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The Godwhale (The Hive #2)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  276 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Rorqual Maru was her name. She was a harvester - a vast plankton rake without a crop, abandoned by Earth society when the seas died. Part whale, part ship, and well over 600 feet long, she was left to rot in the sterile ocean.

But suddenly, after centuries, the sea was no longer dead, and Rorqual Maru stirred from her slumber. She would set out once again to serve mankind.
Mass Market Paperback, 306 pages
Published 1976 by Methuen (first published December 12th 1973)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsRingworld by Larry NivenThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Classic Science Fiction - 1970-1979
116th out of 125 books — 87 voters
The Martian by Andy WeirReady Player One by Ernest ClineThe Meat Market by James ChalkA Scanner Darkly by Philip K. DickParable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Hidden Gems of Science Fiction
189th out of 283 books — 365 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 604)
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Jim Hoff
Don't be fooled by the title. The "godhwhale" itself is only a portion of this epic, century spanning book. Chock full of ideas, hard science, and details, the Godwhale is no less than a masterpiece. It is SF on a HUGE scale. If you've never heard of it, don't let this deter you. The Godwhale is one of SF's lesser known classics.
Peter Pier
Oct 18, 2008 Peter Pier rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody interested?
Recommended to Peter by: Found it
Post-apocalyptic. That was my first real SF-book, I love it dearly. Regarding it being written in the 70ies, its quite amazing regarding the amount of AI. I say, recommended, including its predecessor, "Half Past Human". T.J. Bass delivered a tremendous work.

What I learned... humankind will never fit into a tupperware-box.
Jasmine "Geoffery Crescent" Woods
The Godwhale came to me in a stack of classic sci-fi paperbacks, mostly Asimov and Wyndham and Vogt and the like. It stood out, party because of its relatively large size and its bizarre cover art, and it came complete with a recommendation from my Dad, who remembered reading it years ago. The problem being, of course, that stack of books didn't contain Half-past Human, the novel preceding the Godwhale. A quick Google search taught me the difference between the four-toed Nebish and the five-toed ...more
I read this book years ago and decided (abruptly) to find it again and re-read it.

It's surprisingly dense for such a small book, and covers and vast swathe of science fiction concepts in simply the first few chapters.

Still enjoyed it the second time around, though I found some sections to be predictable cliche. Despite this many of the ideas presented are still pretty novel and entertaining to read about.
lives on in memory for years
Sohail Keegan
I really liked this book. It is dated, and the editing is horrible, but the way the story is told is reminiscent of the era when Science-fiction could take flights of Fantasy.

This book was published shortly before the advent of biotechnology. It is truly a fantastical piece; suspend your imagination completely if you want to enjoy it.
John Fritz
Been so long since I read this but it struck a chord so that - after all these years - I still remember "Augmented Renal Nucleus of Larry Dever" and "bots and warbles".
Gary Sutherland
Sort of a pseudo-sequel to Half Past Human by the same author.

Another great book I've read time and again.
Daniel Salvo
Al fin pude leer este libro, después de más de 30 años de haber leído el otro libro de T.J. Bass, "Más que humano". Al fin supe qué fue de OLGA, la Colmena y la humanidad del futuro. Interesantes revelaciones sobre biología y sicología. Estoy seguro que, al igual que el otro libro, volveré a leerlo para profundizar cosas que me han dejado perplejo.
Timothy Keable
Superb. I've read it at least four times now.
"She was a cyborg...Part organic whale, part mechanized ship"

This is going to be awesome...


Better than its '70s mass-market, pulp sci-fi cover design would suggest, but that just makes its shortcomings that much more disappointing.
Dee Mills
This one lives up to its excellent reputation for creative imagination and wonderful writing. I became immersed in this future world. Highly recommend.
Read it decades ago, but still have it on my bookshelf. Fun and different.
Gerry Vogel
The sequel, and partial prequel, to Half Past Human.
The Godwhale is a good natured romp through a future in which humanity has evolved into space travellers, primitive aquatics and the underground Hive, populated by trillions of the aptly named Nebish. Our hero Larry Dever is cut in half in a meaningless accident at the very beginning of the book and placed in suspended animation careening toward a very bizarre future and the discovery of the mysterious equation: gy=c! (but what if it's a really, really small planet at a very great distance? or a ...more
Ian James
I first read this in 1977, I think.
I have re-read it several times.
The scene where Larry Dever becomes a hemi-human is seared into my memory.
Otis Campbell
I can't live without your titanium touch
To lose your techno love would harm me so much
well-written, just not my cup of tea.
Eddie Sellia
Conceptually fascinating. I found it chuck-full of relevant social and environmental commentary as well. However, the story and characters for me lacked any traits that I found to be personally interesting or idiosyncratic. The characters felt flat, two dimensional, all having nearly identical voices. A huge layer of cheese reeked throughout the book. These elements kept me from enjoying it.
Juuso Helander
Themes that this book covers are quite fascinating, but I wouldn't say that it's for everyone. For one like me, that has no background in biochemistry etc, the book was momentarily painful to read. Also, I'd say that the characters felt a bit distant. A few nice moments, but in the end I had to fight to read it through.
Edward Davies
This was a vast improvement on Half Past Human, with the characters feeling much more likeable and realistic. The plot might be just as confusing, but at least the subplots are well rounded and feature humour and drama in equal measure.
So far, really enjoying it.
Brian Barnett
Brian Barnett marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2015
Joshua Grier
Joshua Grier marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Fernando Fitch
Fernando Fitch marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2015
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SF Masterworks Group: The Godwhale by T.J. Bass 1 4 Jul 19, 2013 05:59AM  
  • The Byworlder
  • The Devil Is Dead
  • The Year of the Quiet Sun
  • And Chaos Died
  • The Road to Corlay
  • Assemblers of Infinity
  • Against Infinity
  • Blind Voices
  • The Jagged Orbit
  • Orbital Resonance (Century Next Door, #1)
  • Radix (Radix, #1)
  • Juniper Time
  • Drowning Towers
  • Celestis
  • The Masks of Time
  • The Embedding
  • The Computer Connection
  • Frontera
Thomas Joseph Bassler, author of health & diet related non-fiction under the name Thomas J. Bassler
More about T.J. Bass...

Other Books in the Series

The Hive (2 books)
  • Half Past Human
Half Past Human Die Ameisenkultur The 1973 Annual World's Best SF IF Worlds of Science Fiction, 1970 November-December (Volume 20, No. 8) IF Worlds of Science Fiction, 1970 February (Volume 20, No. 2)

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“I like to think that Man is the highest creature in the Universe – that Earth is the most important planet – and that I am . . . well . . . at least significant.” 0 likes
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