Basically, we have a starship crew returning to Earth with the traditional centuries long time lag to find the eastern shore of America to be a society believing in the Mother Godess with some technological ramifications.
Farmer must have had lots of fun writing this because I had quite a bit reading it. Tony Lewis. It is decidedly fast-moving. The story is set in a future where the Earth is divided between the totalitarian Haijac Union and several independant states and federations attempting to avoid absorption into that empire.
Its principal character, Dr. Leif Barker, is a top level secret agent working within the Haijac Union to subvert and destroy it, and from the first to the last page Timestop is a fast-paced story of his efforts to remain one step ahead of the Haijac authorities. The Haijac Union is a theocratic dictatorship, dominated by the hierarchy of the Sturch, the institutional body of a "scientific religion" founded some generations earlier by one Isaac Sigmen, who is supposedly traveling through time and is scheduled to manifest himself on the occasion of Timestop and reward his faithful followers.
One of the avenues by means of which Barker's espionage network is undermining Haijac society involves the propagation of rumors that Timestop is imminent. The religion is provided with an Anti-Christ in the person of one Jude Changer, who is aso able to travel through time and is engaged in sowing evil and undoing the work of the holy Sigmen. The initials J. They might also, however, be the initials of Jacques Cuze, allegedly the leader of a literal French underground headquartered in the ancient sewers and subways of Paris.
All of these elements, in any event, form opposition to the Haijac Union. Leif Barker's difficulties begin when the mauled body of Halla Dannto is rushed to the hospital where Dr. Barker and his "wife", Ava, work. The extraordinarily beautiful Halla is the wife of a high Sturch official and, more important, an agent of the same intelligence bureau as Barker.
Techniques of fantasy art
His orders are that, if Halla Dannto is dead, he is to conceal the fact until her identical twin sister can be substituted for her. This he does, in an environment where everybody is suspicious of everybody else, and with the added difficulties of a passionate husband and a cold, cunning, ultra-suspicious secret police official haunting the hospital corridors.
He also manages to complicate things further by falling in love with the counterfeit Halla, disobeying the instructions of his own superiors and getting involved with a group of Bantus living a shadowing existence in the abandoned Paris subway tunnels. Ultimately, Barker manages to escape with Halla to Bantuland, and there, presumably, they live more or less happily ever after. Beyond this fairly conventional plot, Farmer offers a couple of for him characteristic touches: a sexual theme, and a few analytical pot-shots at religious intolerance. Halla and her sister have a surgically-implanted organ in their abdomens which generates a stimulating electric shock during intercourse.
In an oppressive society of sexually frustrated men—made that way to render them easier to control—a woman capable of thus turning on a man is an invaluable agent. The antithesis of that society is the Bantu community-family, which functions like a Hippie commune with the additional bond of telepathy. There is one scene in which they are practicing a ritual of love, which, I am quite certain, but for the time and place in which it was written, would have culminated in something very like the giant daisy chain of Blown.
Farmer does a good job of depicting a rather unpleasant future society, and the writing is technically sound without being either beautiful or brilliant. Characterization is generally sharp, but the author goes a little overboard in portraying Barker as a somewhat pompous figure. Timestop is worth reading if you hadn't read it in its earlier incarnation as A Woman A Day. Or, for the matter, even if you had.
Ted Pauls. Quite simply, Farmer's , a doctor works as a spy in a society ruled by oppression and "big brother". The scene is France during the future.
A clever novel with many interesting facets. Unfortunately not one of his best, as it gets a bit boring, especially as the plot appears to thicken. If you like Philip Jose Farmer try it, if not give it a miss. The last two have had their titles forcibly wrenched into conformity with the pattern. Farmer is an important writer, who repays study.
He is, it is true, an acquired taste, but that is only another way of saying that he is his own writer instead of being a copy of someone else. In his work are several highly individual qualities - one, an explicit curiosity about reproduction and elimination; two, an astute knack for inventing alien biology; three, an obsessive concern for the subconscious wounds which express themselves in the human sum called "personality.
Nearly all of Farmer's aliens are meticulously and brightly drawn.
- Search Worlds Without End.
- All Fairy Tales/Myths?
- Reward Yourself;
Nearly all of his humans have pockets of rot in their brains which seep through, polluting their actions. No matter what great struggles his characters may engage in in the physical world, their real battle is always with the wild black storms that scourge their minds. Frederik Pohl. Ballantine Books K pp.
About this book
It demonstrates the author's talents far better than than the newer novel, "Flesh," and at the same time is a show-piece of sexual symbolism and variation. They are companion stories about the intelligent molluscs or land-oysters of Baudelaire, females all, whose reproductive cycle is unlike anything on earth except the symbolic phantasmagoria of dreams.
In the first and better of the two stories, mama's boy Eddie Fetts, wrecked on Baudelaire with his classically dominant mother, literally retreats into the womb of the monster he names Polyphema and spends the rest of his life there, fathering her litters in the strange manner developed by her species. This yarn might be taken as the author's tongue-in-cheek demonstration that a good writer can turn anything into an acceptable SF story—even "The Three Little Pigs.
It is by far the most impressive in the book, and the best of the author's stories that I have read seen-since his classic "The Lovers" appeared just as I was moving to Pittsburg, and I never read it. It is also one of the rare science fiction magazines with a religious theme—a world of all-female creatures, except for one male humanoid giant who is in a way creator of them all. Two priests, in the crew of a ship forced down on Abatos, are taught the art of raising the dead.
One, Bishop Andre, is to take Father's place while he carries the gift of resurrection to the rest of the galaxy. But the more worldly Father Carmody begins to probe a little deeper, and to uncover disquieting things. He, of course, finds a way to outwit the machine and escape. The storyline is rather inconsequential; what counts here is the ingenuity with which the biology of these aliens has been worked out.
Again, for the Freudian, sexual symbolism is poured in with a lavish hand to flavor the outlandish stew. It's certainly an important book in the development of SF, but I wish there was a critical introduction saying why. The stories stand up very well after 20 years even if the shock value is no longer there.
Read PDF Childrens Album: 10. Polka
Ballantine Books, New York. The original novelette was probably the most talked-about story of the year; if there had been Hugo's then, it would surely have won one. Now, expanded into a novel, it gets another chance, and if it should be the winner for , the award will mean more than it would have ten years ago. First, and perhaps foremost, it was a science-fiction story in which sexual relations played the central part.
Second, there was a potent sexual gimmick that I don't feel able to reveal even now.
- A History of Management Thought?
- Similar Recommendations;
- Early Records of Columbia County, Georgia.
- God Only Knows.
Old fans know what it is, but a new generation is entitled to that last slug in the wind. Now Mr. Farmer has strengthened his story by building up the structure of the Sigmen society of A. This portrait of a warped, puritanical, hierarchical social order is a major achievement of science fiction. The world of these two books is more intensely realized than Robert A. Heinlein's "Future History"; it is almost as real--cruelly real--as the world of Orwell's " It also follows--since that appears the author's crusade-- that the illogic and hypocrisy of our own sexual code is exaggerated to the point where the hero, Hal Yarrow, is walled off from any kind of normal relations--by Twentieth Century standards, at least--with his wife, or any other woman.
Taboos, prohibitions, rituals--this is as hag-haunted a future as anyone has shown us. Then, on a distant planet whose intelligent arthropods are to be destroyed to provide lebensraum for the Sigmen world, Yarrow comes up hard and suddenly against a woman who knows nothing about the kind of conditioning he has had.
Little by little the barriers are broken down, little by little Yarrow becomes more human--and then the sky falls.