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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique look at the origins of species
Millions of years ago, an ancient civilization sent out robot ships to find uninhabited planets with rich resources, to mine them and manufacture products to ship back home. When a suitable planet or planetoid was found, the ship would set up a self-sustaining and expanding mining operation, then move on to find another. But one ship accidentally catches the fringe of a...
Published on 5 Mar. 1998

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ugh.
I discovered this book while flipping through a copy of "The Immortality Option" and immediately added it to my summer reading list, anticipating a good time. It didn't exactly turn out that way.
While this story has some good moments, I didn't feel any better for having read it. The most annoying thing about it is its narrative structure - in the...
Published on 8 July 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ugh., 8 July 1999
By A Customer
I discovered this book while flipping through a copy of "The Immortality Option" and immediately added it to my summer reading list, anticipating a good time. It didn't exactly turn out that way.
While this story has some good moments, I didn't feel any better for having read it. The most annoying thing about it is its narrative structure - in the prologue, where the necessary story background is provided, the author uses an omniscient viewpoint that works very well: complex, but flowing. Later in the book, however, instead of using the same viewpoint, the author has the characters carry out ridiculous and boring discussions in order to provide plot exposition, the kind of discussion that begins "Tell me again why we're here..." or something akin to that. Plus, I feel that by providing so much information in the prologue, the author ruined the chance for the rest to measure up - once you've been given a fantastic set-up discussing the evolution of a race of robots, why would you want to go back to reading about a bunch of boring humans??? This book could have been so much better, but hey, I haven't published anything, so I'll shut up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and annoying, 19 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
The premise of this work is interesting enough: what would happen if there were a world where "life" was mechanical and biology was "technology"? Is it possible for mechincal "life" to evolve? Hogan posits such a world, and sets up to backstory in a short prologue. Then, he sets about bringing humans and his mechanical lifeforms into contact with one another, and explores how -- or whether -- they will be able to communicate -- and cooperate -- with one another.
The premise is interesting, and Hogan is an accomplished story-teller, as can be seen in another of his works, *The Two Faces of Tomorrow.* However, this story is marred by a central character -- a bogus psychic -- who stands for most of the book as a straw man to prove that *any* belief in the supernatural is based on fraud and/or ignorance. Hogan redeems his character after a fashion, but much of the book will bring great glee, if not enlightenment, to the militantly anti-religious camp within SF fandom.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A unique look at the origins of species, 5 Mar. 1998
By A Customer
Millions of years ago, an ancient civilization sent out robot ships to find uninhabited planets with rich resources, to mine them and manufacture products to ship back home. When a suitable planet or planetoid was found, the ship would set up a self-sustaining and expanding mining operation, then move on to find another. But one ship accidentally catches the fringe of a star going nova, and is damaged. It lands on Titan, a moon of Saturn, and tries to set up operations. But its programs have been altered, and all sorts of aberrations and mutations start occurring, and things go very wrong. But then, natural selection sets in, and the long, slow process of evolution begins. . . .
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2.0 out of 5 stars I guess I missed the point..., 5 July 1999
By A Customer
I'm surprised at the number of good reviews for this book. The premise is VERY intriguing: humans making contact with a "race" of evolved robots. The intro gives an interesting (if somewhat overwhelming) account of how the robots came to be, but from there on, the book gets pretty flat. It's crammed with cardboard characters, both human and robot. I really looked forward to reading this, but it sure didn't pay off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for computer science and AI enthusiasts, 11 April 1997
By A Customer
Reading the prologue was like witnessing the birth
of the human race. This book takes the question
of Darwinism versus Creationism and through a unique perspective -- that of a race of robots on Titan -- gives both sides something to think about. And even if you're not into not into the heavier issues, the evident renaissance metaphor is extremely effective (and the source of amusement when humans arrive on the scene).
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best science fiction novels ever., 20 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
As someone with a background in biology and computer science (my degree was in cellular biology, but I work in computer software), I found Hogan's Code of the Lifemaker awesome. The world he creates, where machine intelligences evolve self-awareness, is unlike anything you've ever imagined. Yet his understanding of evolution makes it completely plausible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books ive ever read, 22 April 1998
By A Customer
The book manages to give many new perspectives on commonly asked questions about religion, life, death, science, and the universe without ever getting dull. It is truely a fascinating read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Proves even robots believe in evolution, 16 Mar. 1998
By A Customer
From the prologue about how this mystical world came about I was completely hooked. Also loved the robots 'reversed' scientific abilities and the reason behind it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Show, not tell, Hogan, 6 July 2008
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IAN CAMERON-MOWAT (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Code of the Lifemaker (Paperback)
Pedestrian narrative about hard-to-follow plot. OK if you are taking a techie approach, but for that, the detail was lacking-can the ship travel six million million miles in a million years from a thousand light-years away? etc
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Code of the Lifemaker
Code of the Lifemaker by James P. Hogan (Library Binding - Oct. 1999)
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