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The Jesus Incident (The Pandora Sequence #1)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  3,212 ratings  ·  78 reviews
A determined group of colonists are attempting to establish a bridgehead on the planet Pandora, despite the savagery of the native lifeforms, as deadly as they are inhospitable. But they have more to deal with than just murderous aliens: their ship's computer has been given artificial consciousness and has decided that it is a God. Now it is insisting - with all the not in ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 15th 1987 by Ace (first published April 1st 1979)
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
438th out of 4,572 books — 16,250 voters
2001 by Arthur C. ClarkeI, Robot by Isaac AsimovDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickNeuromancer by William GibsonThe Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
Best artificial intelligence books
20th out of 124 books — 251 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
This is my favorite book of all time. I've read it numerous times and own several copies although it's out of print. I gave a little seminar thing on it once. I tried to use it as the foundation of my Master's thesis but my advisor said there was too much to say about it and to save it for my PhD.

And yet I can't review it. Perhaps that's the reason: what I have to say would be a dissertation. So anything I could write here would be insufficient.

So I'll just tell you I love it because the main
Bev Hankins
Once upon a time in a science fictional decade far, far away there was an author named Frank Herbert. He wrote a novel called Dune and it was good. He wrote a few more Dune-related books and they were a mixture of good and bad. And he wrote a book called The White Plague and it was good as well. And then he joined up with another author (a poet) named Bill Ransom and wrote a novel called The Jesus Incident--and completely lost this member of his audience.

After having this novel (and its two comp
Dee W.
Looking back, I wish I had read Destination: Void first. This book is the sequel but can be read alone. My nature will demand the first book before I can read the third, however. There is a lot of material that takes a lot of thought within these books.

To expect less is to sell Frank Herbert short. It sounds lame to say, but being a scientist Herbert is thorough if he's anything. His books do not read like fluff, even when they are more watered down or abstract than hard science (i.e. Dune, etc)
First off, this book is listed on Goodreads as Voidship #2. That's like listing the Fellowship of the Rings as The Hobbit #2. It's wrong, but the analogy of the connection is right.

I love this series - it's from my favorite series from my favorite science fiction author. This is why I just re-read this book before passing it on to a friend.

Did you ever play the old Civilization games? Remember the odd scientific-statements that accompanied hallmarks of growth in a civilization? I guarantee whoev
If you've read and loved Dune, this is definitely worth a read. Herbert teams up with a poet (Bill Ransom) to tell a great sci-fi story, which I just now found out from wiki is the second in a four part series!

Whoops I gotta read the first one ("Destination:Void"), and then re-read this one and the equally good sequel "The Lazarus Effect." And then read the final one ("The Ascension Factor").

I have a lot of work to do.
Veronica Sicoe
'Destination: Void' was amazing in and of itself, but 'The Jesus Incident' took the whole of D:V's challenging concepts to another level! Absolutely amazing book, bursting with provocative ideas and multi-layered characters.
Natasha M
Almost as good as Dune. I love the Avata. I claimed the name...
Nov 08, 2014 Brad rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: own, sci-fi, read-sf, 2014
The Jesus Incident is science fantasy full of characters and scenes lacking verisimilitude and has an awful conclusion that delivers a simplistic theological message. Comparing God Emperor of Dune with The Jesus Incident makes it difficult to believe that Herbert had much to do with the writing of this book.

From the begining the reader is faced with the challenge of accepting that a ship has god-like powers and abilities. These abilities include telepathy without regard to distance or time, omn
Those who've read Dune will recognize many of the themes in The Jesus Incident: leadership and how leaders manipulate society, scarcity of resources, civil/human/individual rights, ecology, and religion. Though this book is called The Jesus Incident, and includes a scene in which one of the characters witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, this is not a "Christian fiction" novel, and the religious themes are not overwhelming. Rather, their inclusion is a vehicle to demonstrate religious ...more
Scott Rhee
To fully appreciate (and possibly understand) Frank Herbert's "The Jesus Incident", one should probably read his novel "Destination: Void", which I actually think is a better novel. Herbert wrote "D:V" in 1965, and he wrote "TJI" (along with Bill Ransom) in 1979. A semi-sequel to "D:V", "TJI" takes place literally thousands of years after the events of "D:V". Raja Flattery, one of the four characters from the first novel, is awakened from his hyper-sleep on board the ship Earthling, now simply c ...more
Aug 19, 2008 Jess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
Quick Review: Interesting, but not my style

Long-winded, rambling review (minor spoilers):

While I really liked the idea of an omnipotent spaceship floating around in space, making and destroying worlds, messing around in people's heads, and demanding that everyone WorSHIP it, I'm not so sure about some of the other things in this book.

One thing that irked me was the attitudes of the male characters towards the females. Now, I'm sure that some of this can be explained by the fact that this book w
In Herbert's 'Destination: Void' human clones were forced to achieve an A.I.-breakthrough with their colony space craft's computer in order to survive. 'The Jesus Incident' is set countless years after that, with the sentient craft, known as Ship, worshiped as a deity by the humans ship-side and those scrabbling out an existence on the dangerous planet of Pandora (and there are disbelievers among the humans as well). Ship does seem to possess god-like powers, and is on the verge of wiping out th ...more
Cian Beirdd
This novel felt like FH had went off the deep end. There are amazing alien life-forms, plots and sub-plots galore, that sentient ship, clones, genetic tampering, so much I don't often read about in other Sci-Fi. I loved the concept of the sentient planet, too, definitely something ripped off in 'Avatar' and used well here as a device for understanding our own world. And there is clearly a lesson in one character's viewing of the Jesus Incident.

As usual, the odd writing style makes things difficu
Philana Walker
Gripping. Religious-based, like Dune, but very edgy and compelling. The savior of humanity and the choices and sacrifices made in the name of human survival. If you enjoyed Dune then you will absolutely love The Jesus Incident.
DNF @ 36%

I am sorry for Frank Herbert, as I enjoyed very much Dune and I hoped I would enjoy this one too. But I am forced to abandon it as I am too tired of the lack of explanations for most of the concepts presented and the conflict does is not presented in the best favorable light. I sensed it has some great ideas, but are not put into the best form.

I am also curious to see the final rating, as I would usually rate the books I did not finished with a 1 star, but I am sure it has also some goo
Despite thinking about it at length, I'm still unsure why I found this book so unapproachable. Maybe it was because none of the characters stood out to me as particularly interesting or well fleshed out. So many characters seemed to differ in name only. Initially I thought Waela would be my favorite character because her introduction was the most interesting, seeing her perched stealthily on a cliff side watching the hostile savannah around her. But after a time she seemed no more interesting th ...more
Mike Smith
This book is set in the same universe as an earlier book: "Destination: Void". I may have read the first book, but it would have been a long, long time ago. I think it might help to have read Destination: Void before reading The Jesus Incident to help provide some context for the situation.

This book drops us into the middle of an ongoing crisis where crew members of a sentient, god-like spaceship known as Ship are struggling to establish a viable colony on the planet Pandora, whose native lifefo
This was a ponderous and unenjoyable slog through an attempt at religious commentary set at the backdrop of a new colony on a distant planet. The ecology of the planet was interesting, but the Gaia/Avata references that got repeatedly pounded into your skull were wholly unsubtle. We get it already, (white) man bad--nature good. As a committed environmentalist, I find this sort of attitude unhelpful and rather insulting. Nearly all of the characters were nasty, unpleasant, unoriginal (especially ...more
Jonathan Hockey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
...The Jesus Incident is a curious book. It is clearly a little rough around the edges, not quite as good as it might have been. On the other hand, it is a book that contains a lot of ideas that are key to Herbert's writing. Apart from the works in the Dune universe this book is probably the most ambitious project in his oeuvre. It is clearly recognizable as a novel by Herbert but the collaboration with Ransom does steer a number of familiar themes in a different direction. This new angle makes ...more
It was far under my expectations. I didn't get why the Golgota incident was introduced in the book and why there's a character named Jesus. I didn't get why the clones should be monsters fearing and running from Pandora monsters, which in the end where not monsters at all, but only a big thinking civilized thing called Avata. But the Avata thinking civilized thing is enjoying eating colonists and is only talking with poets. And why the child is called Vata? An I have many other whys. Maybe readi ...more
Now the ship has conscious it has decide its god. First order from Ship/God is how are you going to worship. This is a very sudden start I was not a fan. We meet a poet called kerro who talks to ship regularly. Ship don't talk to many people. Then we meet Kerro friend from childhood Hiel who is a doctor. These to are spilt as kerro is sent off the ship to work on the planet. The plant contaisn many dangours creatures like. Many people and clones live in fear of them. This making living on the pl ...more
Lady Shahrizai
If you're an ecology-minded individual who reads sci-fi with a passion, enjoys political intrigue/environmental battle, and remains open to sexual perversion in literature, The Jesus Incident is really the first of a trilogy (i.e.: The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect & The Ascension Factor). Although it is categorized as Destination: Void, #2, The Jesus Incident can be read and thoroughly enjoyed without having read the former. (I still haven't ... even after all these years.) Anyway, whi ...more
David Teachout
For we have created god in our image and then forgotten that we were an essential part of that process. Here is the essence of this story, epic in scope, profound in thought and inspiring in its portrayal of the inherent spiritual focus in humanity. We act out our impulses without any knowledge of where they come from and then ascribe an external power due to our ignorance, all along it is the humanity behind the human, the force behind the form that we tap into in every creative genius. There a ...more
Unlike D:V where he was bogged down by science, in TJI Herbert is back in his element of The Far Future where he can let the fantasy sprawl out.

And like every other Herbert book I've read, I spent the first 100-150 pages unable to get a good grasp on keeping the characters straight. The saga is just too vast. This is great, but punishing.

Don't get fooled by the size of the tableau, though. This is not really a story about the humans, or the clones, or the wildlife. It's a story about being God.
Sarah (Tail-Kinker)
Frank Herbert saw that humans can posses deeper understandings of the universe around them, and that often in everyday life we don't look inward closely enough to realize our own potential.

This book is definitely written in classic Herbert style...I've been taking much longer to finish this book than many other lighter reads. While the style is similar to the Dune series, the unexplicit message within the text is harder for me to discover in this series.

But I am enjoying it immensely and it's h
Overall a good read. You don't really need to read the first book in the series (Destination: Void) before this one. It is a good story on its own. It touches on a lot of topics from artificial intelligence, time/space travel, and cloning to religious violence, racism, and environmental issues. So its pretty much got it all. Decent characters to hate and some to root for.

If you like Dune, you will like this. It has the detailed character building and build up to an epic ending of the story, jus
I was never motivated to give this book my full attention and I read it in short pieces over a long period. Normally, I get way into deep science fiction, but I was never fully drawn in here. I appreciate that some people may find profound meaning and symbolism that speaks to them with "Jesus Incident," just not me.
This is actually the first book I've read from the "Destination: Void" series, but the fact that it has a prequel doesn't cause that many problems. The new conditions (new planet, different environment, new characters etc) make this readable even if you skip the first book.

If you've read "Dune" you'll probably recognize some of the grand themes in these series, from the religious aspect to tyrants and manipulations. But don't worry, this is not an alternative "Dune"; it's a whole new universe wi
Cannot finish, too complicated. And i loved Dune.
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Frank Herbert was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author.

He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classi
More about Frank Herbert...

Other Books in the Series

The Pandora Sequence (5 books)
  • Destination: Void (Destination: Void, #1)
  • The Lazarus Effect (Destination: Void, #3)
  • The Ascension Factor (Destination: Void, #4)
  • The Pandora Sequence: The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, The Ascension Factor
Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2) Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #3) The Great Dune Trilogy  God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #4)

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