Friday, December 21, 2007

Novel: To Your Scattered Bodies Go

(1971) Philipe José Farmer

The concept seemed intriguing. Every human ever having lived and died on Earth awakens all at once in a new world; a heaven consisting only of a wilderness river valley, millions of miles long. There are no modern tools or structures present but for a food delivery system resembling the replicators of Star Trek. Historical figure, adventurer Richard Burton is the lead character who sets out to solve the riddle of their new existence that has quickly turned territorial and violent.

By the end of this book his efforts have only unveiled a collection of testimony without evidence as to the validity of any of it. There are four more books in the series which apparently will add up to one complete story. Book-one on its own amounts to little. Presumably the work was split into impotent minor books for the purpose of milking profits or perhaps because the alternative - a sci-fi mega-book was not a marketable entity in the seventies.

The writing lacks the subtlety I adore but is just competent, creative and intelligent enough, and its blunders few and benign enough that I’ll give book-two, The Fabulous Riverboat a read. I’m curious enough about where this story is going.

1 comment:

Suki said...

That sounds like a book worth reading. I think i'll get back to fiction soon :P.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.