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 again. Some people see this as an opportunity to... Read More
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 — (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…
To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer
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 Recorded Books’ audiobook version narrated by Paul Hecht. Joe Miller’s... Read More
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.
Khokarsa — (1974-1976) Publisher: Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa collects for the first time anywhere Philip José Farmer’s epic Khokarsa cycle, including the never-before-published conclusion to the trilogy, The Song of Kwasin. In Hadon of Ancient Opar, the young hero Hadon journeys from his outpost city to the heart of the ancient African empire of Khokarsa, battling in the Great Games for the chance to win the king’s crown. But just as Hadon stands upon the precipice of victory, the tyrannical King Minruth usurps the throne and overturns the beneficent, centuries-old rule of the priestesses of Kho. Now Hadon must set out upon a hero’s journey unlike any other–to hunt down a living god and return with his bounty. The saga continues in Flight to Opar, as a decree by the oracle hurtles Hadon upon a perilous quest that will determine the fate of the next twelve millennia. In The Song of Kwasin, Hadon’s herculean cousin returns to Khokarsa after long years of exile in the Wild Lands. But soon Kwasin finds that in order to clear his name he will have to take up the cause against King Minruth himself and stop him before he fulfills his mad quest for immortality high atop the sun god’s bloody ziggurat.
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.
The Evil in Pemberley House — (2009) Publisher: For over thirty years, readers have marveled at Philip JosÃƒÂ© 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.
Up 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.