Free eBook To Your Scattered Bodies GoAuthor Philip José Farmer –

Usually, the Hugo Awards are a good recommendation for entertaining literature.Not in this case I really don t understand how this book could have been given an award of any kind Were there NO other sf novels published in 1971 Farmer uses historical figures as his characters as an excuse to not bother writing any characterization of any kind Every character in the novel is completely two dimensional It s pretty hard to make such an interesting and multi dimensional character as the historical Richard Burton dull and flat but Farmer manages it.Moreover, the book is offensively, insidiously sexist By which I don t mean that, in the grand tradition of adventure stories, that lusty buxom babes abound if only Rather, I mean that not one female character in the book displays any initiative, independence, or intelligence Men regard them as property, and women s only instinct seems to be to find a male protector The stereotypes of women as prude, nag, or whore are found in abundance Women are only an accessory to a man, to be admired physically, used sexually, and then tired of.Here s one direct quote She was the product of her society like all women, she was what men had made her One cannot excuse this attitude in writing as being a product of its time check out what Ursula LeGuin was publishing in the late 60 s and early 70 s Sexist stereotypes are not the only ones found they re practically incidental to the ethnic and cultural stereotypes In a world supposedly populated with people of all cultures, time periods, and places, everything seems to run in a remarkably Eurocentric manner To regard cigars as a universal luxury item is particularly bemusing.Still, all this would be excusable, if only the story was fun, exciting and interesting Not so For such a short 222p novel, the plot was inexcusably meandering and dull I fell asleep on it last night, and finished it this afternoon out of some sort of sense of obligation.I think I ll be sending the copy of World of Tiers on my to read shelf straight to the recycle bin. Let s say you died in 2005 You wake up on a beach I am simplifying here for those of that have not read this the book does not start off on a beach , next to a river that is endless You have no recollection of this place You know this can t be possible because next to you are a man dressed in 16th century attire and a bit further down from him is what looks like a Neanderthal But, hey, you re in a Philip Jose Farmer novel, so anything s possible I love the concept that when we die regardless of what time period we died in we are all sent to a world with a massive river cutting it in half and are dependant upon mystical orbs to get food and other necessities.But what really works for me is the realization Farmer had that in some way man will still try to develop a power structure Add the fact that war and politics and everything associated with the two are still present and you get what could plausibly be best described as earth And who doesn t want to read about Richard Burton or Mark Twain in the afterlife Though I do have issues with Farmer s writing style the storythan makes up for this VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED To Your Scattered Bodies Go Is The Hugo Award Winning Beginning To The Story Of Riverworld, Philip Jos Farmer S Unequaled Tale About Life After Death When Famous Adventurer Sir Richard Francis Burton Dies, The Last Thing He Expects To Do Is Awaken Naked On A Foreign Planet Along The Shores Of A Seemingly Endless River But That S Where Burton And Billions Of Other Humans Plus A Few Nonhumans Find Themselves As The Epic Riverworld Saga Begins It Seems That All Of Earthly Humanity Has Been Resurrected On The Planet, Each With An Indestructible Container That Provides Three Meals A Day, Cigarettes, Alcoholic Beverages, A Lighter, And The Odd Tube Of Lipstick But Why And By Whom That S What Burton And A Handful Of Fellow Adventurers Are Determined To Discover As They Construct A Boat And Set Out In Search Of The River S Source, Thought To Be Millions Of Miles Away Although There Are Many Hardships During The Journey Including An Encounter With The Infamous Hermann Goring Burton S Resolve To Complete His Quest Is Strengthened By A Visit From The Mysterious Stranger, A Being Who Claims To Be A Renegade Within The Very Group That Created The Riverworld The Stranger Tells Burton That He Must Make It To The River S Headwaters, Along With A Dozen Others The Stranger Has Selected, To Help Stop An Evil Experiment At The End Of Which Humanity Will Simply Be Allowed To DieCraig E Engler I can t even continue with this book The premise is moderately interesting, but the sexism is just too much Prudes and whores and nags and every fucking stereotype of woman you can think of, but god forbid there be a woman who serves any purpose other than sex object or victim Yet another genius who can imagine a world without religion or oppressive sexual s, but can t imagine competent women with purpose and agency outside of a man.DNFed at page 78. Revisit 2015 is via audio file 07 42 33Description To Your Scattered Bodies Go is the Hugo Award winning beginning to the story of Riverworld, Philip Jos Farmer s unequaled tale about life after death When famous adventurer Sir Richard Francis Burton dies, the last thing he expects to do is awaken naked on a foreign planet along the shores of a seemingly endless river But that s where Burton and billions of other humans plus a few nonhumans find themselves as the epic Riverworld saga begins It seems that all of Earthly humanity has been resurrected on the planet, each with an indestructible container that provides three meals a day, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, a lighter, and the odd tube of lipstick But why And by whom That s what Burton and a handful of fellow adventurers are determined to discover as they construct a boat and set out in search of the river s source, thought to be millions of miles away Although there are many hardships during the journey including an encounter with the infamous Hermann Goring Burton s resolve to complete his quest is strengthened by a visit from the Mysterious Stranger, a being who claims to be a renegade within the very group that created the Riverworld The stranger tells Burton that he must make it to the river s headwaters, along with a dozen others the Stranger has selected, to help stop an evil experiment at the end of which humanity will simply be allowed to die. Craig E EnglerBurton s battle with the F icles is a fantastic adventure story and the excitement stood the test of time with this re visit Looking forward to the second book where Mark Twain is a major player, if my memory serves me right.How lucky I was as a young woman, there was so much to grab and follow this series, Donaldson s, Eddings s and the beginning of PTerry s ouevre It was this very book that introduced me to Burton, and I ve enjoyed reading about the lives of the explorers ever since.Richard BurtonAlice LiddellJohn de GreystokeHermann GoringTullus HostiliusFrom wiki Peter Jairus Frigate is a fictionalized version of the science fiction author Philip Jos Farmer, which appeared in his Riverworld series of novels.Confusingly, it is only towards the end of the series that the true Peter Jairus Frigate appears the one in the earlier volumes was in fact an impostor5 To Their Scattered Bodies Go The Fabulous Riverboat Riverworld, 2 The Dark Design Riverworld, 3 The Magic Labyrinth Riverworld, 4 The Gods of Riverworld Riverworld 5 For me, the appeal of Speculative Fiction is the breadth and depth of its scope An author is free to explore the most difficult questions and imagine worlds vastly different from anything we have ever experienced Though all literature is concerned with what it means to be human, few outside of Sci Fi go to such lengths to ask what it means to be capable of thought and self knowledgeHowever, there is a drawback Often, authors succumb to the temptation to create a world so new, so different, so complex, and so vast that it becomes almost impossible to write it Farmer has selected too vast a canvas, too great a scene, and so the small if engaging story he paints upon it seems a far cry from the overarching premise.Farmer creates an artificial afterlife, one containing every human being ever born By using the old Sci Fi trick of science did it , he avoids the knee jerk response many people would have to a book making overt spiritual claims Since everyone was just recreated by aliens, Farmer is not technically a blasphemer.Everyone is there even, as the book jacket likes to point out, you Farmer has the grandest possible cast of characters, and does not waste it His protagonists, their friends, and their enemies are plucked from the greatest and most notorious men in history as well as Farmer himself However, we are struck with an immediate difficulty Farmer is trying to write some of the most remarkable people in history.Unfortunately for Farmer, many of his characters real life counterparts were brilliant, eccentric men Since they arebrilliant and eccentric than Farmer himself, we end up with fairly standard protagonists saddled with famous names.For example, he chooses one of the most remarkable men of a remarkable period, Sir Richard Burton In a time of colonial adventurers, he was one of the greatest and most notorious He was one of the most adroit swordfighters of his day and braved and escaped death numerous times over his remarkably long career.He was also a polyglot who knew some thirty languages, making him an extremely convenient hero for a book taking place on a world where every culture was rubbing elbows with every other He also nearly discovered the source of the Nile, giving him a thematic connection to this Riverworld.In short he was a real life hero, straight out of an adventure story However, he was also a refined and educated man who made a full and unabridged translation of the 1,001 Arabian Nights Though Farmer s version of Burton is as capable and impressive as we might expect, he does not have Burton s singular and remarkable personality.Perhaps it was wise of Farmer to pick a man so clearly suited to play the role of the adventure hero Many authors have tried to create adventure heroes out of small and inexperienced men However, in this case, Farmer has thrown his net too far, and caught too large a fish for his dinner.Farmer experiences a similar problem with all of the myriad cultures he writes Since he is not a historical expert on any of these cultures, their portrayal tends to be rather unremarkable, such that as we travel along the river, we find Victorian Gentlemen, Dakota Indians, and Chinese Marauders areor less interchangeable Beyond this, their interaction with one another becomes likewise simplified It would be a remarkable feat for any author to be able to write such interactions as might occur between Sumerians and Olmecs, but this hardly excuses Farmer after all, he was the one who chose to write this book.Farmer took his inspiration from Edgar Rice Burroughs, who also had a mysterious and mystical river in his John Carter of Mars series However, Farmer might have taken another lesson from Burroughs When Burroughs wrote of strange Martian cultures, he could create as he liked without any need for research or knowledge However, we can see by the wild inaccuracies of his Tarzan that he probably should have stuck with aliens.Likewise, if Farmer s book had been about his own made up cultures, there would be little to fault him However, since he chose such a difficult path himself, I feel no compunction in stating that he was unequal to the challenge The book is exciting, adventurous, and the writing is not without grace, but it is certainly not what it would promise to be.The next book in the series is worse, with a hackneyed, unfunny Mark Twain taking center stage. ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.After he died, the famous 19th century explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton wasn t surprised to find that what the Christian priests had taught about the Resurrection wasn t true But he was totally bewildered by what actually happened He woke up young, hairless, naked, and turning in midair as if on a spit in the middle of 37 billion other young, hairless, naked and rotating humans Soon after waking, the bodies all the people over the age of five who had ever lived plunged to the ground and began their new lives together in a giant river valley Is this Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or is it some huge social experiment being run by aliens Most of the humans, happy that their basic needs are being met, are content to just be living again Some people see this as an opportunity to seize the power and wealth that they had, or never obtained, on Earth But Sir Richard just wants to know what s going on He seems to be the only person who got a glimpse behind the scenes of their new home and, not only does he resent being manipulated, but his curiosity is insatiable So, he and a few companions set out to explore the Riverworld and, they hope, to discover the source of the river and find some answers.Richard Francis Burton, a fascinating and scandalous man in real life, is the perfect character to explore the Riverworld Philip Jose Farmer s depiction of Burton, and several other real historical figures, is superb, though occasionally teachy when Farmer periodically interjects an encyclopedic sounding aside about a character s life this minor bit of clumsiness is the reason for my 4.5 instead of 5 star rating I won t tell you who else shows up in the Riverworld, because I d spoil the fun, but I ll say that it s hilarious to watch Burton learn about 20th century history and interact with some of its denizens.The best aspect of To Your Scattered Bodies Go is its original premise the idea of all of humanity spread out, generally in chronological order, along a giant river which can be traveled, like a human timeline There is some scattering of bodies hence the title so that a 21st century American could end up in a tribe of Neanderthals If someone dies in the Riverworld, they are resurrected at random somewhere along the river.To Your Scattered Bodies Go, written in 1971, is creative, exciting, fast paced, and totally absorbing I was completely enthralled from the first page to the last I listened to Recorded Books version read by Paul Hecht and I had a hard time removing my earbuds for long enough to pay attention to my real life duties By the end of the story Burton has managed to get a few answers, but there are so many questions left and I can t wait to learnabout Riverworld Therefore, I m already reading the next installment The Fabulous Riverboat. I read this many years ago, but never wanted to read anyin the series As time went by, I forgot why, so I thought I d reread it see The description makes this sound really neat it is, but it s also disappointing It s certainly open ended enough that I should want to continue, but I don t again.It starts off with a great idea Everyone is reborn into their body at their prime They have plenty of food, no disease or insects, a great climate with abundant natural materials save metal There is even a daily ration of drugs booze, pot, a psychedelic So there is full equality real opportunity at a second chance in an interesting mix of cultures times The characters are really interesting Farmer even writes himself in sort of to explain his interest in the main character, Sir Richard Burton, we get to meet Herman Goering plus several others Of course, they manage to screw up paradise I expected that to be the most interesting theme It wasn t It was actually rather boring somewhat disheartening The major theme was who made this world why Also an interesting premise, but he didn t expand on it enough to really capture me All in all, the whole book seemed like a lot of great opportunities lost It wasn t bad, but it just didn t meet the expectations I had for it that was disappointing Again, I don t think I ll continue reading the series. It s 1972 and the Hugos just named this one best novel, and why Because it s actually 2016 and this novel has just been optioned by both HBO AND Showtime for an ongoing series noted mostly for it s all nude cast, all the time, celebrities and historical personages all coming back to their most perfect forms, and, of course, senseless war and violence When they re not expounding on philosophy, of course, because philosophy and religion always leads to a cave man s club and a bunch of grabbing of blond hair Don t get me wrong I m actually having a great time with this book I can ignore the constant nudity, because, after all, the main characters are Sir Richard Francis Burton and Hermann Goering What I m most fascinated by is the deeper questions Like Why Come on, SF, you know you want to ask it Why are we having the tale of the bodily resurrection in an ostensibly heaven like world complete with Holy Grails for every single person who had ever lived And why does chewing gum bring out the very worst in us all And why do we always, always, always have to degenerate to our very worst selves whenever the outcome just doesn t matter Huh Why Tune in for the next novel Maybe I don t know This is my first Farmer, and it s definitely not going to be my last I m getting great vibes off of this It s too graphic for Netflix, but I think it has practically unlimited possible milage for HBO and Showtime We can do ANYTHING Murders don t even count That eviscerated person will just pop up somewhere else along the nearly infinite world of rivers among yet another random population of ANYONE WHO EVER LIVED Okay why aren t All the Authors Who Ever Lived turning this idea into a franchise and filling all our bookshelves with better versions of what I just read The potential is glorious I loved the conversations between all these famous people They have the most respectful and interesting ways of saying WTF Beyond just a couple of dumb blond preferences, I think this novel has held up extraordinarily well over the years I think it could gain a whole new audience in today s readership, especially in the realm of slash fiction, fan fiction, and whatever it is that Stephanie Meyer and E.L James does. A very Kilgore Troutish book Farmer comes up with a phenomenal idea a world where every human being who s ever lived has been resurrected, to spend the rest of eternity coming to terms with each other along the banks of a gigantic river Unfortunately, after a few chapters it becomes clear that the author has no real plan about where to go with his concept I remember some reviewer expressing similar disappointment with The Matrix It starts with a metaphysical revelation, and ends with a shootout what went wrong But even so, this is the best book of the series the Riverworld is entertaining enough in itself to keep things moving along for a while My recommendation is to read it for the atmosphere, and not bother to find out what the explanation is when that is duly produced in one of the later volumes Trust me you ll be disappointed.