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Voyage From Yesteryear

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  722 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The story opens early in the 21st century, as an automated space probe is being prepared for a mission to explore habitable exoplanets in the Alpha Centauri system. However, Earth appears destined for a global war which the probe designers fear that humanity may not survive. It appears that the only chance for the human species is to reestablish itself far away from the co ...more
Paperback, 377 pages
Published April 1982 by Del Rey Books
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Jun 14, 2014 Arturo rated it it was amazing
It's not common for me to be reading a science fiction book mid-way, stop all of a sudden and then wonder: "Why is this guy writing science fiction at all? He writes... too good for him to be in this genre."
That for me was one of the most shocking things about Voyage from Yesteryear. How careful and neat the writing, descriptions and prose was. Hogan surprised me with his way to explain the simple gestures that people do as they interact, the way in which people's inner thoughts twist and bend u
Brandon Neill
May 08, 2014 Brandon Neill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This story is based on the idea of what if you could completely disconnect a generation of humans, if they could grow up without our prejudices, without our mythology, but with our scientific knowledge. The book begins as a group of humans from earth are about to end a voyage arriving at a planet that was populated by humans that were born after they arrived, and had no connection with earth or an older generation. While the travelers viewed them as children, they rapidly discovered they had a l ...more
Aug 23, 2015 Johnny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book is one of my all time favorites. I actually read it first when I was about 12 years old. I found it, dogeared and in rough shape, in the bottom of a box in an old run down used bookstore. It was the image of the ship on the cover that intrigued me and sparked my imagination, but what occurred next I couldn't have foreseen. This is the novel that sparked my love affair with Science Fiction and the Speculative Fiction genre as a whole.

You can read the back of the book for a description o
Calixto Lopez
Jan 24, 2013 Calixto Lopez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. I had read it back in High School and loved it then, and now reread it again for the first time in over 22 years.

The discussion of an anarchistic post-scarcity society was a good one and rather compelling. Everyone works at what they're good at, mostly on individual projects, and all resources are shared cash-free, relying on recognition as the coin of the realm so to speak, with free stores and really free markets. Of course this relies heavily on automation to produce basic
Apr 17, 2010 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An interesting read in which Hogan explores what preconditions exist for a society to function effectively without government or money. Unlimited resources, automated manufacturing and food production, and good education seem to be the main ones. He has a bit of a stab at law and order but I found it unconvincing. He doesn't take into account the fact that there will always be mentally ill people in society, and that competition for mates, land and status will still exist even if we have no mone ...more
A well devised and interesting utopia story, though the utopia was a bit too perfect.

The idea of the book is good, though I would have preferred a less ham-fisted treatment of it. The arrogance, militarism, authoritarianism etc. of the Earth leaders is a bit too underlined, while the carefree egalitarian attitudes of the Chironians are the exact opposite. It's too much like a moral lesson for stupid people. But even though the central theme in the book is developed more simplistically than I wou
I won't summarize the book. Instead, I'll just discuss its merits and flaws. The book begins very well. The premise is intriguing, the start is compelling and believable and draws you right in. The scene that sets our warring world some time in the future works well, and all you really need to know is that an enormous ship, The Mayflower II, sets out for the planet Chiron. A brilliant scientist had sent a ship there some decades earlier filled with robots and babies. Thus the story's tropes and ...more
R. Michael Litchfield
Badger had recommended this novel several times over the years so I finally made a point of checking this 33 year old book out of the library. It stood the test of time very well and was in fact rather prescient about what we now call a post-scarcity economy. Nifty little "The Earthlings are Comming!!" story with some effective battle scenes. Not a great novel though, it needed a more ruthless editor as several of the passage were too plodding and the characters didn't really have much depth. It ...more
Dec 06, 2015 Dani rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Review Summary: I found this book to have interesting ideas made worse by uninteresting writing and argumentation. As in, this book is way too long and preachy.

Voyage from Yesteryear speculates: if a human colony were to develop far from the traditions and preconceptions of Earth but with the technology and scientific knowledge to make resources and commodities abundant, what would result? Hogan describes a libertarian/anarchic utopia where wealth is measured in respect - and this respect is ea
Sep 29, 2015 Arthur rated it really liked it
Powerful meanings, interesting unfolding story with clear plots and tied in are helpful insights for understanding science. Compare Earth to a new world, the madmen we have controlling so much but believe we want things the way they are, vs intellectual changes.
Susan Etheridge
Excellent! Utopian fiction, but with elements of hard sci-fi and action mixed in. A real page turner, and one I would enjoy re-reading at some point.

Chiron is one kind of utopia I imagine I would actually like to live in. I would highly recommend this book.
Jul 29, 2012 Ian rated it it was amazing
Loved the book, the ideology, and the writing. I like Hogan. I would like to see a society such as the one described here, and certainly like to live in one. I also believe that it is a realistic future to hope for.
Jun 27, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer for the establishment and sustaining of a Libertarian society. And a good book on top of that.
Mar 29, 2012 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember this as a great science fiction novel.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 30, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Prometheus Award
I have sixteen Hogan books on my shelves. I've been rereading them years after having bought them to decide which to keep. I've read a dozen of those now, and this is the first one that makes me understand why Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke once praised Hogan as worthy to be counted in their company. Up to now the other books tended either to be too heavy-handed and preachy (especially Mirror Maze) or technobabble infodump (almost all, especially Thrice Upon a Time and Two Faces of Tomorrow), ...more
May 21, 2013 Kristin rated it liked it
Writing: 3
Story: 3
Satisfaction: 3

Voyage from Yesteryear is a bit slow to start but once it gets past the character introduction section, picks up to a nice pace.

The first section of the book takes place aboard the Mayflower II, a large space station carrying an assortment of North Americans looking to settle on the planet Chiron. Many years before, humans had sent a probe, called the Kuan-Yin, out to look for planets able to support human life and then create the first wave of settlers via stor
Aug 21, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anarchy has never looked so good. The chapter on sub atomic particle physics and cosmology would probably make a physicist laugh and anyone who isn't scratch their heads in confusion. Otherwise, a fun poke in the eye against human (and esp Western) ideas of merit, money, and militarism. From yesteryear--this is an old novel. Sometimes a bit too preachy, naive, and otherworldly--but well worth the read.
Shane Groff
May 06, 2013 Shane Groff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I re-read this recently, with some trepidation that I would find the writing more juvenile than I recalled (from reading it was I was a juvenile).

However, I think both the writing and the ideas hold up fairly well.

I have the same issues with the book as I did before, though. I like to read books that attempt to portray better societies, provide a view of what a better world might be like, and this is a good one.
However, he puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that the better society is only possib
Sean Randall
May 22, 2010 Sean Randall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Success is like a fart. Only your own smells nice"

In this lackadaisically whimsical plodder of a novel, Hogan poses a future where an exploratory spacecraft is sent off with genetic material to seed a planet in war-torn tension-filled times on Earth. Years later when things settle down, a US vessel sets out to see the results of the mission - along with a European and Asiatic craft on their heals, all intent upon converting the Humans that aren't quite Human to their individual belief systems a
Mar 06, 2014 Luvreading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a young adult.It was intriguing to me then,and it is more significant to me now as socialist.Although the society on the new planet wasn't socialism per say-it was far beyond that-i appreciate the utopian vision.
Will Holcomb
Jan 10, 2015 Will Holcomb rated it really liked it
I think this is a brilliant book with a great vision of the possibilities of humanity. Hogan does a masterful job setting up a society not driven by greed, ego, power and other human downfalls. My only criticism of the book is the character development. I found it very hard to keep up with what character was who. That added frustration to reading the novel but I still highly recommend reading it.
Cay Hasselmann
Sep 07, 2014 Cay Hasselmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are into anarchy this is a book not to miss, as it shows what happens when humans from the normal society with order approach an anarchy. I is well written, is funny and full of intellect.
While many of the themes and ideas in this book are nothing new to modern science fiction readers, I nonetheless found the way in which they were collected to be compelling. I don't know if I believe that such a society would actually work, but it is an interesting thought. I especially liked the idea of a society in which basically everyone works freelance. Amusingly, I had wondered if this book was "libertarian" in addition to falling under the post-scarcity heading. In fact, it was awarded th ...more
Csaba Gyursanszky
This book is Hogan's best for plot and philosophical content (great Utopia!) -- he was not a literary genius, characters are 2-dimensional at best, but the concept was great!
TJ Wisner
Nov 26, 2013 TJ Wisner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second Hogan book. Although I did not care for the Mirror Maze, I wanted to give Hogan another chance because of the libertarian themes in his sci-fi. Well I'm definitely glad I read this one. If you love peaceful anarchy and science fiction you should enjoy this book. Without giving away anything, a lot of the book makes for some interesting dialog when some militarist tyrants from earth try understanding the inhabitants of a "stateless" society. I found myself laughing out load a co ...more
Otis Campbell
Feb 07, 2015 Otis Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To something that left long ago,
But in all my days,
And in all my years,
I know I'll still wonder where you are.
Brent Moffitt
Apr 24, 2011 Brent Moffitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Interesting discussion on religion and the origin of the universe. Also included some very logical-sounding discourse on basic building block of matter. Most fascinating and insightful opinions were expressed about how human society/community is/should be constructed. He appeared to believe that if we could avoid nuclear annihilation we would evolve a non-commercial based society where everyone could pursue activities best suited to their abilities and inclinations. A very though ...more
One of my favorite science-fiction anarchism novels.
Apr 30, 2015 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So preachy. So very preachy.
Nov 27, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1983 grade B+
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James Patrick Hogan was a British science fiction author.

Hogan was was raised in the Portobello Road area on the west side of London. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he worked various odd jobs until, after receiving a scholarship, he began a five-year program at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough covering the practical and theoretical sides of electrical, electronic, and m
More about James P. Hogan...

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