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1. Image of the Beast
2. Riverworld: Including To Your
3. Strange Relations
4. The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
5. Tongues of the Moon
6. Queen of the Deep
7. Image of the Beast / Blown: An
8. The Magic Labyrinth
9. A Private Cosmos (World of Tiers,
10. The Other in the Mirror
11. Flesh
12. The Dark Design (Riverworld Saga)
13. The Green Odyssey
14. Two Hawks From Earth
15. Dayworld
16. Gods of Riverworld
17. Riverworld and Other Stories (Riverworld
18. To Your Scattered Bodies Go
19. The World of Tiers: Volume Two
20. The Further Adventures of Sherlock

1. Image of the Beast
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 255 Pages (2007-11-30)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1902197240
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Award-winning author Philip José Farmer’s 1960s Science Fiction porn epic. Comprising The Image Of The Beast – An Exorcism, Ritual One, and Blown – An Exorcism, Ritual Two. This mind-blowing classic conjures a universe of unrelenting sexual degradation and horror.Private dick Herald Childe is sent a snuff movie of his partner being hideously murdered. His pursuit of the killers leads him into a waking nightmare of sexual brutality and supernatural bestiality, as he becomes entangled with sex-starved she-ghosts, libidinous snake-women, a filthy human sow, and a she-creature who gives birth to an ectoplasmic simulacrum of Satanic child-killer Gilles de Rais. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be shocked...
It is good to know it is possible to be surprised by Philip Jose Farmer.

4-0 out of 5 stars halucinatory horrible and hilarious
Hopefully someone with guts and money will make at least 1 of these 2 stories into the CGI B Movie classics they deserve to be; a fantastic playground for the bizarre beast that is the human imagination. *Almost* Lovecraftian porn. Science Fiction writers in trouble, succubi lensed snuff films, interdimensional war, and Famous Monsters of Filmland - why don't more books feature these subjects?!? When you're tired of reading about the human condition and want to read about inhuman conditions, Farmer's books are here with cheap thrills galore. And really, the writing is better than it has to be to make this kind of subject matter entertaining (more than worth the time for fans of "extreme" or whatever trendy tag you want to put on it.) Thanks Phil!!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars A pornographic gothic novel....
Farmer had two mixed genre pornographic novels that I'm aware of. "A Feast Unknown" pitted Doc Savage against Tarzan in a mildly pornographic fight to the death. "Image of the Beast," with itstitle from the Book of Revelation, is a nicely pornographic gothic novelwith an interweaving of bad science-fiction overtones. "Blown,"the sequel, rather ruins the effect of the main novel, actually. Farmer'simagination ruins his art in the sequel. I've known several people whofound the more sadistic scenes in "Image" to be arousing.

5-0 out of 5 stars or one star, depending on your perspective
This is, without a doubt, the strangest book I've ever read.Havingwritten the above, I feel compelled to add that "strange" is acriminal understatement and that no amount of extreme adjectives can dojustice to this book.The copy I have is coupled with "Blown,"the completion of the story begun with "Image of the Beast."Imade the mistake of reading this when I was sick a few years back, unableto do anything, feeling as though I was on my deathbed, and soon fearedthat this hellish, disturbing, nightmare-inducing, stomach-turning THINGwas the last thing I would ever read.I think it actually made mesicker.

Don't take all of the above as a dismissal, though.I've nevertaken the time to really pick apart the mechanism that makes this book run(I don't have that strong of a stomach), but there is something underneathall the horror and sex and violence that just pulls you along.Farmertakes the sexual themes of some of his earlier works and goes waaaaaaayover the top with them.It really messes with you in a number of differentways.

Fans of the Riverworld series and some of Farmer's other novelsshould be warned about this book before reading it.Although it has anumber of elements that are representative of some of his major themes, itis like nothing else he has ever written.Nothing can prepare you forreading this, and once you've read it, you'll never be able to forget it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Raymond Chandler meets DeSade at an Anne Rice cocktail party
I read this book perhaps 15 years ago; it is a re-print, I believe, of an old story of Farmer's called "Blown."(More on that title later.)Fans of P.J. Farmer are familiar with his fascinating attempts to meld canonical fantasy/horror figures with a more current perspective, while throwing in kinky sex and a strong sci-fi overlay.This is a "textbook" example.The protagonist is Harold Childe, a private detective in what appears to be 1980's Los Angeles.He doesn't know it, but "Childe Harold" is the re-incarnation of Geoge Gordon, Lord Byron, the sexually irrepressible English Romantic poet.The book opens with Harold and a high-ranking LAPD official watching a film that has been sent to them; the film depicts, in horrifying detail, the mutilation/murder of a buddy of Harold's.The victim is tied down, an attractive young woman fellates him, and then she slips in a razor-sharp metal mothpiece and bites off the victim's penis, while a male accomplice clad in a Dracula costume looks on.(This scene, redolent of every male's castration nightmares, horrified me as an adolescent; but Farmer, because of his innate skill as a writer, manages to bring it off in a way that is not ludicrous or hackneyed, but rather, for lack of a better term, "gripping" despite its horrific nature.)From there, the story follows Harold's attempts to discover who or what murdered his friend.In the process, Harold encounters a variety of sleazy Hollywood creatures who are not what they seem, including a slutty actress who has a creature living inside her vagina, and that creature turns out to be the re-incarnation of the medieval French general and sadist, Gilles de Railles.(Weird??? Hell, yeah!) Eventually, Harold discovers that this motley gallery of semi-human monsters have extra-terestrial origins, like himself, and that he is the "Captain" for whom they have long waited , to lead them back to their origin in the stars.I've given away entirely too much, but what I found compelling about this book was that Farmer takes a subject matter that lends itself to absurdity and parody, but creates something strong and distinctive, through his own inimitable dark word-craft.Not what you'd necessarily expect from the author of the "Riverworld" series, but certainly intriguing. ... Read more

2. Riverworld: Including To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-03-30)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$7.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765326523
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

"Charts a territory somewhere between Gulliver's Travels and The Lord of the Rings."

To Your Scattered Bodies Go and The Fabulous Riverboat
Combined for the first time in one volume!

Imagine that every human who ever lived, from the earliest Neanderthals to the present, is resurrected after death on the banks of an astonishing and seemingly endless river on an unknown world. They are miraculously provided with food, but with not a clue to the possible meaning of this strange afterlife. And so billions of people from history, and before, must start living again.

Some set sail on the great river questing for the meaning of their resurrection, and to find and confront their mysterious benefactors. On this long journey, we meet Sir Richard Francis Burton, Mark Twain, Odysseus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and many others, most of whom embark upon searches of their own in this huge afterlife.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars What is your idea of heaven?
Heaven, life after death, even Hell, are things that can drive us to endless distraction.Not surprisingly, they are also hot topics for science fiction writers."Riverworld: Including To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat" is Philip Jose Farmer's classic, literary, and often brilliant attempt to deal with this question.In Farmer's vision humanity is resurrected on a world with a river that starts at the north pole, winds a long, circuitous route around the planet, and dumps back into the north pole.At the pole is also an island with a grand building that becomes the goal of the book's protagonists.They devise a variety of schemes to arrive there, all without the aid of modern industry or even any kind of economy.Farmer's vision of humanity is somewhat dark.The one theme that bothers me is the unrepentant evil that Farmer portrays as the defining feature of humanity and their newfound world.While it is not a "hell", per se, Farmer's vision of the afterlife is far more dystopian than utopian, unnecessarily so in many cases.Despite this, River World is a fascinating look at one possible afterlife and the consequences it creates.

5-0 out of 5 stars F J Farmer
I've never been a big science fiction fan, but this series was the best I've read in years. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Pinnacle of Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Riverworld, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, The Fabulous Riverboat, and all the other Riverworld stories are as good as it gets within the genre of fantasy.Imagine a world that is one long riverbank, along which live the entire population of Earth.All their needs are met leaving them with time on their hands to engage in any and all manner of pursuits, both good and evil.You are there among the crowd as are all your family, neighbors, and friends. Among those who play rolls in these books are Richard Francis Burton, Mark Twain, Herman Goering, King John Lackland, Motzart, Tom Mix, and many others.The possibilites for intrigue are endless.Reading this series you will be drawn in to their world to experience life anew.Don't miss out on an opportunity to live on Riverworld if only for the amount of time it takes to read all the books; you won't regret it.I have read the eitire series several times and never get tired of the story.I suspect that once you have read it once, you too will go back and re-read the story also.Were it possible to give Riverworld 10 stars, I'd do so without hesitation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this
I read this book for the first time many years ago, and will read it many more times in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars need the rest of the series now
This was the first time I read anything by Farmer and I loved it! Lots of twists and turns. Since Riverworld was one of the very few books my husband read and liked I thought I would try it. I was not disappointed. Only now need the other three books in the series to become available on the Kindle. ... Read more

3. Strange Relations
by Philip Jose Farmer
Mass Market Paperback: 720 Pages (2008-01-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416555269
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Two complete novels and five novelettes that broke new ground in science fiction and established Philip Jose Farmer as a master of the genre:


The Lovers: One of the most controversial and groundbreaking novels in science fiction. Sent by the religious tyranny of a future Earth to the planet Ozagen, Hal Yarrow met Jeanette, an apparently human fugitive, hiding in ancient ruins built by a long-vanished race. Unconsecrated contact with any female was forbidden to Yarrow—and love for an alien female was an unspeakable abomination. But Yarrow’s lifelong conditioning was no match for his strange attraction to Jeanette.


Flesh: The starship captain had been on a voyage lasting 800 years, and returned to find an Earth ruled by revived ancient pagan rituals. He was crowned the “Sunhero,” which was a very dubious honor . . . and unless he could escape, he would be the guest of honor at a fertility rite which would conclude with his very unpleasant death.


Strange Relations: Five novelettes of unbounded imagination telling of strange—and often deadly—encounters between human and alien.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Spacemen gone wild
I bought this book after hearing of Philip Jose Farmer's death and reading of how he supposedly broke the taboo of sexual themes in science fiction.This book contains the groundbreaking story "The Lovers" (for which publication/expansion dates of 1952, 1961, and 1979 are given).It's a very good read.Central character Hal Yarrow escapes a hellishly frustrating marriage by volunteering for service as a linguistic specialist on mission to a planet populated by bug-like aliens.He cannot as easily escape the bonds of his dogmatic and suppressive religion.Once on the ground, Hal begins to stray from his mission...

Two more "novels" are included in this volume.Of the three, "Flesh" is the raciest.There is no material here that could be called explicit, but this bawdy comedy centers around Peter Stagg who leads a crew of space travelers returning to a future Earth transformed into tribal countries, one of which surgically attaches fleshy antlers to Stagg's head making him their "Sunhero" who must romp around the countryside impregnating crowds of eager virgins.Modern sensibilities might be offended by the episode involving the Pants Elves (the tribe that rules Pants-Elf-vania, and who are all homosexual males).The apparent fury with which Stagg dispatches them in making his escape might be considered gay-bashing.On the other hand, Stagg is pretty much out of control when his antlers are pumped.Make your own allusions.

The third "book" is called "Strange Relations" and is a collection of short stories.The first two are connected.In "Mother", an Earthman participates in an alien's reproductive process, and in "Daughter" one of the progeny heeds well the advice of her "dad".The next segment "Father" is abit of a tease since you might imagine that it is a further continuation, though not obviously so, as we see a planet where a god-like Father holds sway.In the end, no connection to the first two parts is evident, but the story stands on its own as a broad spoof of Christian themes.The fourth part "Son" leaves no doubt.Very straight sci-fi compared to the rest of the book.The final segment "My Sister's Brother" is perhaps the most satisfying story in the volume.While on a spooky rescue mission on a fanciful Mars, spaceman Lane is thrown into a situation both seductive and well outside the bounds of his by-the-book sensibilities.Typical of Farmer's protagonists, he is a musclebound doofus who just might avoid disaster despite himself.

All in all, an interesting and entertaining collection of stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars strange Relations
This book is for "old school" SF readers. If your younger than 40; you might find it unappealing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Three groundbreaking works under one cover
Philip Jose Farmer is another name from the past strongly associated with powerful writing, and STRANGE RELATIONSis an excellent compendium of three of his groundbreaking works under one cover: THE LOVERS, FLESH, and STRANGE RELATIONS. A starship captain sent by Earth's religious rulers discovers a human fugitive hiding in an ancient ruins and finds love too strong to ignore, however illogical or forbidden. His adventures with his new love will change worlds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Early Farmer at is Very Best
This is a collection of three books, the novels THE LOVERS and FLESH and a loose collection of stories called STRANGE RELATIONS, one of which has a Father Carmody story. This handsome edition from Baen should be in everybody's library, everybody, that is, who claims to be a student of science fiction. Farmer was at his best when throwing humans up against alien races in sexual (or reproductive) situations. THE LOVERS, I think, stands as one of his very best novels overall. I had a lot of fun rereading these stories in this new edition. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

4. The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
by Philip Jose Farmer
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (1993-04-15)
list price: US$4.99
Isbn: 0812524683
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

About a hundred years ago, a group of mutant supermen began playing a major role in our affairs. It is no accident that Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Nemo, and Doc Savage were (are?) contemporaries. Nor was it accidental that their biographers titillated their public with hints of their true natures while not daring to part the veil. Just what was it that restrained them from telling all?
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Uncle!
I finally had to admit to myself that I had no desire to read any more of this book.

In theory, a behind-the-scenes look at Verne's Around the World in 80 Days is engrossing. According to Farmer, Fogg really made the trip to further the interests of the Eridani; as part of the secret ongoing Eridani-Capellan war. However, as I have found with many of Farmer's books: the idea is genius - but the execution leaves much to be desired.

2-0 out of 5 stars Tarnishes The Legacy
I'm a huge fan of Verne, so I'll read or watch anything even vaguely connected.I was really excited by the title of this book -- it sounded very Secret Adventures of Jules Verne.

The title is the best part of the book.This is a pointless, self-indulgent romp in a sandbox very far away from anywhere else.The alien presence is not very believable, and the conflict is not particularly engaging.What results is something that is a little bit of a curiosity, but a lot of a waste of time.

Skip this book, it doesn't go anywhere, and still ends up back where it started.

4-0 out of 5 stars Neat Little Book
In retrospect it reminds me a lot of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula, both in terms of concept and style.Enough to make me wonder if Newman wasn't inspired by it.The book claims to be based on a recently discovered manuscript written by the hero of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.This manuscript tells a distinctly different version of the events that Verne recorded.Instead of a wealthy dilletante with a taste for odd wagers, Phileas Fogg is an agent of an alien race who have been conducting a secret war on earth for years.His race around the world is part of this arcane war generally designed to help ferret out Fogg's nemesis: Captain Nemo.This premise alone should give you a feel for the book.Farmer doesn't work in quite so many literary references as Anno Dracula does but he does a great job of weaving his story into the interstices of Verne's novel and inventively "explains" a lot of oddities in the earlier book.He also manages to work in real life mysteries of the time such as the Mary Celeste.The book has a great pulp adventure feel involving secret wars, classic characters, and teleporting watches.There's also an essay in the back which dissects Nemo's character (with an aim towards refuting the idea the speculation that Nemo was a heroic Indian freedom fighter).It also advances the highly original notion that Captain Nemo is none other than Professor Moriarty.

3-0 out of 5 stars Clarifies many odd points in Verne's story!
This book isn't quite a parallel novel to "80 Days;" it is more like a double take of that book.Farmer extends his "World Newton Family" in Verne's classic, and makes Fogg's mission an intergalactic battle against Captain Nemo, who Farmer believes is Professor James Moriarty of the Sherlock stories.

Farmer, one of the greatest student of "Pop Pulp" culture manages to combine the heroes of the popular literary world in to a coherent world system.In Farmer's world, Tarzan is related to Sherlock Holmes, and Doc Savage is the grandson of Jack London's Wolf Larsen.In a certain sense, we all do this on our own.For example, what would have happened in "A Tale of Two Cities" if the Scarlet Pimpernel had saved Sydney Carton from the guillotine?Farmer's "World Newton Family" functions along these lines.He has even made two rough genealogical charts showing who is related to whom.

As Ir ead this book, two things struck me.First, the approach of this book reminds me of Crispin H. Glover's attempts to read new stories into old classics.Secondly, Farmer clarifies many of the odd things about "80 days."How does Fogg know everything about all of the odd lands.How does he know all the schedules of every boat and train everywhere in the world.Why would a man who lived such a controlled and regimented life on a sudden take a trip around the world just to win a bet?

I recommend that you read Verne's book first, and Farmer's second.I didn't do this, and am still regretting it.I kept on reading Farmer's book into Verne's story, and couldn't enjoy Verne's spell.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intergalactic conspiracy!
This book is a must for those who have read Farmer's biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage. Farmer, a pioneer in uncovering the secrets behind literary characters, dares to reveal the intergalactic conspiracy behind Verne'sclassic AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS! ... Read more

5. Tongues of the Moon
by Philip Jose Farmer
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1978-01-01)

Asin: B001MT6AZW
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars This is the Short Story and Not the Novel
This Kindle Edition of "Tongues of the Moon" is the short story that first appeared in Amazing Stories, September 1961; and is not the longer novel version, first published in 1964, that I was expecting. The short story is only the first 20% of the novel. I was shocked that this was not pointed out on the purchase page.

4-0 out of 5 stars Out from the Green World (from a Hugo Winning Writer.)
Man had colonized the planets, and lost his birthright. Civilation was a lonely chain of space stations linked by terror. The Empire kept the pioneers enslaved with a weapon that shatterd any protest into screaming insanity.All they had left was a dream of someday returning home. Until their dream exploded in the holocust that destroyed the Earth.But the embers of their dead planet sparked a brain-blasting revolution that swept the galaxy. A revolution of exiles in an alien universe-with nothing left to lose...
from back cover. ... Read more

6. Queen of the Deep
by Philip José Farmer
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-03-08)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B001UV3K96
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Jones was on his way on a Luxury Liner when it was suddenly blown up. He is captured by a robotic enemy submarine. The secret high-tech sub has a robot with a definite female voice and character and "she" is a weapon of war. It drugs, prods him and even probes his psyche, then announces it needs Jones's help. But Jones's problem is he needs to overcome his claustrophobia of dark places to save himself. And to save himself he needs to save the submarine.This story under the varient title "Son" in Strange Relations. ... Read more

7. Image of the Beast / Blown: An Exorcism
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 320 Pages (2001-11-15)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$29.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1840680288
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Private investigator Herald Childe watches a snuff movie of his partner being brutally murdered. The subsequent pursuit of his killers takes him through the LA smog and into a waking nightmare of sexual brutality and supernatural bestiality: the most extreme and disturbing case of his career. Here presented with the sequel, Blown, The Image of the Beast is award-winning sci-fi writer, Philip Jose Farmer at his best. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars An Apocalyptic Nightmare
WOW!! This is a far-out book, to say the least! Philip Jose Farmer, the best-selling author of the Riverworld series, and winner of 3 Hugo awards for his unique and creative Science Fiction novels, has written an apocalyptic nightmare of a novel with "The Image Of The Beast: An Exorcism" and "Blown," the sequel. Both books, included in this one volume, were originally released 1968 by the Essex House in California, during the days of flower power, hippies and alternative lifestyles. It swiftly became an underground classic. This is not a novel for the faint of heart. Some readers may find it shocking - others, like myself, will think it "campy" and laugh at many of the characters and images. While reading this book I imagined Robert Crumb, creator of the underground Crumb Comics, (remember him?), illustrating a sci-fi comic book, filled with grotesque, malevolent characters, i.e., aliens, ghosts, witches, a satanic child-killer, werewolves, and a chilling snake woman in a tale which gives new meaning to gothic horror, with lots of kinky sex and fetishes thrown in. For those of you who do not remember Crumb, his work has been described as "...barreling out of his acid-drenched id. Basic desires, perversions, and blinding rage..." are what he depicts. Well, that's Crumb and that is "The Image of the Beast."

The storyline is typical enough. It is about a private detective searching for his partner's murderers. All similarities to other novels end here. P.I. Herald Childe views a snuff movie, starring his partner, who is so brutally murdered on screen that even hardened Investigator Childe takes some time-out to hurl. Childe, is driven into smog-ridden LA to pursue the killers. The smog is so bad the air has taken on greenish, foggy overtones and people need gas masks when they go out into the poisonous environment. Then a second film turns up at police headquarters, graphically portraying another murder. Various clues lead Childe to a horrific gothic mansion in the hills above LA, belonging to Baron Igescu, originally from Transylvania. Hmmmm. Here we meet the supernatural beings that make the Alien look like a kitty cat.

Among the topics Childe discusses with Igescu on this first visit, is the concept that an infinite number of universes may occupy the same space. "They can do this because they are all polarized or at right angels to each other....thus it is possible for more than one cosmos to fill the same space." The Baron speculates that there might be "walls between universes with gates or breaks in them" and that an occasional dweller of one universe might go into another. The plot thickens.

I borrowed this book from a dear, but weird friend. I liked it initially - perhaps "like" is not the word. Anyway, I was initially absorbed. About halfway through the plot weakens, and at last comes to a whimper of a conclusion.

"Blown" which follows "The Image of the Beast" is a continuation of the same terrifying fantasy world dragged out of the darkest depth of someone's unconscious mind. Mr. Farmer's? I am giving the novel 3 stars because the writing is excellent and the plot and characters are certainly original. Hard-core gothic sci-fi fans might enjoy this.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Bizarre Mix of Genres along with the Unsafest Sex Ever
Perhaps no published writer has had more fun crisscrossing different genres than Phil Farmer.In this particular volume, he puts a science-fiction overlay on some very traditional gothic horror themes, in the context of a classic detective novel, but don't go thinking you've seen this before.Forget that Farmer's explanations of lycanthrope and vampirism are much further out than anything you've heard previously, because that's not even the tip of the iceberg.What really sets this book apart from the crowd is the infusion of bizarre (often inhuman) sexuality that goes well beyond anything in the annals of science fiction.This isn't just the obligatory sex scene to make a weak book marketable - the wild, sadistic, and often scary sex is almost the main thrust of the book.

Harold Childe isn't exactly the typical hard-boiled private investigator who is so essential to the detective genre, although he's pretty close.But the videotape of his partner's murder is anything but typical, and when he fights through the acid-smog of L.A. to the mansion of a rich eccentric, the reader quickly becomes aware that this is not your father's detective novel.Fans already know that Farmer has a real gift for telling action tales, but how many suspected he was capable of dreaming up such twisted sexual fantasies - many of them terrifying, many of them disgusting, and all of them completely over the top?

The main novel in this book, Image of the Beast, is pretty powerful stuff - a brutal murder, a cynical detective, a misery-laden city, a haunted mansion, extra-terrestrials, deviant sexual behavior - something for everyone, really.By itself, it might rate four stars for sheer audacity if only it had a legitimate ending.Sadly, this story has more loose ends than a shag carpet, and the sequel, originally published as the longish short story "Blown", is just plain silly.Farmer gets away from slam/bang action and the detective format, and starts bringing in references to Byron and Joan of Arc, all to no real purpose.

The three star rating reflects the fact that this book is so unlike anything else this reviewer has ever read, that one might be willing to overlook some of its obvious flaws just on the basis of originality, or perhaps more accurately, audacity.The prudish, the squeamish, and the conventionally logical will probably not like this book at all.Recommended only for adult genre fans who aren't afraid to step through a twisted looking glass.

4-0 out of 5 stars Only Philip Jose Farmer could have written this.
No! This is not new fiction, rather tis an old tome written like no one else could have written it.I love Farmer and have read this duo (more a novel followed by a novella) at least four times.As with so many of Farmer's works, there are plots within the plot.You will discover many truths (at least as defined by Farmer) as you read.Among them: where ghosts come from, how to rape a werewolf, the importance of looking a gift whore in the mouth, and the real story of the holy grail. The sex is truly occult kink at its best (or worst) and mind blowing to say the least.Mr. Farmer's main character is very well written.Some of the side players are weak and a few of them are so weak as to not support their existance in the storyline.My only complaint is that Philip did not see fit to carry on this series.It could have been as good as his World of Tiers novels. If you are an adult who likes a little purple in your life, please read this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Out DatedBook By Today's Standards
The book is a little strange and the language is dated (cira 1960's - 1970's).
The story is about takes place sometime in the future, but never fully explains when in the future it takes place in. The story could take place in the 1980's or 2000's, the author never makes it clear to the reader. The sex is extremely softcore and with some references to homosexual acts, the story moves along at a semi-fast clip.
The charaters in the story are a strange assortment of good, bad and fence sitters
IF you can ignore the outdated langage and descriptions and don't mind some extremely (by today's standards) PG rated sex acts, then this book is for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must be read to be believed
An underground classic, a melding of sci-fi and erotica, this book is like no other you'll ever read. I read it 20 years ago, lent my second hand copy to someone, and never saw it again. Not for children, prudes, or the squeemish. If you think you've read it all, read this. You'll never forget it. ... Read more

8. The Magic Labyrinth
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-11-09)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$12.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765326558
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Reissued to follow the Syfy Channel film of Riverworld, this fourth book in the classic Riverworld series continues the adventures of Samuel Clemens and Sir Richard Francis Burton as they travel through Farmer's strange and wonderful Riverworld, a place where everyone who ever lived is simultaneously resurrected along a single river valley that stretches over an entire planet. Famous characters from history abound.

Now Burton and Clemens, who have traveled for more than thirty years on two great ships, are about to reach the end of the River. But there is a religion, The Church of the Second Chance, that has grown up along the River and its adherents, possibly inspired by aliens, are determined to destroy the riverboats. A coming battle may destroy Burton and Clemens, but even if they survive, how can they penetrate the alien tower of the Ethicals, who created this astonishing world? What can humans do against a race capable of creating a world and resurrecting the entire human race on it?
Amazon.com Review
At the end of The Fabulous Riverboat, Sam Clemens finally set out in the great iron riverboat Not for Hire to reach the headwaters of the massive river on whose shores humanity has been resurrected. After 33years on the river, Clemens and his crew--including the giant subhuman Joe Miller--are finally near the end of their journey, and only one obstacle remains: the evil Earthly king, John Lackland. John is waiting just upriver in the Rex Grandissimus, the first riverboat that Sam constructed and the one that John and his crew hijacked, and he's hell-bent on sinking Sam's boat (and vice versa). Complicating the battle is the fact that both shipslikely contain agents of the Ethicals, the group of advanced beings who created Riverworld for reasons unknown.One or more of the Ethicals themselves may even be on board, as are various humans that the rebel Ethical, known as the Mysterious Stranger (but known to Clemens simply as X), enlisted in his cause, which may or may not lead to humanity's salvation.

The battle is set to take place along the shores populated by members of the Church of the Second Chance, a group that believes they must attain ethical perfection in order to proceed to the next phase of existence. The SecondChancers are not violent, but their charismatic leader, La Viro, may attempt to sink one or both of the iron ships in order to prevent the battle.Among the Second Chancers is former Nazi officer Hermann Goring, who had a run-inwith Sir Richard Francis Burton in the first Riverworld novel, To Your Scattered Bodies Go.Burton and his companions--among them several people who were contacted by the Mysterious Stranger--are reluctantly serving on John's boat in order to reach the headwaters of the river.Butwill any of the humans working for X survive the coming battle?And if so, how can they possibly hope to penetrate the tower in the North Sea where the Ethicals are thought to reside?And what could lowly humans hope to do against a race so advanced that they can reshape entire planets andresurrect all of humanity? --Craig E. Engler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Farmer's"Riverworld" series
Like all of Farmers other "River world" books this one was well written with interesting characters and thought provoking situations .

5-0 out of 5 stars We Will All End Up In Riverworld Someday!
The Magic Labyrinth (1980) is the forth "Riverworld" novel by author Philip Jose Farmer. The other three books are To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971), The Fabulous Riverboat (1971) and The Dark Design (1977). For individuals who are contemplating reading this novel without reading the other three in the series I can only say you will be disappointed and somewhat confused. It is an investment in time and, yes money, to acquire and read the previous three books. If your are an admirer of Farmer's writings or just someone with a desire to become acquainted with one of the most intriguing concepts in science fiction your investments will be worthwhile.
I will not attempt to summarize the plot - there are many better reviewers here on Amazon who can do that better that I. Also sometimes a detailed plot summary can spoil the sense of discovery and wonder that is one of the higher rewards of reading science fiction.
I will state that I have been reading fantasy and science fiction for over 50 years and in my estimation this series ranks among the best the field has every produced. No it's not perfect by any means. Farmer can, well, describe something in 20 pages when 10 would do just fine. At times his Riverworld books read like first drafts than need to be edited. Nonetheless, if you sign on the Riverboat he will draw you into this world and open your mind to ideas and concepts that will resonate with you for a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Riverworld sequals
This is the best of the last 4 of the 5 Riverworld novels purely because of the battle that takes place between the two paddle wheel boats. I was able to visualize this more than anything I have ever read, probably because books 2 & 3 lead up to this moment in book 4, and it was rather satisfying to read. If you have read the first 3 books, you'd be a fool if you didn't read "The Magic Labrynth".

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Riverboat battle.

An improvement on some the tedious discursions that could get annoying in the previous book, although some of this does drag at time.

Mysteries still abound, in and around the John v Sam upcoming riverboat clash.

Whoever gets past that, still has a tower full of something to sort out at the end.

2-0 out of 5 stars The flawed visionary
Science Fiction and Fantasy is a vast genre that encompasses the epic fantasies of J.R.R. Tolkien, the futuristic machine of Jules Verne, the space opera of Star Wars and the teen magic of Harry Potter. Its main requisite is the ability to create compelling other worlds. The successful creator of worlds has the ability to captivate the reader and to draw him from his own existence into the realm of dreams that is the essence of fantasy. Phillip Jose Farmer is a master dimension creator. Tiers, Riverworld and Dayworld are all cleverly conceived realities with a compelling twist of logic.
Master novelists create compelling characters. These constructs of words become more real than historical characters and in some cases seem to become friends of the readers. It is the protagonist who the draws the reader deep into the novel and never releases his grip until that final climax. The creation of believable and entertaining characters is one of Phillip Jose Farmer's abiding flaws. Perhaps knowing this, he has `borrowed' more characters than any writer in history. Whether resurrecting historical figures on the banks of Riverworld or writing as various members of his Wode Newton family, all of whom are borrowed, the author simply procures people who strike his fancy and then turns them into single dimensional characters.
Master writers share a common trait. They write well. Their descriptions invoke vivid images for the reader. Their prose flows smoothly. Their plots cohere. There is none of this in the works of Phillip Jose Farmer. Descriptions are pedestrian, plots often span over half a million words before petering out to nothing and the writing seems to move in fits and starts like a Model A on a cold morning.
Nowhere are these strengths and weaknesses more evident than in the Riverworld Saga. The reality of the Riverworld is brilliantly conceived, but never well communicated. The description of the world varies between scientific and pedestrian as the plot wends its way along the river eating its tail until it has happily consumed itself in pseudo scientific gobbledygook.There are plethora of throw and thrown away protagonists and hence at the climax none. Ultimately the series is a disappointment as much for what might have been as for what was. In the hands of a craftsman Riverworld would have rivaled Middle Earth, however in the hands of its creator... ... Read more

9. A Private Cosmos (World of Tiers, Book 3)
by Philip Jose Farmer
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1984-11-01)
list price: US$2.75
Isbn: 0425072991
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10. The Other in the Mirror
by Philip Jose Farmer
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2009-03-31)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$25.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596062312
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Other in the Mirror brings together three classic novels by Philip José Farmer: Fire and the Night, Jesus on Mars, and Night of Light. All three are united by one of SF s central tropes, that of The Other.

Fire and the Night is a mainstream novel so rare that even many of Farmer's most dedicated fans have never read it. First published in 1962, it is also one of the author's most daring works, exploring the issue of racial Otherness in a mesmerizing tale of temptation and entrapment in a small industrial Midwestern town.

In Jesus on Mars, Richard Orme and the crew of the Barsoom embark on the first manned mission to the Red Planet, intent on investigating what seemed to be evidence of life beamed back to Earth by a robotic survey satellite. But Orme discovers in the hollowed-out Martian caverns what he and the scientists back home least expect: a group of aliens, as well as humans transplanted from first century A.D. Earth, led by a being who claims to be Jesus of Nazareth Himself. Soon Orme and his crew are shocked to find that The Other they face is made all that more alien because of its similarity to humanity's past.

Night of Light is not only one of Farmer's most psychologically gripping SF tales, it is also the novel which inspired Jimi Hendrix s psychedelic rock classic Purple Haze. John Carmody is a fugitive from Earth, condemned to exile for brutally murdering his wife. Hired by the galactic Church on a mission to squelch a burgeoning rival religion, Carmody must take the Chance on the planet Dante's Joy and risk his worst nightmares becoming reality. But that s not the worst of it: the Fathers of Algul and the Fathers of Yess have their own plans for the conscienceless Carmody for to the inhabitants of Dante's Joy, Carmody himself is The Other...and they need his alien flesh to give birth to God. ... Read more

11. Flesh
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 286 Pages (1995-09)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563333031
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
A ship captain returns to a very different earth. A quite amusing religious satire, with the odd sport joke, too.

A strange Earth religion has started, with priestesses holding the power. Other political systems do exist, including one that is very straitlaced and rejects this new, female based, sexual worship.

4-0 out of 5 stars Early Farmer Entertains
This is one of Philip Jose Farmer's very early books, and long-time fans of his more mature work will enjoy this clever satire that must have been pretty racy in its day.A group of astronauts returns to Earth after 800 years-- only a few years in their relative experience-- to find the world utterly changed.Farmer's love of religion and atavism and provocative sexual situations is in fine fettle here, and a light adventure results.It's not as transgressive as his best works, but enjoyable.You'll get a kick out of the game baseball has become after 800 years: the ball has metal spikes in it and frequent fatalities are common.Would that we could speed up time and spice up the game per Farmer's thinking... then A-Rod might be worth what the Yankees are paying him....

5-0 out of 5 stars Wiccan\Radical Ecologist Must-have!
If you root for the monster in monster movies, this one's for you. I lovedCommander Stagg's opponents in this "voyagers return from the stars to a strange future world" story.Of all the post apocalytic futures in sci-fi, this is one of the most palatable--a racier version of Robt. Graves' Watch the North Wind Rise.PJF can spin a terrific, fast reading tale!Take a ride with an old time writer who puts the modern genre stuff to shame.

4-0 out of 5 stars Typical Phillip Jose Farmer, Incredible
Thrilling post-apocalyptic America at it's best. The new order thrown away science and it's ecology damaging side effects and gone back to mother earth. Imagine what happens when a starship lands after an 800 year voyage of exploration. Don't miss it ... Read more

12. The Dark Design (Riverworld Saga)
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 464 Pages (2010-06-08)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$10.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076532654X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Milton Firebrass, once Mark Twain's enemy and now his greatest ally, plans to build a giant airship that can fly to the North Pole of Riverworld.  Once there, he hopes to learn the secret of the mysterious tower that dominates the landscape and find the answer to his most urgent question: could the tower contain the Ethicals, the enigmatic beings that created Riverworld?

Meanwhile, Jill Gulbirra is challenged for the job of piloting the airship by none other than Cyrano de Bergerac. As if there were not enough challenges facing the crew, they soon suspect there is an agent of the Ethicals among their number, plotting their destruction….

Amazon.com Review
The Dark Design is the third book in the epic Riverworld saga, in which almost all of humanity has been resurrected on a strange planet along the shores of a river 22 million miles long.But why have humans been given another chance at life, and who is behind it all?That'swhat Sir Richard Francis Burton and Sam Clemens set out to discover in two earlier novels, one by riding the "suicide express" (if you die on Riverworld, you're resurrected again at a random point along the river) and the other steaming on the greatest riverboat ever seen. Now Milton Firebrass, Clemens's former enemy and now his No. 1 lieutenant, is planning to use the dwindling iron supply on the Riverworld to create a great airship, which can fly to the North Polar Sea far more quickly than any boat can travel.There he hopes to learn the secret of the mysterious tower thought to house the beings who created this planet.

Jill Gulbirra does not care as much about the mission as she wants the chance to captain the great airship, which in all likelihood will be the last airship ever constructed by humankind. But in landing the coveted role, she faces stiff competition--especially from the greatest swordsman of all time, Cyrano de Bergerac, who turns out to be a natural pilot.But even if Jill can win the command of the airship and even if the ship can reach the river's headwaters, there is no guarantee it can get through the mountain wall that surrounds the tower. And it's likely that one or more agents of the Ethicals--the creators of Riverworld--are on board the airship, plotting its downfall. Worse still, somewhere along the way the airship is sure to encounter the Rex Grandissimus, the steamboat stolen by Sam's archnemesis, King John Lackland. --Craig E. Engler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, but only for fans
The "Riverworld: Including To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat" series has fascinated me ever since the first book was published while I was in high school.I have read them all, more than once."The Dark Design (Riverworld Saga)" does not reach the literary heights of the first book, but then, follow up books seldom do.As in any long-running, multi-book series by a modern author, the prose in this one needs a good copy editor.There are a number of useless scenes and meaningless dialogues.Still, for someone who loves River World and wants to spend as much time as possible exploring it's landscape, The Dark Design will provide the exhausting immersion they are looking for.The Dark Design is well worth reading, but only a true fan will have the patience for it.

4-0 out of 5 stars riverworld's dark design
Nothing new here.The same overlong third part of the, now, five part story of Riverworld.However, the larger page format and sturdy stock make this an easier read than the usual "pocketbook" publications.It's a welcome replacement for my original, lost (?) copy..

5-0 out of 5 stars Book 3 - Another Trip on The Riverboat and in The Air Too!
The Dark Design - Riverworld Book 3 by Philip Jose Farmer
Book 3 in the Riverworld series, The Dark Design, is a complete departure from the previous two volumes: The Fabulous Riverboat - Book 2 and To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Book 1. The first two books were very good action-adventure science fiction novels. This book utilized the same background and some of the characters from the previous volumes but is primarily a series of philosophical essays and thinly disguised biographical sketches from the author's life experiences. Interspaced are bits and pieces of the Riverworld story line with several chapters at the end propelling the narrative to a cliff hanging ending.
Some readers will be frustrated by what appears to be Farmer's long ramblings before the story line is picked up again, and then dropped. The author anticipated this with his forward where he tells us that he wrote what would amount to over 800 pages to conclude this part of his Riverworld story. Having read this book I could red pencil out about 100 pages and it would read better and the story would be a lot more interesting - for general readers. I suspect the author and the published decided to print the whole darn thing because of Farmer's stature as one the better writers in the field.
I am a fan of Farmer and have read most of his SF novels. I know some of his biography and I enjoyed every pages of this book. I do believe that casual readers may be disappointed by, what would appear to be, meandering excursions from the main story line.
Of great interest to me is that author Farmer includes himself as one of the main characters. I am not making this up - in the forward Farmer states "it is true that I am the basis for that character": Peter Jairus Frigate.
I rated this novel 5 stars, but I can understand why others would rate it with less stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yes, its flawed....but an excellent adventure !
This book was excellent!I am glad I read it as I almost didn't based on other reviews here. Although it is true what most reviewers say here, i.e. the book needed editing, it has strange rambling chapters that are not relevant, etc.But this is the Riverworld and you can't get what this book offers anywhere else.The concept was advanced and I got a lot of questions answered. This book is flawed, but to journey on the Riverworld again was worth it !

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader

A little on the slow side, this volume, with the various parties and their journeys, Burton, Clemens, London, etc.There's also more than a bit of PFJ PJFing via a mouthpiece character that gets in the way, of what else is going on.

The what else is going on is finding out what else is going on, with the cessation of the resurrection shuffle and strange problems happening. ... Read more

13. The Green Odyssey
by Philip Jose Farmer
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-08-12)
list price: US$3.99
Asin: B003ZK53H2
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Green Odyssey is a relatively straightforward adventure story, involving an astronaut named Alan Green stranded on a primitive planet, where he is claimed as a gigolo by a duchess and is married to a slave woman.

Upon hearing of two other stranded astronauts, he escapes from the duchess, and sets sail to find them. However, because of the peculiar geography of the planet, there is a vast expansive plain, instead of an ocean to cross. Green uses a ship equipped with large rolling pin-like wheels along the bottom to traverse the plains of this world.

After his escape from the duchess he is followed by his slave woman wife and her children (one is his). There follow several fairly standard adventure plots with cannibals, pirates, floating islands (that turn out to be giant lawnmowers), and the deus ex machina, a female black cat named Lady Luck.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fun sci-fi quest!
Alan Green was stranded on a barbaric, alien planet for two years. After his space vessel malfunctioned he was forced to seek refuge among the natives. He has survived as a slave, had a child, and even wed.But of course he wishes to return home.

Word of spacemen and a ship in a far off land reaches his village. The spacemen are scheduled to be executed and along with it, Green's hopes of getting off the planet will die with them.He realizes his chances to return home lie in liberating these men and escaping on their ship. But first, he must escape from his owners and face leaving his wife and children behind.

He must find passage across a completely flat plain with grass as high as your knees. The plain is as vast as an ocean. The people on this planet traverse the expanse in wheeled ships that have sails like a boat and function in a similar manner.

The plains are filled with animals, barbarians, and floating "islands". The dangers have been fueled by years of superstition and many prove to be quite true.

This was a really good sci fi story. Farmer has a wild imagination and he creates worlds that are dangerous, exotic, and believable. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars For Farmer Fans, A Look At His Beginnings
This was Farmer's first novel.It disappeared for many years, and broke his heart when he was ripped off by his fly-by-night publisher and the manuscript was stolen. It's nice to see it back in print (and it's also available in its entirety on the web)-- it's not his best, but still very entertaining as a rollicking adventure with some fun ideas along the way.Farmer fans will want to read it to see where he began, and new readers will enjoy its simple virtues.

4-0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned swashbuckling adventure
This book is just plain fun.There are no deep issues here, other than the love story, just an adventure that sweeps you along for 150 pages.The main character is stranded on a foreign planet with no technology and when a space ship arrives he sees his ticket back to civilization.The story that follows is filled with ships that "sail" on grass instead of water, cannibals, pirates, moving islands, and, of course, a love interest.Put simply, the book is just a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, the book is out-of-print.But if you're willing to find an old copy somewhere, it's worth the hunt.

4-0 out of 5 stars GREEN ODYSSEY is a highly entertaining novel
A Good SF novelabout sailing over verdant alien plains with windrollers, giant vessels with wheels. A grand adventure.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a really good book
The storyy is about a human astronaut who crashes on a distant world. This is millenia after the collapse of interstellar travel by humans. This world had evolved into a distinct culture, which has blended in with high tech remnants of it ancestors ... Read more

14. Two Hawks From Earth
by Philip Jose Farmer
 Paperback: Pages (1985-07-01)
list price: US$2.95 -- used & new: US$5.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425080927
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this classic of alternate history by grand master Philip Jose Farmer, Native American bomber pilot Roger Two Hawks bails out over enemy territory in WWII, only to find himself on another Earth-one in which the American continents never rose from the waters, and the ancestors of the American Indians remained in Asia and Europe-an Earth embroiled in a world war of its own, with Two Hawks caught in the middle. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars "Two Hawks: in space and time
Two Hawks From Earth - The magical transposition of beings from our Earth to an alternative Earth is one of the standard plot ideas common in the science-fiction novel. Authors usually employ some pseudo-scientific hocus-pocus to justify this highly improbable event. The hero muses about the "warp in the space time fabric" and temporary "time gates' opening or the old standby a "black hole eruption" to rationalize the experience. Clever authors soon have the heroes up to their neck in alligators and leeches. These crackpot speculations are soon forgotten and the plot rumbles or stumbles on.
Phil Farmer, an author I hold in high esteem, wrote "Two Hawks' early in his career. Mr. Two Hawks, a WW2 bomber pilot, and his gunner are spirited to Earth 1 as they parachute from their disabled plane. Earth 1 is appreciably unlike in geography, evolution and technological development from our Earth. One aspect of the world that is identical is War. The story line then is fairly straightforward. Two Hawks, a military man from an advanced Earth, is hunted by the military intelligence services of the warring factions. His goal is to return to his "home" Earth. Farmer works with great diligence to keep this potboiler bubbling but, quite frankly, it is a story that has been told better by other writers.
It is painfully apparent that Mr. Farmer spent many long hours researching continental drift theories, ancient migration patterns, language development and conjectures on racial development. Instead of padding his story with a few smart sounding observations we are given the whole load - pages and pages of esoteric theories and ideas. All this excessive "information" did was to turn a modestly interesting story into a very uninteresting one.
If you have read Farmer's Riverworld" books you find the discussion in "Two Hawks from Earth" concerning air ships, there construction and use as a military weapon, familiar.
In the forward to my 1985 Berkley edition Farmer tells us that he was very displeased when, in 1966, an editor changed the title to "The Gate of Time" and revised some of the dialog. Farmer had the intended title restored, dialog reset and added some addition words expanding the ending. Interested readers may want to read "The Gate of Time' which is available here, used, on Amazon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seminal work of AH back in print
The scene is World War II. Native American Bomber Pilot Roger Two Hawks, off course on a mission to bomb the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania, has a mid air collision with a German plane over enemy territory. Along with Pat O'Brien, turret gunner, he is the only person to successfully manage to get a parachute open and descend to the countryside.

Hawks felt something odd just before the crash, however, and that oddness is reinforced when Hawks and O'Brien land.The people are all wrong, with technology distinctly primitive (~World War I era) by even backwater Rumanian standards.What's more, they speak a language that Hawks recognizes as a derivative of an Iroquois tongue.

Hawks, as a reader of science fiction and comic books has figured out what has happened. Somehow he and the gunner have wound up in a parallel history.One where the Siberian tribes that would have gone to America (only a chain of islands here), instead rolled west and vastly changed subsequent history.But events quickly sweep up Hawks along, as this world has a World War on a scale similar to his own going on...

Two Hawks from Earth is the story of Roger's quest to make his way through this world, and find a way to get back home. Along the way, his skills in this slightly technologically backward world are much in demand.And, of course, like any good adventure novel, there is always the love interest.

Some of the science (especially the ethnography) is outdated and flat out wrong. Given that, though, Two Hawks from Earth does what Farmer wrote very well--action and adventure, with a protagonist making his way in an unfamiliar world.

I read this book years ago in its bowdlerized and shortened edition (The Gate of Time) and I wondered if the re-read would hold up to my memories.I noticed the differences in the text, but the basic premise of the novel and the writing still held up for me.

I enjoyed it heavily.Fans of Farmer should not miss this reprint of a long-out-of-print novel, and fans of Alternate History novels will appreciate this as well. Its not a door stopper that people such as Turtledove put out, Farmer keeps the pace crackling and the novel and story never get dull.

Sometimes you can go back into your reading past and come away delighted again. I certainly was in this case.

5-0 out of 5 stars my favorite Farmer
I read most of Phillip Jose Farmer's books between 1978 and 1985.Recently I started reading them again.The intervening years may have caused my preferences to change.After rereading a lot of his stories, I have revised my opinions.I think Two Hawks is his best novel in several respects:the way he developes believable speculative science; and the way the history, linguistics and ethnology of the parallel earth were developed.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the originals in alternate history epics!
I read this book so many years ago but still remember just how exciting and great read it was.
An American Indian military man goes into an alternate reality where the Germans are in charge.
A must read for action/adventure fans! ... Read more

15. Dayworld
by Philip Jose Farmer
Mass Market Paperback: 258 Pages (1988-06)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$221.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441140017
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars ...he had her paint his legs yellow.His curled-tow ankle-high shoes...
...He showered and put on a white sheer blouse, an orange waistband, a removable white neck-ruff, and an emerald-green kilt.When Ozma came in, he had her paint his legs yellow.His curled-toe ankle-high shoes were crimson.After they ate, he put on some lipstick and selected a wide-brimmed hat with a high conical top sporting a crimson artifical feather...

It's hard to take a book seriously when reading a paragraph like that.Since I have many other books in my library, I'm putting this one down.Maybe I'll give it a look later on but as for right now I have other books that are far more compelling and less... dumb.

Oh, and another knock on the book... he uses women's names on men and vice versa.I'm not talking about the ones we are used to in real life, I'm talking, say, Victoria for a man or Matthew for a woman.There was no real reason for this and it made the book that much more confusing.Maybe if there was some real reason or plot to that idea but there wasn't.Just made things harder to read.

I would however highly recommend the Riverworld series... the sheer concept of that one is amazing.Farmer is another one of those authors whom I find one book to be very good, and another just awful.John Wyndham was the same way for me.

4-0 out of 5 stars First in Dayworld Series and the Best: 3-1/2 Stars, 320 Pages, Publ 1985
Philip Jose Farmer wrote the first short story of this concept in 1972.I'm surmising that he had to shelve the concept to pursue his popular and award winning Riverworld series (which is highly recommended).After he wrapped up that series in the early 80's, he could then pursue the Dayworld series after a 13 year hiatus.However, in the science fiction world, writing about overpopulation became passe.No, it wasn't because the threat of overpopulation was over, it was because Liberals in the 70's who bitterly opposed it, discovered that non-liberals and even Republicans were also concerned about overpopulation.If that was the case then there had to be something wrong with being concerned about it.Sure enough, the doctrine is not to complain about overpopulation, not because in places like Europe the population growth is at zero or even decreasing.It's in 3rd world countries where the greatest population growth is occurring and complaining about overpopulation is considered interfering with their internal affairs.The fact that overpopulation hasn't really changed much since the 70's doesn't matter.So with Farmer writing about overpopulation in the 80's was certainly not going to claim him any recognition let alone any awards.And it's a cycle, as interest in an author's book decreases, the authors own interest decreases.That can certainly be seen in this series, as the quality plummets through the three books.

The concept is certainly interesting.Due to supposed overpopulation, the `government' puts into suspended hibernation (or `stones' as in called in the story (haha what a great 70's term man) everyone and unstones them one day out of the week.So only one-seventh of the population is active on any given day.This leads to seven different societies, each with it's own fads and fashions.Our protagonist becomes a `daybreaker' that is, he lives every day of the week.This leads him to the necessity of leading seven different lives.Why does he do so, well, this is kind of the point of the story, and is it's weakest aspect.Farmer has a great concept here, but your imagination of what this type of world is like, if you're a science fiction reader, will be more interesting than the story-line itself.This basically means that reading this book, let alone the series is unnecessary.This is no knock on Farmer, who is a great and interesting writer.However, if you loved the Riverworld series and just have to read more by Farmer, I guess this is the place.But consider only the first Dayworld novel; even a Farmer fan is going to find the other books in the series hard to digest.

2-0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Poor Execution
Unfortunately, PJF's story in Dayworld can't live up to the concept of the world itself.The book is poorly paced, and while the various personae are interesting, none held my interest for even their stint as central figure.

4-0 out of 5 stars The fracture of the mind
Dayworld is Earth in the future.World leaders have instituted a new way of living to solve overpopulation.The days of the week exist as alternate realities.Each day has it's own police, firemen, government officials, doctors and people.Most people share thier homes with seven other people, couples or families though never see each other.The 'stoning' device allows all this to be possible.A person or object may be placed in suspended animation for any ammount of time, then reactivated at the desired time.So, a person who lives on Monday would enter thier stoning chaimber before midnight, and then be reactivated the next Monday at midnight with no perception of the time that had passed.

However, a secret society, the 'Immers' is working against the government to allow people to live all the days, and to have freedom and democracy.They employ 'daybreakers' in thier fold who commit one of the ultimate felonies to bring messages to agents who exist in the different days.Jeff is one of these.He has divided his personality into seven distinct personalities, one for each day as a controlled skitzophrania.But, events which threaten him and his society cause his personalities to come crashing together and may threaten to destroy him and the Immers.

Overall, a good book.The charachterization was good, though not as in depth as it could have been.And, it seems from this book and others of Farmers books I've read he doesn't write strong female charachters to take stronger roles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let me say he's the best
This book is absolutely awsome. It made me enjoy every single single page I read, and I actually read it twice. Why living everybody on the same days at the same time? Here is a nice solution to the population explosion problem. In each day of the week only 1/7 of the population will live. But what heppens when someone want to live out of his day ? If U want to do a day-brake, then you need difrent identity in each day. Can anyone be 7 difrent peoples at once ? I guess so, I suggest to read this book, though.
Read it, it's fun.
Read it, it's very smart. ... Read more

16. Gods of Riverworld
by Philip Jose Farmer
 Paperback: 352 Pages (2011-02-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$10.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765326566
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Thirty billion people from throughout Earth’s history have been resurrected along the great and winding waterways of Riverworld. Most began life anew—accepting without question the sustenance provided by their mysterious benefactors. But a rebellious handful, including Mark Twain, Richard Burton, and Peter Jairus Frigate, burned to confront the unseen masters who controlled their fate—and these few launched an invasion that will ultimately yield the mind-boggling truth. The story was chronicled in four previous volumes, and is now concluded in Gods of Riverworld.

Riverworld’s omnipotent leaders must finally be confronted, and the renegades of Riverworld—led by the intrepid Sir Richard Francis Burton—will control the fantastic mechanism that rules them. But the most awesome challenge lies ahead. For in the vast corridors and secret rooms of the tower stronghold, an unknown enemy watches and waits to usurp the usurpers....
... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Riverworld conclusion or is it?
These comments concern the novel "Gods of Riverworld" by Philip Jose Farmer (1918-2009).

Last year I finally was able to read the four Riverworld books in sequence something I have been meaning to do for quite some time. The books titles and year of first publication are as follows: "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" (1971), "The Fabulous Riverboat"(1971), "The Dark Design"(1977) and "The Magic Labyrinth"(1980). I was motivated sufficiently to post comments on each book here on Amazon.

Speculative fiction aficionados and admires of Philip Jose Farmer's writings should consider reading theses intriguing books. Having said that I must be honest. I was disappointed with the conclusion. After four books Farmer leaves the reader dangling on a narriative cliff and then as a final shove informed us that "The Magic Labyrinth" would be the final book in the series.Well, authors can change their minds and this brings us to the "true" final volume "Gods of Riverworld" published in 1983. Perhaps not, wouldn't it be like Farmer to have his estate publish a "lost" volume found in his papers. We can only wish.

First a word of caution. If you have not read any of the Riverworld" books you should do you self a favor and at least read "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" prior to "Gods of Riverworld" you have been warned.

"Gods of Riverworld" takes up at the conclusion of "The Magic Labyrinth". The story starts with an apparent murder and the survivors in the tower set out to find the guilty party. Farmer drops that plot thread until the end of the book and instead spends the next several hundred pages with lively intellectual conjectures and speculations concerning the nature of our souls, resurrection, afterlife, good and evil and an incredible replay of Alice in Wonderland with homicidal robots playing all the characters.

For this reader the attraction of the Riverworld books is the thought provoking concepts the author proposes and the very obvious portions where the novel turns into autobiography.

In my humble opinion this series will eventually be Farmer's true lasting literary legacy. Although I do greatly admire "Jesus of Mars" and his non-genre "Fire and the Night" the Riverworld" books are the first titles I would recommend to a new reader.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Ethical kill mystery.

X, or whoever you want to call him/her/it/whatever, is dead.Having made it to the tower, and having the resurrection power now available to it, what would a bunch of sneaky dodgy human types do with it?

Not always good things, and resurrecting people galore takes up a lot of space.

Whether this is a necessary book or not, not completely sure, but no worse than book 3, certainly.

3 out of 5

2-0 out of 5 stars What more is there to say?
This series is a classic of its kind.It tells a good sci-fi story, even if it does sometimes get dragged down with dull and lengthy pontifications.It nevertheless told an interesting "what if" tale.It was basically a story told in four books, which ended in what seemed to be a conclusive ending, the resurrection capability repaired and restored, and everyone living happily ever after.

Then along came "Gods of the Riverworld". Whatever possessed Farmer to write it is a mystery to me.It is anti-climactic, and has the feeling of being tacked on to the main body of work.It isn't that it is a bad read, it is just that it adds so little, and literally put me to sleep.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
The unfavorable reviews of this book kept me from buying it. But finally I couldn't resist finding out how Farmer closed out the series. Buy, was I pleasently surpirsed. Of the 5 RiverWorld books in the series, book 1 was my favorite while book 5 is my second favorite.

Book 5 closes the show sure but what leads to the close is fascinating to me. The discussions the characters have is stimulating and the events that occur in the tower are entertaining.

Don't let the unfavorable reviews disuade you from reading this book. If you liked the existential undertones in the previous 4 books, you'll really like this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars A return to Riverworld
One of the questions I hear most often from sci-fi and fantasy fans is "But what happened next?" This is the reason the most successful series have so many subsequent books and fan-fiction stories written; when a world is evocative, you want to hear more.

The Riverworld story was absolutely finished with Book 4, and Farmer could easily have stopped there. However, he was curious about what might transpire when the power of the Riverworld falls into the wrong (?) hands, so he continued the series for one more book.

Do not attempt to read this book without reading the rest of the series, and don't feel that you have to continue if you were satisfied with the end of The Magic Labyrinth. Gods of Riverworld brings the story to a more definite close, albeit not one that I particularly liked.

Note that one of the book's two protagonists is Peter Frigate, who many readers (including myself) found absolutely an insufferable example of author egotism. If you'd had enough of Frigate by the end of book four, you're probably not going to like book five. ... Read more

17. Riverworld and Other Stories (Riverworld Saga)
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: Pages (1984-01-15)
list price: US$2.75 -- used & new: US$64.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425064875
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Riverworld series
Another great yarn from Larry Niven. If you like sf, give this classic a try.

5-0 out of 5 stars J. C. On The Dude Ranch
This is one of the best short stories I have ever read!Five stars on humor, this story is a stand-out in this collection.

Prurient, obscene even, Christians should not read this story, but not being Christian myself, J. C. On The Dude Ranch is one of the funniest things ever set to print.Silverberg coulda done Siddhartha vs. Yama with the same plot.

This is not an anti-Christ tract, it's just a hilarious albeit dirty story.Satan appears and is properly vilified, Jesus is definately a Good Guy.

But Christians probably ought not read this story, unless looking for ungodly targets to be pissed off at.

3-0 out of 5 stars Either really powerful or really awful
I like Philip Jose Farmer's works, or at least I thought I did until I read Riverworld and Other Stories.I devoured Dark Is the Sun when I was in junior high, and read the Riverworld series a half dozen times in high school.As an adult, I was amused by A Barnstormer in Oz.So, when I saw Riverworld and Other Stories at a book fair I picked it up, figuring the price (25 cents) was right.

Let's start with the non-Riverworld stories first.Several of them are . . . well, there's no other word for it besides obscene.Farmer himself tells us that one of the stories would only published by a hard-porn magazine, and one can see why.These stories must be what the Supreme Court means when they mention "the prurient interest."They're not erotic, just vulgar.And yet, as literary exercises they contain a certain amount of morbid fascination."The Leaser of Two Evils" and "The Henry Miller Dawn Patrol" in particular show Farmer's remarkable ability to lose himself in a character's dementia.But is the cleverness worth the obscenity?One can't help but think that such pieces as "J.C. on the Dude Ranch" (I'd describe it, but I can't) are better left in Farmer's desk drawer never to see the light of day.

There are some pedestrian stories, too, including the amusing but uninspiring "The Problem of the Sore Bridge" which almost features a Sherlock Holmes cameo.It's the image of Henry Miller on the prowl in a nursing home that lingers in the memory, though, not the pedestrian stories.

As for "Riverworld" itself, the story is not, as the packaging suggests, the first Riverworld story Farmer wrote.His own introduction makes it clear that he wrote the stories that became "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" first.Nevertheless, "Riverworld" is an appropriate foray into the Riverworld.Tom Mix, a character I never cared for in the novels, is much more appealing here. Most provocative, however, is Farmer's take on Jesus - who finds himself resurrected along the river bank with everyone else.Farmer's "Yeshua" is a pacifist in the face of senseless violence, a man struggling to maintain serenity when his life's belief has turned out to, perhaps, be false.There was a reference Jesus in Gods of Riverworld; this story fleshes it out.To my surprise, part of me was offended by Farmer's take on Jesus; yet Yeshua should serve to spark healthy discussion over the nature of Jesus, what he really stood for, and what he would make of the way his teachings have been passed down by Paul and two thousand years.Such spiritual examinations are, in my view, nearly always healthy.

"Riverworld" alone makes this collection worth getting and keeping.As for the other stories . . . . I really don't know.Perhaps if one knows going in that one is going to get X-rated material it would be easier to digest.Perhaps not.Either way, except for "Riverworld", none of these are stories that one would ever want to read a second time.

2-0 out of 5 stars "Riverworld" is top notch, but the rest is leftover garbage
While some short story collections form an organic whole that show the author's strong unified vision, others, like this one, present a hodgepodge of varying styles, personae, and quality levels that show the artist to be wild, unruly, and ultimately, out of control.Certainly it is no coincidence that this volume begins with (and is titled after) the powerful short story "Riverworld", from which grew the series of novels so well known to readers of science fiction and fantasy.In this story, every human being that ever walked the earth is suddenly resurrected along the banks of the million-mile river that winds through this unknown planet.The friendship between Tom Mix and the mysterious Yeshua strikes at the heart of the religious implications of the Riverworld, yielding a truly unforgettable conclusion.But segueing from the sublime to the ridiculous, the remaining stories are considerably less deserving fare, starting off with the shockingly sacrilegious "J.C. on the Dude Ranch", where the guests "work" the cowboys.While this story certainly makes a strong impression, some readers might find themselves offended by this ribald science-fiction take on the son of man.And after these first two stories, the remainder of the book is utterly forgettable.Very little of it qualifies as science fiction, and many of the pieces seem more like writing exercises than entertainments.For example, "The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod" is a send-up of William Burroughs writing a Tarzan story.While this may have seemed like a cute enough idea in conception, the result is almost unreadable, and certainly is of no interest to anyone who is not seriously into Burroughs. Farmer also tries his hand at a couple of detective stories, but both "The Volcano" and "The Problem of the Sore Bridge - Among Others" emphasize style rather than substance; no true fan would even consider these detective stories, but rather science fiction fantasies.Perhaps most disturbing are some of the more scatological entries, including the ultimately nonsensical "The Leaser of Two Evils", the excremental mess of "The Phantom of the Sewers", and the sadly wacky "The Henry Miller Dawn Patrol", which details sexual conquests at a retirement home.Farmer is certainly a great talent, but most of this collection shows him at his playful worst.Don't be afraid to give it a miss.And definitely keep this one out of the reach of children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Please Reissue This....I'm Begging You!
First things first. Phil Farmer is not always the most elegant writer - often, his prose is clumsy and his characters wooden. In all likelihood, you won't like everything you read by him. He's best known for labyrinthine series (Riverworld, Dayworld, World of Tiers) and 'fictional histories' of iconic characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan & Doc Savage, which may or may not be your cup of tea. Okay, enough with the caveats: on the plus side of the ledger, he's an unduplicable and inspired madman with no fear and no restraints upon his literary curiosity. I can't think of anyone even remotely like him, ever. We desperately need more writers in his imaginative weight-class....he may be audacious and outrageous, but he never shatters taboos simply to shock and tittilate (as so many Celebrated Prose Stylists do), but simply to see what might emerge from behind this or that Forbidden Curtain. This paperback, long out of print (WHY??), is not only my favorite Farmer, but one of all time favorite books by anyone. It's the initial Riverworld novella which preceded the series (which incidentally works beautifully as a standalone work - in fact, it's so powerfully surreal and magical that the subsequent series might disappoint you, as it did me), along with a number of Farmer's most unforgettably deranged short stories, many of which sping from premises which would never have occured to anyone BUT Farmer (i.e., 'The Jungle Rot Kid On The Nod' came from Farmer's asking himself: what if WILLIAM Burroughs, rather than Edgar Rice, had written Tarzan?) Usually, in a collection of this type, the novella is the centrepiece and the rest is filler; here, nearly every single collected work is equally indelible. A couple of these stories -'JC on the Dude Ranch', 'The Leaser of Two Evils', 'The Phantom of the Sewer', and the two mentioned previously- have been etched permanently in my mind since I first read them over 25 years ago. (And though I've read quite a bit of Farmer since then, none of it has ever quite equalled this incredible collection - though there've been some close calls.) I'm sure that among sf aficionados, this early version of RIVERWORLD might be considered a nonessential larval-stage curiosity - there never seems to be a shortage of RIVERWORLD novels in print, and that may be keeping this neither-fish-nor-fowl book locked away in obscurity. But please trust me on this one - RIVERWORLD AND OTHER STORIES is Phil Farmer's single greatest collection/definitive statement, and the world needs to see it back in print as soon as possible. ... Read more

18. To Your Scattered Bodies Go
by Philip Jose Farmer
 Hardcover: Pages (1986-01-01)

Asin: B003X5P6JE
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (87)

4-0 out of 5 stars More a Metaphysical Fantasy than Orthodox Sci-Fi
"To Your Scattered Bodies Go" is the first book in Philip José Farmer's "Riverworld" series. The title is derived from a poem by John Donne in which he imagines the resurrection of the dead; Farmer's novel also concerns this subject, although, unlike Donne's, his interest in the subject is not religious but imaginative and speculative.

The basic idea behind the novel is that every single human being who has ever lived, from the Stone Age up until 2008 AD, is simultaneously resurrected on a strange planet ("Riverworld") whose surface seemingly consists of one single river-valley several million miles long but only a few miles wide; on either side of the valley are impenetrable mountains. The planet has an equable climate and is covered in vegetation, but has no animal life other than earthworms and various types of fish in the river. Those people who died as children are resurrected at the age at which they died; those who died as adults are, irrespective of their age at death, resurrected as young men and women in their twenties with perfect, healthy bodies.

The main character is Richard Burton- not the actor who was twice married to Elizabeth Taylor (he was still alive when Farmer wrote the book in 1971), but his Victorian namesake, the famous adventurer, explorer, writer, translator and linguist. Other real historical individuals who feature prominently in the novel are Alice Liddell Hargreaves (the inspiration for "Alice in Wonderland") and the Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering, as villainous in the afterlife as he was on Earth. Another important character is Peter Jairus Frigate, a fictionalised version of the author himself; the two have the same initials, the same date of birth (1918) and the same home town (Peoria, Illinois). Remarkably, Farmer came within a year of predicting, through his alter ego, the date of his own death. We learn that Frigate died in 2008; Farmer himself was to die in February 2009.

In some ways the planet on which the dead have returned to life is a heavenly place, as all their physical needs are catered for. The warm climate means that clothes are not needed, and food and drink are provided, seemingly miraculously, by strange devices known as "grails". Life on this new world, however, predictably proves far from heavenly. The resurrected humans have psychological difficulties in coming to terms with an afterlife quite different to anything prophesied by any religion. They quickly revert to many of the worst features of their Earthly existence, including warfare and slavery. Most of the plot of the novel deals with Burton's exploration of this brave new world and his attempts to find out who is responsible for recreating the whole human race and why they should have done such a thing. (As this is only the first book of five, it is perhaps not surprising that no very clear answers are given- Farmer clearly wanted to keep some surprises in store for future volumes. It appears, however, that those behind the scheme are a shadowy group known as "the Ethicals").

The incorrigibly inquisitive Burton is a great character, but few of the others are particularly memorable, except perhaps for Alice, portrayed as a rather prim Victorian lady who nevertheless becomes Burton's lover, and she drops out of the novel in its second half when Burton strikes out on his own to discover the truth behind Riverworld.

As a prose stylist, Farmer is workmanlike but unremarkable; his great virtue is his ability to create a brilliantly imagined alternative reality. The novel is normally categorised as science fiction, although that is perhaps not the best description if one regards sci-fi as the genre which speculates about possible future developments in technology and how human society might be transformed by them. It might be more accurate to regard "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" as a metaphysical fantasy. The "science" employed by the Ethicals in creating Riverworld is so far in advance of anything that we can accomplish or even imagine that it becomes almost indistinguishable from magic. Farmer's aim, it seems to me, was less to ask questions about the future course of social development than to use an ostensible science fiction format to ask questions about existing human societies, about human nature and about such metaphysical matters as the purpose of existence. I look forward with pleasure to reading the next instalment in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars High Concept - Fascinating Charaters
Someone here had written that there were similarities between "Lost" and "To Your Scattered Bodies Go."I do not believe that is true.When I sat down to watch the first episode of "Lost" I was fascinated with the concept and had imagined the depth that could be worked from the premise.In fact, there was no depth whatsoever and I was so thoroughly disappointed that I couldn't watch another episode.

Where "Lost" fails, Philip Jose Farmer succeeds brilliantly.The concept is so huge that it makes "Lost" look like the Bud Light commercials that satirize it.

Everyone who has ever lived on Earth is awakened naked, hairless, young and healed on the banks of an endless river.The main character is Sir Richard Francis Burton, the 18th Century explorer and linguist.Along with some fictional characters, we are also introduced to Alice Hargreaves, the woman who was the prototype for "Alice in Wonderland" and Samuel Clemens, "Mark Twain".Where "Lost" skips over issues of survival, Farmer goes into detail.I know that kind of slow and rational development may irk some people raised on television, but it is the kind of meat and potatoes that makes those of us who are interested in story development actually smile.In addition, Farmer has researched his historical characters, Burton in particular, extensively - and it shows.

I think it is probably among the top twenty-five best science fiction novels written and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, it really does deserve Hugo!
Look at people who wrote negative reviews!
One says that the series is "bad". Hello-o! You' re writing feedback on THIS book, not the series!
Other two that leaft negative feedbacks complain about "sexism", and one of them on the fact that "sigar is an ultimate luxury".
Both of you, people, are brainwashed politically correct narrow minded creatures with no imagination!
Imagine the situation described in the book: all human being have been resurrected somewhere completely naked and without everything.
What would happen? Men would try to dominate, fight with other men for women, food, territory, etc., and women would try to find protection from bad men. This is how the nature created us, human beings, and this is what Farmer does in this book: analyze how we are, humans, would behave themsleves!
What else do you expect in such kind of situation and environment when everything and EVERYBODY got back to basic semi-animal world? Lawyers that would file sexual harrasment case? Feminist's magazines?
Try to explain 10th century barbarian that you, proud woman of XXI, is equal to him?
Those complains are so-o rediculous and, sorry, just stupid!
As for the sigars, yes, my dear, they are universal luxury, although mostly for men! If you personally don't get it, it doesn't mean they aren't!
Oh, sorry I sound like "sexist" again! :)
BTW, the creatures that supplied resurrested humans over there, provided them not only food, gum, sigars, etc., but lip sticks and other woman's stuff!
So, Farmer is definitely sexist: he is so girlish! :)

Seriosly: do not listen to those boring grumpy people that gave this book 1-2 stars! This book is one of the best SF novels ever written! Give it a try!

2-0 out of 5 stars Mediocrity Redux
Having read the series as a kid, I recently decided to revisit Riverworld while trapped in an airport

I'd forgotten how bad these books truly are.A fascinating idea explored for one volume, beaten into the ground for another three, culminating in warren of rabbits more dumped than pulled out of various moth-eaten hats.

Like the Riverworld itself, the series goes round and round, back and forth, on a very long trip to nowhere terribly interesting.The stultifying writing accumulates like silt.Not so much classic as dated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Cool Concept, Well Done
Have to say I really enjoyed this book and was very intrigued by the concept. I didn't know much of anything about Sir Richard Burton before this book, but of course as I read it I did the Wikipedia thing and educated myself. As another reviewer said, it seems a perfect choice for a lead character. The book's concept is unique and draws you in immediately. The social experiment nature of the saga really makes you think outside the confines of the book. As the narrative wears on you get more into the pertinent details of the book and it becomes a bit more "normal" for lack of a better word. Not good nor bad but it does start to mix in the interesting concept with the standard "good guy has problem and needs to solve it" theme. The outside players are interesting, from Hermann Goring to those outside the resurrection sphere of Riverworld itself, and I'm drawn to the 2nd book in the series more strongly than I've found myself drawn to anything in a while. I find the myriad of different kinds of people creative, and overall Farmer mixes in so many cool ideas with a solid plot line and the ability to write well, and you really have a winner here. ... Read more

19. The World of Tiers: Volume Two
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: 512 Pages (1997-11-15)
list price: US$23.99 -- used & new: US$14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312863772
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In one volume, here are the last three novels in the classic SF adventure series, The World of Tiers: Behind the Walls of Terra, The Lavalite World, and More Than Fire. These are the great originals of universe-hopping adventure that later writers, including Roger Zelazny in his Amber Series, used as models. Zelazny himself says,"I admire his sense of humor and facility for selecting the perfect final sentence for everything he writes. He can be stark, dark, smoky, bright, and any color of the emotional spectrum...put quite simply, he arouses awe," The tierworld books are full of non-stop action and typify Farmer's boundless imagination. Who else would have thought of stacking up pocket universes like a ziggurat or the layers of a cake? Join Earthlings Robert Wolff and Paul Janus Finnigan (alias Kickaha) on an unforgettable adventure to big for any single world.
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Customer Reviews (20)

2-0 out of 5 stars Farmer's reputation far exceeds his ability
This review covers both World of Tiers, Volume 1 and Volume 2, but with the second volume, the later books don't even seem to mesh well with the rest of the books. It felt as though Farmer, lacking a better idea for new novels, just kept going with this series (at least in that regard, he may have been ahead of his time). In any case, it's a downhill road after three bad novels get you going on this rocky journey. So, if you're like me, and you HAVE to finish a series once you start it, just steer clear of this one, because it's not worth your time.

I read a number of posts in Amazon's SF discussion boards that praised both Farmer and this series of books. However, I have to agree with the minority that thought these books were horrendous. There is no foreshadowing, so they read like Farmer doesn't even know where they're going. Even though the stories are going somewhere, they generally feel like they lack a plot. The characterization is so weak, it's ridiculous. The action is breakneck, but it often seems pointless. And, as others have mentioned, characters who know nothing one minute suddenly know all a few (sometimes just one) paragraphs later.
Frankly, there was a lot of pulp fiction, with its paper cutter characters and heavy action, that was MUCH better than this series. If you're looking for that kind of stuff, you'd be much better off hunting down some Doc Savage books or EE 'Doc' Smith's Lensman series, or even some of Lester del Rey's stuff. That's classic with a certain level of quality.

I also have to mention that I slogged through Farmer's Riverworld series several years back. The writing quality was better, but again, I read 5 books, and I felt terribly disappointed and dissatisfied at the end. I felt then that the hype exceeded the goods, and The World of Tiers is pure garbage compared to the Riverworld books. Again, I'd heard fantastic things about the series, and I was determined to read them through to the end, in the hope of finding... something. I have enjoyed a few of his short stories that I've read in collections, but someone's going to have to have to glowingly review every single aspect of the book AND give it to me for free, before I read another book by this author. Don't believe the hype. Eleven books in two series was about ten and a half books too many, for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Super Fantasy Series
Farmer's five-book "World of Tiers" series is a classic. What an imagination Farmer has!I loved the village that slowly floats fifty-feet above the ground. It's held up by air bags. The "World of Tiers" series and the "River World" series are wonderful. Don't miss them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Pulp Storytelling
Farmer is a big pulp adventure fan and tried his hand at it a number of times.I think that World of Tiers is his best attempt.The story is a great old fashioned adventure tale with a larger than life hero in a fantastic setting.Plot wise it deals with a man who discovers an apparently one way portal to an odd pocket universe.This universe consists of a planet made of several tiers like a wedding cake.Each tier contains its own distinct world.One is an idyllic world inhabited by creatures of greek myth, another is populated by medieval knights.The whole world is ruled by an overlord who resides at the top of the planet and the story revolves around our hero, eventually joined by a sidekick named Kickaha who also hails from Earth, attempting to get to the top of the world so he can get home.Like I said this is a great story, with another inventive concept from Farmer.The premise lets him explore several different pulp settings and there is a nice twist at the end which wraps things up nicely.There is a series of books which follows this one but they get progressively worse.Unless you're a completists, or dying to see some of the conceptual antecedents of Roger Zelazny's Amber series I'd recommend only bothering to pick up the first one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worlds Apart
The World of Tiers: Vol. One contains books 1, 2 and 3 of the series.What Philip Farmer writes best is strange worlds and strange creatures and action, action, action.All of it is found here in spades.The concept of multiple worlds controlled by highly advanced and immortal but petty and jealous "lords" gives him licence to write Doc Savage type pulp adventures on a grand scale.Not much time is spent on the past but in what happens to the characters in the here and now.

Book one intruduces us to Robert Wolff who stumbles upon a doorway to a new world.The word itself is the star of this book and the entire series is named for it as it is the World of Tiers.Not a round planet but a series of plateaus one on top of the other.Each plateau is basically a continent and instead of being separated by oceans are separated by 30,000 and 60,000 foot mountains which have to be climbed to reach the next continent.The Lord of this world lives atop it in a giant palace.Wolff gets to know this world with the help of the enigmatic Kickaha as he strives to save his new love.And Wolff is greeted by a surprize at the end of the journey.

Book two continues the adventures of Wolff as we see him fight for his life though world after world of his deranged father, again trying to save his love.This time he must team up with a cadre of back stabbing relatives, other Lords who would just a soon kill each other but must try to work together to kill their father.Farmer again gives pulp style action as all the characters are placed in near constant jeopardy through the book.

Book three occurs during the events of book two but back on the World of Tiers.This time Kickaha takes the stage as our main character, a place he keeps for the next 3 books as well.Strange things are afoot and the ever tricky Kickaha must fight and think his way though them.Hunted by the Half-horse who want his scalp and the evil Bellers who want him dead so they may take over all of humanity and all of the worlds of the Lords, he has his work cut out for him.With a little help from an unlikely ally he may win.

If you want rich character development you may want to pass.But if you like adventure and pulp action this is for you.And if you love alien words and creatures look no further.It really doesn't get much more out there than Philip Farmer, that's why people love to read him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Silver Age Adventure
For some reason, Amazon is combining the reviews of both volumes of the World of Tiers instead of storing them separately under the actually-reviewed volume...So don't be confused by reviews of the second volume appearing under the first, and vice versa.

The first volume contains the first three books of the series, the Maker of Universes, the Gates of Creation, and A Private Cosmos.People looking for realistic romances or accurate portrayals of human emotion might want to look elsewhere; those in the mood for classic world-spanning science fiction with an emphasis on action have found their grail.

The first two books center on Wolff, a man who starts on Earth and is taken through a Gate to another world where strange Lords rule pocket universes of their own creation and wage a cruel and inventive war against each other.In addition to fabulous landscapes and strange beasts, we have many vintage science fiction ideas and death traps galore.The third book introduces the Black Bellers, creations originally intended to store human consciousnesses for transferring to new bodies, which have themselves evolved consciousness and now present a major threat to all life.Farmer's forte is putting characters in horrible situations and letting them work their way out with wits alone.

The imagery in this book is amazing as we travel through multiple universes, each conceived by a Lord as either a palace of pleasure or one giant planet of destruction.Highly recommended for anyone looking for a great, imaginative thrill ride.

The second volume concludes one of the most entertaining and original adventure/science fiction series in history.The emphasis is on action, conflict, and solving puzzles with the mind alone, said puzzles usually involving Gates that take the main characters to different worlds, often landing them squarely in the middle of a mastermind's death trap.How Farmer weaves his characters into and out of these death traps provided immense enjoyment for this reader.

The second volume, containing books 4-6 of the World of Tiers, focuses on Kickaha's battle against the Lord of Earth, Red Orc.Behind the Walls of Terra is one long action/chase scene as Kickaha lands on Earth after an absence of 25 years to chase down a threat to all life everywhere (the Black Bellers) and find his friends who may have been captured by Red Orc.In the second book in this volume, the Lavalite World, Kickaha and others have been transported to a shape-changing world where the planet itself molds and morphs and breaks apart (and rejoins) like the globules in a lavalamp.You will also encounter man-eating trees with insectoid eyes set among their branches and other products of Farmer's fertile imagination.The last book, More than Fire, is the showdown between Kickaha and Red Orc.In my opinion, the books just get better and better.

Don't expect the prose of Shakespeare or the complex and masterful plots of Ludlum; this is pure action/adventure with a healthy dose of trippy sci-fi ideas. ... Read more

20. The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Peerless Peer
by Philip Jose Farmer
Paperback: Pages (2011-06-07)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0857681206
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Holmes and Watson take to the skies in the quest of the nefarious Von Bork and his weapon of dread... A night sky aerial engagement with the deadly Fokker nearly claims three brilliant lives... And an historic alliance is formed, whereby Baker Street’s enigmatic mystery-solver and Greystoke, the noble savage, peer of the realm and lord of the jungle, team up to bring down the hellish hun! ... Read more

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