James P. Hogan's "Inherit the Stars"

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by Ensign_Redshirt, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry, if this has been posted before, but I just finished reading Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan and I found some astonishing parallels to nuBSG's series finale.

    The basic premise of the novel is this: Homo sapiens originally hailed from a planet called Minerva, located between Mars and Jupiter. 50,000 years ago, Minerva was destroyed in a nuclear war and the few survivors of this holocaust managed to get to Earth. There, they quickly replaced the Neanderthals as the dominant species on the planet.

    In the epilogue of the novel an archeological expedition in Africa finds some bones from the original "Minervans". They also dig up the remains of an ancient electronic device which leads the head of the expedition to conclude that it must be some kind of hoax.

    Seems to me that Ronald D. Moore was "aware" of that book. :p
     
  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Tenuous similarity at best, more likely coincidence than awareness.
     
  3. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Depends on how you define "tenuous".

    "The survivors of a nuclear holocaust from a another planet land on Earth 50,000 years ago and become our ancestors" isn't exactly what I'd call "tenuous similarity".
     
  4. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Very thin, much like that vague description. Unless you frame the descriptions as thinly as you have, Inherit the Stars and the book's sequels, have nothing in common with BSG, new or old.
     
  5. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That premise in the new BattleStar Galactica came from the old BattleStar Galactica, not Hogan. Possibly Hogan got the idea from the old BattleStar Galactica but it could also have come from old short stories where a man and woman astronaut turned out to be Adam and Eve.

    These are legendarily bad, and I can't quite recall personally reading any. I do seem to have some vague notion of a TV episode on something somewhere in antediluvian times (akak my youth.)

    But their ill fame was so great that Alfred Bester wrote a very famous short story of his own titled something like "Adam with No Eve." A single astronaut returns to an Earth reduced to a cinder and laments as I recall that he can't live out one of those stories. The punch line is that his decaying body restores bacterial life to Earth, leading again to the process of evolution of multicellular life forms and eventually intelligence. Alfred Bester's SF floruit was the Fifties and Sixties! It was a return to writing when he published in the Seventies.

    Trust me, Moore didn't have to read Hogan.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, that whole "Life here began out there" meme was quite common in SF of the '50s, '60s,and '70s, not to mention UFO/ancient-astronaut lore of the same era, which is where Glen Larson cribbed it from in the first place. It arguably has roots in ancient mythologies positing that humans were the descendants of earlier, superior races, like the Ancient Greek belief in the Seven Ages of Man. There's probably some basis in reality for those myths as well, since there have been various times in history when fairly advanced permanent settlements, cities, and civilizations have gone into decline due to shifting climates, disease, or war and their peoples have migrated elsewhere and resumed simpler lives, their descendants retaining lore of more advanced forebears. So, like just about everything you can find in fiction, it's an idea that has roots going back throughout the history of human experience.

    The "surviving nuclear holocaust" theme was also common in fiction during the Cold War, for reasons that should be self-evident. And it's natural enough to combine that with the other trope. Heck, there was a Twilight Zone episode in the early '60s in which two astronauts who'd fled a destroyed world and settled a new one turned out be named Adam and Eve -- and that story was already a cliche even then, as stj indicates.
     
  7. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^Yes! Twilight Zone. Thank you.
     
  8. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, it's not even significant enough to call "tenuous." It's neither original to that novel nor a particularly obscure skiffy premise, so your point fails.

    Here's another one you may not have heard: "Two people survive the nuclear war, one man and one woman. Their names: Adam and Eve."

    Lather, rinse, repeat.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I like the version where their names are Kryp and Ton.
     
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Like the previous posts said, this idea of "ancient astronauts" coming to Earth is nowhere near original. BSG may be the most famous incarnation of it, but it was certainly not the first.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I really enjoyed the novel.

    :)
     
  12. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

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    The Twilight Zone episode starred Charles Bronson and an young, very hot, Elizabeth Montgomery.
     
  13. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's an excellent novel.

    It has some not-excellent sequels.