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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Copyright 1971 by Philip Jose Farmer

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (4/5)

I first read this in 1973.

Richard Burton (the British explorer, not the actor) died in 1890. Some unknown time later he awakens to find himself in a strange world. He is surrounded by other similarly reanimated people from both past and future times. They awaken on the banks of a great river. Basic necessities are provided for them daily. If they die they are reanimated elsewhere alongside the river that wraps around this Riverworld. But why are they there? Who has done this to them and what is their purpose?

This novel knocked me out when I first read it. Astonishing stuff: heady ideas and great adventure. I was so stuck by the many historical characters recreated in the novel that I found myself looking them up in the reference books at my local library. Rereading it more recently I realize that it still is - as I thought then - a classic of SF. The dismal '80s TV series certainly didn't do the novel justice. I want a trilog at least of big-budget Riverworld movies.

Loaded on the 20th March 2022.
Cover of To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Reviews of other works by Philip Jose Farmer:
Night Of Light