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Code Of The Lifemaker A Novel (Code of the Lifemaker #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  760 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Once, long ago, a robot factory-ship flew too near a star unexpectedly gone nova. After suffering extensive damage, it continued blindly for millennia.

A million years passed...

Then, in the twenty-first century, a colony ship destined for Mars was surreptitiously rerouted to Titan...and only the leaders of the military industrial complex knew why.

In addition to its flight c
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 31st 1985 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,251)
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Kiryn Silverwing
The book starts out pretty good by explaining the beginnings of evolution on this robot world, but then suddenly cuts over to some humans and it pretty much falls apart there.

The next time we cut back to the robots, they might as well be medieval humans from how completely identical they are to people. Why are they bipedal, with eyes and arms and everything in pretty much the same place as humans? Why do they even use the same gestures and body language as humans? Why do they wear clothing in si
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
I really liked this beyond expectation. Those expectations were set by 8 other Hogan books on my shelves I'd been rereading deciding whether or not they'd keep a slot on my precious shelf space--I was finding the answer up to this had been no. They'd 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), took too long to get going--and in the case of Cradle of Saturn too crackpot--t ...more
The prologue is one of the sexiest things I've ever read, and then the actual books begins, and it's unbearably awful.
Victoria Gaile
Three and a half stars.

The prologue was delightful, with its description of how life on Titan evolved. The story was pretty good. There were women characters that were actual characters. The writing was pretty good, although the medeival-esque rendering of Taloid dialogue got annoying.

The story is overtly and comprehensively anti-religion, though, in the usual paradigm that groups believers with gullible fools and dupes over against skeptics and enlightened scientists. Boring and annoying for m
Gary Holt
I was not sure how well this one would hold up, but it did. The premise is fascinating (alien robots, not aliens, yet undergoing evolution/natural selection just the same), and the main character (a con artist with a strong moral streak) and his would-be nemesis (a psychologist trying to unmask him) work perfectly together in the story.

The story has two perspectives, from the humans' and the robots' point of view. The robots are basically undergoing the early stages of the enlightenment (and yes
Rodney Carlson
Feb 26, 2016 Rodney Carlson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I have read this many times before joining Goodreads and have found an opportunity to add a review.

Hogan is one of my favorite authors. He rarely fails to ignite my imagination. I read his books due to the “what if” factor he includes in most of his work.

What if, due to a reasonable explanation (the prolog is awesome) life was silicon based?
What if during the course of their special evolution they developed culture?
What if their culture was antiquated compared to ours?
What if they didn’t unde
While I did enjoy this one, I must say I preferred the "Giants" series. Although a bit dated in its "future" references (e.g. East Germany), the premise is an interesting one. Aliens have a probe scouring the universe for useful materials. When the probe finds one, it builds automated factories that build robots that process raw materials and refine then into products to be shipped back to the aliens. But supernova damages the probe . . .

The probe ends up in our solar system and sets up on Ti
Andromeda M31
The first chapter of this book, detailing the evolution of an alien automated manufacturing plant into a sentient machine society, is itself worth the price of the book.

After this chapter, however, leave the hard science fiction description behind and prepare yourself for a rather slow, but well written treatise on the values of a society based on reason instead of mindless subservience. Human culture on earth is curiously obsessed with psychic phenomena, and into this paranormal limelight step
Jun 11, 2013 L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Hogan's story telling, combined with his writing style, is so marvelous that you almost don't care whether or not there is a plot. Only a few pages in, I found myself laughing out loud. But of course there is a plot and it will be revealed. Meanwhile, I'm just sinking into what promises to be a delightful tale. I mean, we've got computers, computerized factories, and robots run amok; an entire alien species wiped out, which is a shame, because these computers were their design; etc. My favorite ...more
Dan Thompson
Mar 13, 2013 Dan Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd book. It starts with a long prologue that gives the evolutionary history of a machine race on Saturn’s moon Titan, from its inception with a damaged Von Neumann factory ship to mutation, sexual reproduction, competition, and the rise of diverse species and intelligence. Then it sets up a first contact situation between humanity and these machines. We in our spaceships, and they struggling to move past their own equivalent of the stone age.

There are also twin battles going on betwe
After the origin of the Lifemaker culture had been explained, it was a fairly disappointing story about a big bad corporation attempting to exploit a new-found primitive culture for their natural and 'human' resources, similar to the movie "Avatar". The novel doesn't reach the high quality I associate with other works I've read by Hogan.
Aug 12, 2016 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful satire about colonialism brilliantly cloaked in the guise of a sci-fi thriller. I have no idea how Hogan remains so optimistic about humanity, but props to him. I guess this means I should read more of him.
This was an odd book. I LOVED the descriptions of the evolution of machines into sapient beings as well as the contrasting descriptions of forests, etc. between the Men and Robeings. Brilliant.

The book lost points for me in that the Robeings behaved too much like humans. Their societies were based on human medieval structures, they had family units, religions, kings, etc that were just too close to their organic versions of themselves. Hogan started from a brilliant foundation, added in some gre
Dick Baldwin
Also pretty stupid sci-fi, but I got a little caught up in the story, so I enjoyed it a little more than the last one (surprisingly).
Christopher Murphy
Face. Palm.

(But with an amused grin.)
Nov 27, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1984 grade B+
Stephen Davis
Aug 26, 2015 Stephen Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Taking religion and giving it to the robots. Who needs ten commandments when three will do.
Craig Tyler
So the premise of the book, the "big idea" was very original. (Read the back cover for the gist of the story - no spoilers here) However, I found the execution to be wanting. Some of the characters were very strong and well portrayed and others require a scoresheet to keep track of. If you like "near future" sci-fi or something with an unusual premise then I would recommend this book, but if you like far future science fiction without a lot of melodrama then steer clear.
Aug 29, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 06, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How would a world of machines evolve and reproduce? Excellent SiFi, very recommended
Wow. This book reads like it was written by a college freshman who has just taken his first philosophy class. Preachy, ham-handed - I could barely stand to read more than a couple of pages at a time. I kept reading because I thought it had to get better - I was wrong.

Battlefield Earth was a better read.
The first chapter(s) of Hogan's novel is a tightly spun and fast-frame image of mechanical evolution. Really well done. The rest of the novel is fine, but if you want a five-star intro in the best traditions of SF creating a broad scope of time and technology, compressed into a few pages, you have it here.
Scott Rachui
Apr 21, 2011 Scott Rachui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The introductory chapter of this book, in which the evolution of the machine society is described, is worth the purchase price. Hogan does a great job of showing how a rogue extraterrestrial satellite could, over millions of years evolve into an entire society of sentient machines. Truly remarkable book.
Dec 03, 2010 Dave rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
God, this book was agony. It was a great premise, but it ended up being something I dreaded reading every night. That said, it taught me something about skepticism and how charlatans ply their trade, so despite the hamfisted writing style it was worth reading.
Mar 28, 2012 Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In this book, Hogan examines evolution and the perceptions of those at the end of the evolutionary chain, from an angle that is unique in my experience as a reader. I strongly recommend Code of the Lifemaker. (Full review to follow at a later date.)
Feb 16, 2010 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, robots
I enjoyed the story, but I had a problem with the robots. I find it hard to believe that the robot life evolved into humanoid form and early human-like civilization, however Hogan does a good job explaining how they evolved into that form.
Jul 10, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Loved this book! Self reproducing machines on one of the moons of one of the outer planets of the solar system, if I remember right. It's been 20 years or more since I read it, but I do remember being favorably impressed.
Mar 28, 2008 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, fun, and interesting read; a space-opera book about evolution, computer science (by an ex-computer professional, no less), and the art of faking telepathy! This book has it all and it is well-written too.
Joseph Montana
Jul 25, 2012 Joseph Montana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the Gentle Giants series was fantastic, this was phenomenal! The parallels to the evolution of human civilization were riveting. I'd recommend this to anyone!
Mark Palmer
I typically like Hogan's books, and I was exited to read this one. But, I found it very difficult to get through. It really was not what I was expecting.
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Time Travel: help me remember a title 8 51 Feb 18, 2012 07:46AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Code of the Lifemaker (2 books)
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