, they learned quickly. In fact, they were able to re-create humans from the DNA data transmitted from Earth.
And they treated humans well. They lived along side humans and wanted to do what was best for them. The problem is that they don't really understand what humans wanted. But the people knew what THEY wanted and some are willing to do anything to get it.
Even kill for it.
Bram, a human bioenginer is trapped between what he knows is right and what he knows may happen.
What will happen? Will mankind turn on the Nar, killing the very race that made them? Or is mankind mature enough to follow their dreams, reach for the stars AND not the knife? Can Bram solve the problems or will he be washed along with the rest of the mob by mad leaders, turning again the Nars?
Great first-part of a two-part series. Great alien race, interesting setting, realistic characters and sometimes very touching (if not also sometimes tragic).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good book. 15 Aug. 2003
By owookiee - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though it wasn't a real page turner til the last quarter or so, I really liked the book. The concept is fresh, the characters believable. Most of the action is planet-based, dealing with the relationships and politics of different beings and their striving to understand each other.
I don't really want to make this comparison since I hated the movie - but I saw many similarities to the end of A.I. where the aliens/robot descendants have to rely entirely upon the memory of HJO to build an understanding of the long since dead human culture.
I'm off to start the sequel, Second Genesis, now.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating reading ... 27 July 2000
By Kleineganz - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought the concept of this book was absolutely fascinating ... humans genetically recreated in a distant galaxy by an alien race based on a radio telescope transmission of the human genetic code ... and then to see the new humans' perspective of what life on Earth must have been like and their longing to return "home". I loved it and have read it at least 5 times.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Floral aliens grow troublesome humans 2 Feb. 2011
By TChris - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Astronomers on a Nar moon receive a transmission that has traveled thirty-seven million light years. The transmission contains the genetic code for human life as well as a repository of human knowledge and culture. Using the genetic information, the Nar brew a batch of humans -- something they probably wouldn't have done had they known what a troublesome species the human race can be. A human culture has been in existence for some time as the main story begins. The novel follows the human Bram from his youth (when he dreams of traveling to Earth, the home of Original Man, an impossibility unless he can overcome the limiting speed of light or achieve immortality) through his young adulthood, when he discovers shocking information in the transmission from Earth that humans have never before seen. Other humans, convinced that the Nar are "keeping them down," plot insurrection.

First published in 1986, The Genesis Quest is Donald Moffitt's second novel. Its story is continued in his third novel, Second Genesis. The Genesis Quest avoids many of the flaws in his first novel, The Jupiter Theft: wooden dialog, lengthy science lectures, and unnecessary politics. The political dimension in The Genesis Quest, while rather obviously drawn from isolationist strands of American politics, works well -- and is, in fact, a vital part of the plot. Moffitt's writing style is strong; his dialog is natural. There's plenty of hard science in The Genesis Quest, but it is carefully integrated into the plot and doesn't slow the novel's pace.

Plot dominates over character development. The characters have undistinguished personalities except for those (like the rebel leader) who are stereotypes. Sometimes the characters behave inexplicably -- why Bram doesn't leave the woman who consistently treats him like garbage was a mystery to me -- but that's forgivable, given that real people are also prone to inexplicable behavior. Moffitt's strength, however, lies not in the development of human characters but in the creation of aliens, and in that regard, The Genesis Quest excels. The Nar (who are sort of floral in nature) are indeed alien -- not humans with funny hair like typical television aliens or overgrown lizards like typical movie aliens. Moffitt put some serious thought into Nar physiology and culture.

Moffitt also worked at developing a credible plot, another of the novel's strengths. Although the story might be a bit longer than necessary, it moves at an appropriate pace, picking up speed in the second half as Moffitt delivers some fast action. The ending is satisfying, and sets the scene nicely for the sequel. Ultimately, while The Genesis Quest isn't a perfect novel, it's a fun one that should appeal to fans of hard sf.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
There's no quest in Genesis Quest 6 Aug. 2000
By "bmills100" - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is an example of one of the classic ways science fiction can go wrong. Moffitt has come up with a simply splendid premise, but then he didn't trust the fascinating concept to involve readers without help. Instead, the plot degenerates into endless, repetitious bickering between factions of characters, so that the original concept is never developed and the book reads more like a tedious, petty soap opera than a novel. Despite the title, the characters never actually do go on the quest that is discussed endlessly throughout the book. Apparently you have to buy the sequel to read what the cover copy leads you to think you would get in Genesis Quest, but by the time I had slogged through this book I was so bored and annoyed that I never bothered.
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