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Philip Jose Farmer

Philip Jose Farmer(1918-2009)
Philip Jose Farmer won several Hugo and Nebula awards for his fantasy and science fiction. He died in his sleep on February 25, 2009. Here’s his website.

Riverworld

Riverworld —  (1971-1983) Bangsian fantasy. Available in audio formats. Publisher: All those who ever lived on Earth have found themselves resurrected — healthy, young, and naked as newborns — on the grassy banks of a mighty river, in a world unknown. Miraculously provided with food, but with no clues to the meaning of their strange new afterlife, billions of people from every period of Earth’s history — and prehistory — must start again. Sir Richard Francis Burton would be the first to glimpse the incredible way-station, a link between worlds. This forbidden sight would spur the renowned 19th-century explorer to uncover the truth. Along with a remarkable group of compatriots, including Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the Victorian girl who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland), an English-speaking Neanderthal, a WWII Holocaust survivor, and a wise extraterrestrial, Burton sets sail on the magnificent river. His mission: to confront humankind’s mysterious benefactors, and learn the true purpose — innocent or evil — of the Riverworld…

Philip Jose Farmer Riverworld review 1. To Your Scattered Bodies Go 2. The Fabulous Riverboat 3. The Dark Design 4. The Magic Labyrinth 5. The Gods of Riverworld Philip Jose Farmer Riverworld review 1. To Your Scattered Bodies Go 2. The Fabulous Riverboat 3. The Dark Design 4. The Magic Labyrinth 5. The Gods of Riverworld Philip Jose Farmer Riverworld review 1. To Your Scattered Bodies Go 2. The Fabulous Riverboat 3. The Dark Design 4. The Magic Labyrinth 5. The Gods of Riverworld Philip Jose Farmer Riverworld review 1. To Your Scattered Bodies Go 2. The Fabulous Riverboat 3. The Dark Design 4. The Magic Labyrinth 5. The Gods of Riverworld Philip Jose Farmer Riverworld review 1. To Your Scattered Bodies Go 2. The Fabulous Riverboat 3. The Dark Design 4. The Magic Labyrinth 5. The Gods of Riverworld

To Your Scattered Bodies Go: The Riverworld is fascinating

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To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer

After he died, the famous 19th century explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton wasn’t surprised to find that what the Christian priests had taught about the Resurrection wasn’t true. But he was totally bewildered by what actually happened. He woke up young, hairless, naked, and turning in midair (as if on a spit) in the middle of 37 billion other young, hairless, naked and rotating humans. Soon after waking, the bodies — all the people over the age of five who had ever lived — plunged to the ground and began their new lives together in a giant river valley... Is this Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or is it some huge social experiment being run by aliens?

Most of the humans, happy that their basic needs are being met, are content to just be living agai... Read More

The Fabulous Riverboat: In which we learn very little about Riverworld

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The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer

To Your Scattered Bodies Go, the first of Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld novels, was a fast-paced, highly creative, and extremely exciting story, so I was eager to continue the tale in the second novel, The Fabulous Riverboat. This part of the story of mankind’s resurrection onto a million-miles-long stretch of river valley focuses on Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) — one of the people who’ve been contacted by a traitor who hopes to use twelve special humans to disrupt the plans of the creatures (gods? aliens?) who are responsible for the Resurrection.

At the beginning of The Fabulous Riverboat, we meet Sam Clemens and his 800 lb Neanderthal bodyguard named Joe Miller. (Note: I highly recommend Rec... Read More

Khokarsa

Khokarsa — (1974-1976) Publisher: Twelve thousand years ago the great lost city of Opar was in its prime, with its Atlantean tradition, its fabled jewels, its living goddess and Hadon, son of ancient Opar, whose claim to a throne launches him upon an enthralling and dangerous venture.

Khokarsa novels:                                                  Omnibus edition contains The Song of Kwasin:
fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews                  fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Hadon of Ancient Opar: Farmer plays in Burroughs’ world

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Hadon of Ancient Opar by Philip Jose Farmer

To most general readers of science fiction, Philip Jose Farmer is probably best known as the creator of the RIVERWORLD series, and possibly also as the Golden Age writer who brought sex into the Science Fiction scene through his stories “The Lover” (1952) and Flesh (1960). He also loved to dabble in other author’s created universes, to the extent that he wrote numerous pastiches and fictional “biographies” purportedly by and about such characters as Edgar Rice BurroughsTARZAN, Kurt Vonnegut’s KILGORE TROUT, and DOC SAVAGE, just to name a few. Fans of Burroughs’ Tarzan books will probably remember that the erudite “ape-man” visited a... Read More

Magazine Monday: Asimov’s, February 2014

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The first of three novelettes in the February 2014 issue of Asimov’s is Derek Künsken's “Schools of Clay,” a space opera that is almost incomprehensible. It concerns a race of beings that is modeled on bees, apparently, with queens, workers and new generations of princesses. These beings mine asteroid belts and seem to be partly machine and partly organic (though their nature is never spelled out, one of the serious shortcomings of this story). Some of these beings have souls, and some do not, though what “soul” means in this context is unclear. Diviya is the viewpoint character, a medic or mechanic or both, caught between castes. And he is a revolutionary, for the workers have become dissatisfied with their status. A need for the colony to migrate — a pod of predatory shaghāl has come after the colony, beings whose nature and aims are not explained — comes too early for the plans of the revolutionaries,... Read More

Science Fiction Super Pack #1: A generally above-average anthology

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Science Fiction Super Pack #1 edited by Warren Lapine

Like the companion fantasy volume, Science Fiction Super Pack #1, edited by Warren Lapine, only has one story I didn't think was good, and it's a piece of Lovecraft fanfiction. H.P. Lovecraft's overwrought prose doesn't do much for me even when Lovecraft himself writes it, and much less so when it's attempted by imitators. And Lovecraft's stories at least have something frightening that happens in them; these two stories (in this volume and the other) only have visions of aspects of the Mythos and crazy people ranting, which isn't scary or interesting. Everything else was good, occasionally even amazing.

Again like the fantasy volume, it more ... Read More

Fantasy Super Pack #1: Something for everyone

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Fantastic Stories Presents: Fantasy Super Pack #1 edited by Warren Lapine

Fantasy Super Pack #1 , which is available for 99c in Kindle format, is an enormous collection of 34 stories presumably showcasing the taste of the editor of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, an online magazine. As I'm interested in submitting to the magazine, I picked it up, and thoroughly enjoyed most of the stories, none of which I remembered reading before though I'd heard of several of them.

I like stories that have a narrative arc, that build tension and then resolve it at the end, more than the currently-fashionable type of story that just stops at a thematic moment (or, I often suspect, when the author runs out of ideas). Based on this collection, Lapine also likes the narrative-arc kind of... Read More

More by Philip Jose Farmer

World of Tiers — (1965-1993) The first omnibus contains the first three World of Tiers novels: The Maker of Universes, The Gates of Creation, A Private Cosmos. The second omnibus contains The Lavalite World, Behind the Walls of Terra, More than Fire. Publisher: The Tiers series chronicles the adventures of both Robert Wolff, a man from our world transported through space-time to a cosmos with dimensions and laws different from our own, and Kickaha the Trickster (a.k.a. Paul J. Finnegan, also from our contemporary world). Separately and together, the two heroes contend against the Lords who rule the separate universes, of which the marvelous many-leveled World of Tiers is the center. Mythological and legendary creatures and characters abound: centaurs and harpies, mermaids and Indians, aliens and beautiful women.

book review Philip Jose Farmer World of Tiers novels: The Maker of Universes, The Gates of Creation, A Private CosmosPhilip Jose Farmer World of Tiers The second omnibus contains The Lavalite World, Behind the Walls of Terra, More than FirePhilip Jose Farmer World of Tiers 6. Red Orc's Rage


Dayworld — (1984-1990) Publisher: The New Era, several thousand years in the future, seems a utopia. War, poverty, hunger and pollution are all obsolete. Overpopulation has been handled by dividing the population into seven groups, each fraction living one day a week while the others await in suspended animation. Farmer’s Dayworld chronicled the life of a man whose unique abilities allowed him to assume a different identity for each day. As this sequel opens, he has been caught and is being questioned. Escaping from his Manhattan prison, he flees to the wilds of New Jersey, falling in with a rebel group hiding out in caves. Along with them, he journeys to Los Angeles and contacts a larger subversive organization bent on radical change.

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Stand-alone novels:

The Evil in Pemberley House Philip Jose FarmerThe Evil in Pemberley House — (2009) Publisher: For over thirty years, readers have marveled at Philip José Farmer’s inventive integration of popular fiction and literature’s most beloved characters, in a mythical web known as the Wold Newton Family. First described in the fictional biographies Tarzan Alive: The Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Farmer expanded his Wold Newton mythos in novels such as The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, Time s Last Gift, Hadon of Ancient Opar, Flight to Opar, The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan Novel, and Escape from Loki: Doc Savage’s First Adventure. The Evil in Pemberley House, an addition to the Wold Newton cycle, plays with the Gothic horror tradition. Patricia Wildman, the daughter of the world-renowned adventurer and crimefighter of the 1930s and ’40s, Dr. James Clarke “Doc” Wildman, is all alone in the world when she inherits the family estate in Derbyshire, England old, dark, and supposedly haunted. But Farmer, characteristically, turns convention on its ear. Is the ghost real, or a clever sham? In Patricia Wildman, Farmer creates an introspective character who struggles to reconcile the supernatural with her rational scientific upbringing, while also attempting to work through unresolved feelings about her late parents. He sets the action at Pemberley from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and ingrains the various mysteries in the Canon of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The Evil in Pemberley House is a darkly erotic novel with broad appeal to readers of pulp and popular literature, particularly followers of Doc Savage, Sherlockians, and fans of Farmer’s own celebrated Wold Newton Family.


fantasy book reviews Philip Jose Farmer Up the Bright RiverUp the Bright River — (2010) Publisher: This first posthumous collection of the short fiction of Philip Jose Farmer is a celebration of the impressive variety of his prodigious output, from the space adventures he published in the science fiction magazines of the 1950s through the 1970s, to his acerbic satires of religion and medicine, to his fictional biographies and memoirs, to his beloved Riverworld. Appearing for the first time in a Philip Jose Farmer collection are his last three ‘Riverworld’ stories — featuring characters from his own family history — as well as the ‘memoir’ of Lord Greystoke which he claimed to have merely edited. Other highlights include ‘Attitudes,’ the first of the Father Carmody stories; ‘The Two-Edged Gift,’ which introduces the fictional science fiction writer Leo Queequeg Tincrowdor; ‘Toward the Beloved City’ (about which its original editor said he had never before really understood the Book of Revelations); and ‘Father’s in the Basement,’ a little-known Gothic horror tale which is also a satire of the writing profession. Farmer created some of the most famous worlds in science fiction, but he also wrote in many worlds, and readers familiar only with his best-known classics may find a few surprises among these tales.


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