Demon (Gaea 3)

Demon (Gaea 3) La Trilogie De Gaa, TomeDmon VarleyLivre Nsurdans La Srie Gaea Trilogy Voir Les Formats Et Ditions Masquer Les Autres Formats Et Ditions PrixNeuf Partir De Occasion Partir De Poche Veuillez Ressayer Poche ,D Occasion Partir De ,Neuf Partir De , Livr Mardijuin Dtails Livraison Acclre Mardijuin Dtails LEDmon TomeLa Trilogie De Gaia TomeJohn VarleyLa Trilogie De Gaia Tome , Dmon Tome, John Varley, Jean Bonnefoy, Denol Des Milliers De Livres Avec La Livraison Chez Vous Enjour Ou En Magasin Avec % De Rduction Demon Gaean Trilogy, BookJohn Varley, Allyson JohnsonDemon Gaean Trilogy, BookJohn Varley, Allyson Johnson, Audible StudiosLivres PocheSF Trilogie GaaDmon GaeaDemon Illustration Illustrateur MEILLEUR LIVRE DE SCIENCE FICTION Position ActuelleVoter Pour Ce Livre Nombre De VotesAuteur John VARLEY Anne De CrationSous Genre Science Fiction EditionFolio NQuatrime De Couverture Une Marilyn Monroe De Quinze Mtres, Un King Kong En Pices Dtaches Un Indic Ivrogne Et ReptilienDemon Gaia BookEnglish Edition EBook Varley, JohnAchetez Et Tlchargez Ebook Demon Gaia BookEnglish Edition Boutique Kindle AdventureDemon Trilogie De GaiaVARLEY JOHN La Librairie Gallimard Vous Renseigne Sur Demon Trilogie De Gaiade L Auteur VARLEY JOHNVous Tes Informs Sur Sa Disponibilit, Son Prix, Ses Donnes Techniques Vous Pouvez Le Commander En Ajoutant Ce Livre Votre Panier La Trilogie De Gaa, TomeDmon Livraddict Titre Original Gaea Trilogy, BookDemon Science Fictionditionchroniquecommentairedition Pour Ce LivreEditions Folio SF Langue Franaise Traduit Par Jean Bonnefoypages Ajouter Ma Bibliothque Je N Ai Pas Lu Ce Livre Aucune Chronique Pour Ce Livre En Vous Inscrivant Livraddict, Vous Pourrez Partager Vos Chroniques De Blog Dans Cette ZoneDemon Gaea,by John Varley Goodreads In Demon, The Planetary Brain, Gaea, Has Reconstituted Herself As Afoot Tall Image Of Marilyn Demon Is The Final Book Of The Gaea Trilogy And It Brings The Story To A Very Satisfying Conclusion Author John Varley Is Easily The Most Whimsical Of All Science Fiction Writers For The Pastyears And Even Though This Series Begins With Its Feet On The Ground, It Ends Up Tearing A Hole In The Sky Demon Gaeabook By John Varley ThriftBooks Buy A Cheap Copy Of Demon Gaeabook By John Varley The Satellite Sized Alien Gaea Has Gone Completely Insane She Has Transformed Her Love Of Old Movies Into Monstrous Realities She Is Marilyn Monroe She Is King Free Shipping Over

Full name: John Herbert Varley.

John Varley was born in Austin, Texas. He grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, moved to Port Arthur in 1957, and graduated from Nederland High School. He went to Michigan State University.

He has written several novels and numerous short stories.He has received both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

➿ [Download] ➽ Demon (Gaea 3) By John Varley ➵ –
  • Unknown Binding
  • 464 pages
  • Demon (Gaea 3)
  • John Varley
  • English
  • 21 June 2019
  • 9780399129452

10 thoughts on “Demon (Gaea 3)

  1. says:

    I read the first two books of John Varley’s magnificent Gaean trilogy, Titan and Wizard, when I was in high school, back in the mid eighties and I really enjoyed them. Somehow, inexplicably, I never read the third, Demon. When I began reading again in 2008 (after graduating from law school) and then especially when I connected with Goodreads in 2011, I remembered the trilogy and decided to finish what was started.

    Demon was first published in 1984 and completes the trilogy of humanity's encounter with a living being in the shape of a 1,300 km diameter Stanford torus, inhabited by many different species such as the centaur-like Titanides, living blimps, iron masters, and the god-like, insane entity known as Gaea in orbit around Saturn.

    The protagonist of the trilogy is Cirocco Jones, a charismatic but complex super-hero who displays a dramatic counter figure to the deliberate antagonist of Gaea. The real quality of the trilogy is Varley’s wonderfully imaginative, uniquely original world building.

    In contrast with the Tolkien inspired sub-genre of fantasy series, this is a decidedly American fantasy.


  2. says:

    For the most part, I absolutely love this trilogy. On the idea front, it's wild with some of the coolest and strangest story combinations, from a life-as-a-movie-set to an intentionally perverse Greek Mythos setup to the enormous annihilation of humanity in the Fifth Nuclear War (some twenty years after book 2), to the fact that we're on an all-out trip to overthrow a god here on the artificial moon.

    Cirocco Jones is something around a hundred and twenty years old at this point and she's completely turned on Gaia who seems to be going batshit crazy. If you don't believe me, check out her children, her affair with King Kong as a 50 ft Marylin Monroe, or her myriad lies or new fascinations. She's been around a long time. She's also a fan of the human culture. Hell, I like Gaia because she's a big fan of movie monsters and science fiction epics and doesn't mind playing around with all the creations in the world to fill her whims. Cirocco Jones should have been her wizard and go-between, but a lot of that sours because of that little demon that was put in her (and others') heads. It's easy to do anything and go completely crazy as a god. Especially if you're not.

    Hints and oddities aside, not to mention outright spoilers, the outright strangeness and world-building of these novels are absolutely amazing. I can't do them justice in twenty pages of lists of creatures or alien oddities, and they're all great, even the ones built off of our own science fiction past. The god is a fan, as is the author, and this, more than anything, makes me want to scream and jump and shout at everyone to say, "Hey, this shit is BRILLIANT, Yo!"

    I didn't even have a problem with the fundamental story this time. It has gotten better and the shape of everything from the first to the third novel has become something rather awesome.

    So why didn't I give it a full 5 star? Or the rest of them, for that matter?

    I was annoyed. I really don't care whether authors like to go all out with atheism or not in their text. It doesn't bother me. I actually found the undead Martin Luthers (not Jr.) spouting their undead religion rather funny. I didn't even find the intellectual (and wild) creation of the Titanides' sexual congress too much. It was fascinating to learn about, with time.

    I suppose what bothered me was the heavy (and I mean heavy) focus on sex and sexuality. I'm not particularly prudish or anything and I've read romance novels that can make any maiden aunt blush, but the way it is explored in these novels was SF, idea-exploring, theoretically uplifting and often squirm-inducing. It ran the whole course, from humans becoming Titanides with three sex organs to the oddities of the Amazonians to normal couples to monster sex. And he's trying to make deep points and make logical and heart-felt leaps... and none of it quite hits the mark.

    If the sex had been just a sideline part of the novel, this might not have been much of an issue for me. As it was, sex, sex, sex was a huge part of the narrative, conflict, and deep discussion of all three novels. And let me be clear: little of it was meant to titillate or amuse or get us hot as readers. It's weird how I might even have forgiven *that* more than what actually happened.

    I'm not saying it's not worthwhile, however, and some readers might be a lot more forgiving in their final estimation than me. And then others might just perform a handwavium exercise and forgive it all because the rest is truly a fantastic work of the imagination. :)

    I was tempted. I really was. I almost did the handwavium thing. :) But the balance was off. It was *almost* perfect, but that flaw *was* just a bit too much.

    I still recommend this book even with such caveats. It's a fun and easy read for all that, but above all, it's wild with ideas and imagery and a lot of the actual writing is pretty brilliant in its descriptions.

    I'm quite willing to put this up there with some of the biggest SF classics of all time even as I grumble about the parts that annoy me. The weight of the good far far outweighs the bad. :)

  3. says:

    The satellite-sized alien Gaea had gone completely insane
    She held control of a complete world with her mind


    King Kong,
    Sentient Blimps,
    Animated cameras,
    Centaur Titanides,
    The fountain of Youth,
    Whales that smash ships,
    Baby eating Iron Masters,
    A fifty foot high Marilyn Monroe,
    Hollywood movies of the 30's to the 90's,
    Fighter aircraft versus flying buzz bombs,
    With every country having the Bomb - World War V.
    Epic science fiction on a grand scale

    Cirocco Jones, former astronaut, turned Wizard and now Demon, challenges Gaea, the world goddess for mastery of a living satellite. Watch Cirocco collect a diverse crew, who are all determined to overthrow Gaea, and shape them into a Hollywood style army.

    The obligatory fight scene
    There was nothing he could do to help the women. There were at least six men attacking them. So he would follow the man with the baby, because of all the things that could happen in Gaea he felt being sold to the Iron Masters was the worst. He was already after the man when the screaming began. Against his will, he looked back.
    It was like a tornado. The women had knives in each hand, and knives in their boots, and they were whirling madly, shrieking at the top of their lungs, slashing and stabbing. One man took seven wounds before he had time to fall down and start to die. Another tried to hold his throat together as a second blade entered his bowels. Four were down, then five, as others moved in with knives drawn.
    It was too bad, really. It was the most amazing display of sheer, furious will to fight he had ever seen, but he didn’t see how the two could hold off an army. They were going to take a fine honor guard to hell with them, but they were going to die. The least he could do was save the child of the older warrior.

    Baby Adam's view of this strange new world
    The last member of the party was the happiest of the lot.
    He had been near death three times in his short life, but he did not know that. His mother had been his first potential murderer. Robin had thought long and hard on it, when she saw what she had miraculously brought forth from her troubled womb into a troubled world.
    Most recently he had almost been killed by a babylegger. His memories of that were vague. It had all been over so quickly. He remembered the man who had smiled down at him. He liked the man.
    There were a lot of new people. He liked that. He liked the new place, too. It was easier to walk here. He didn’t fall down so much. Some of the new people were very big, and they had a lot of legs. They were many exciting colors, so bright and vivid that he laughed in delight every time he saw them. He had learned a new word: Tye-Nye.
    A bright yellow Tye-Nye was carrying him now. He was satisfied with the ride. Only two things marred an other wise perfect afternoon. His ass felt wet, and he was wondering if it was about time for dinner
    He was just about to mention these points when the Tye-Nye handed him to mother. Mother put him on the Tye-Nye’s back, and he watched the Tye-Nye’s long, fluffy pink hair bouncing above him as his mother changed his diaper. The Tye-Nye turned her head around, and he found that hilarious. And mother was laughing! She hadn’t been doing that much lately. Adam was ecstatic.
    Robin opened her shirt, lifted him, and he found the nipple.
    And now the world was perfect.

    Home made movies Gaea style - the King Kong showdown
    Gaea bit the head off a second man. This one was dressed in an orange robe. The first had been in a traditional priest’s collar and black vestments.
    It was a warm-up for the match with Kong. The giant ape could be seen hovering in the background of some of the shots. The bolex who shot them had been more concerned with the eating of the holy men. Each shot was rock-steady and carefully framed.
    The fight began. Gaea and Kong grappled. Kong went sailing over Gaea’s head to land on his back. He seemed stunned as Gaea lumbered over and pinned him. Gaea was thrown off the great beast. He came after her. There was a gap, and Kong was down again. Gaea hovered over him, then pounced.


    Luther - a zombie priest
    Luther stalked the docks of a Bellinzona as empty of people as the dusty streets of the western town in High Noon, with Gary Cooper. It is possible his mind made the connection, as he had recently seen the film at Pandemonium.
    He didn’t look like Gary Cooper. He looked like Frankenstein’s monster after a three-day bender and a car wreck. Most of the left side of his face was gone, baring some jawbone and cracked teeth, part of a mastoid, and a hollow eye socket. Greenish brain tissue showed through a ragged crack in his skull, as if it had leaked out and been haphazardly stuffed back in. His remaining eye was a black pit in a red sea, blazing with righteous fury. Sutures encircled his neck; not scars, but actual thick threads piercing the skin. If they were removed, his head would have fallen off.
    All of his body but his hands was concealed behind a filthy black cassock. The hands bore stigmata which wept blood and pus. One of his legs was shorter than the other. It was not a deformity, but a simple mechanical problem: the leg had once belonged to a nun. It did not slow him down.

    Zombie attack
    She got up, yawning, padded to the window, and stuck her head out. She looked down.
    What she saw was frozen in her memory for all time.
    There was a thing climbing up the outside of the house. She saw its arms, which were made of bones and snakes, and the top of its head, which was covered with cracked parchment and scraps of long hair. But the true terror was in its hands. She could see the bare finger bones, pieces of rotting flesh, and mouths. Each finger ended in a little blind snake with a wide mouth and needle-teeth, and when the hand grasped the vertical wall the snakes bit into the wood with an audible crunch. The thing was coming up fast, hand over hand. She was fumbling for her gun, realizing belatedly that she had no clothes on, when the thing looked up. It had the face of a skull. Worms swarmed in the eye sockets.
    Nova was not easily frightened. Even that horrific face was not enough to make her scream. But then she turned to get her gun and was face to face with the second thing, hanging from the wall beside the window, its face two feet away from her own. Above its eyebrows there was just jagged bone and a boiling mass of worms. It reached for her and she screamed.

    Dive bombing the enemy
    The jet waggled its wings, dipped one, and dived. It leveled out at a hundred meters or so, and now the crazy thing had a full-throated roar. Hard to believe it could do anything, but still, to a flock of people who had seen at least four war movies a week for years the scene had a certain nervous familiarity. It had some of the flavor of those passes the F-86’s took in The Bridges at Toko-Ri, or maybe more like a Jap Zero skittering down toward that big scow the Arizona in Tora! Tora! Tora! Or a hundred other air combat pictures where the plane moves in fast and hot and starts shooting, only in those pictures you mostly saw the action from the air, where everything bloomed up toward you in terrific technicolor, not from the ground, where in a few short seconds things were beyond belief.
    The entire row of temples went up almost simultaneously. There would be a hypersonic streak of fire and the smart missiles would go right through the front door and boom, nothing but splinters and a mushroom of flame. The plane was strafing, too, but instead of going ka-chow ka-chow ka-chow and making little fountains of dirt in neat rows, these damn things twisted and turned and chased you, and went off like hand grenades when they hit.


    With cameos from; a Sand-worm, Alex Guinness, Monty Python and popular culture references this is an epic of an adventure!

    Quotes from the producers;

    Stupidity got us into this
    mess—why can’t it get us out?
    —Will Rogers

    What we want is a story that
    starts with an earthquake and
    works its way up to a climax.
    —Sam Goldwyn

    I was always an independent,
    even when I had partners.
    —Sam Goldwyn

    You’ve got to take the
    bull by the teeth.
    —Sam Goldwyn

    Include me out.
    —Sam Goldwyn


  4. says:

    SPOILER WARNING: As I’m combining the reviews of all the books in The Gaean Trilogy in this entry for Demon, there may be spoilers ahead (though I’ll keep them to a minimum). With that in mind, I’ll get my solid recommendation to read these books out of the way. The story and characters are interesting; Gaea is a fascinating concept, and definitely a place I’d love to visit; and the Titanides are one of the coolest alien races ever invented.

    I first read Titan when I was a teen-ager. I can remember the hardcover library copy I checked out multiple times, and I can remember the illustrations that accompanied the text. Some of them were naked women! (Or centauroids, which was just as good to a newly pubescent adolescent. Fortunately, the paperback edition that I now own – printed in the days when PBs sold for $2.50 – preserves the illustrations.*) Having reread the trilogy and being a better reader, I find myself reversing my original ratings (4-3-4 to 3-4-3) for – like the original Star Wars trilogy – the middle book is the better one. In fact, I was strongly reminded of Star Wars: Titan is like “A New Hope” in that we have a straightforward quest tale. The crew of DSV Ringmaster must journey from Gaea’s rim to her hub and discover a way home (there are elements of “The Wizard of Oz” here, too, which Varley explicitly exploits). In Wizard, we get a more nuanced view of the world. The characters’ motivations are less clear and the lines between right and wrong blurrier, and – as in “The Empire Strikes Back” – our actors are more fully realized and interesting. In Demon, the story is brought to a dramatic end but at the expense of the closeness we felt to the continuing characters from the first two books and any new ones. And though they were never Ewoks, the Titanides in Demon lose some of their charm because their capabilities become too good to believe. (If Lucas had substituted Titanides for Ewoks in “Revenge of the Jedi,” it would have been a far better film – Titanides whipping Stormtrooper ass being more believable than ambulatory advertisements for plush toys. And Titanide Jedi would have been AWESOME!) The other downside for some to the final volume is that we get far more exposition about Varley’s thoughts on politics and philosophy, especially the chapters dealing with the taming of Bellinzona (sort of Heinlein-lite: A lot of emphasis on individual liberty & responsibility and the negatives of government and the pitfalls of having power but more nuanced than Heinlein and his clones usually are). I have a fair amount of sympathy (if not total agreement) with Varley so it didn’t distract or annoy me as it might other readers.

    Despite its flaws, The Gaean Trilogy remains a favorite for two reasons. The first, as I’ve alluded to above, are the Titanides:

    You can learn all about Titanide sex in the comment thread on my Titan page. I think they represent everything Varley sees as worthwhile in humans with just the right tweaks to make them better (what we should be like). That wish-fulfillment aspect is taken to an extreme in Demon, as I mentioned, and it weakens the story but I like them, and riding with (note, not on) a Titanide is in the top ten of my fantasy “bucket list.”

    The second – and chief – reason I love these books is Cirocco Jones, erstwhile captain of Ringmaster (Titan), erstwhile Wizard of Gaea (Wizard), and finally the Fury who brings her down (Demon):

    She ranks up there with my favorite SF characters like Signy Mallory (Downbelow Station), Pyanfar Chanur (The Pride of Chanur), Jean-Luc Picard, Spock, Tavore & Trull Sengar (Malazan Book of the Fallen), etc.

    The common thread is that they’re all smart, compassionate people who struggle to do what’s right in the face of individual and institutional evil whatever the personal cost.

    * The illustrations aren't that salacious. PG-13 at most.

  5. says:

    It strikes me, as I finish up Demon, that John Varley’s trilogy is in many ways a mirror-image of Arthur Clarke’s 2001, a Space Odyssey. While both stories begin with humans exploring alien technology in the outer solar system, Clarke’s is all about the computers, space travel, and alien technology, while Varley’s is all about human relationships. Clarke’s aliens are aloof and cold, leaving behind technology just in case humans manage to develop into something interesting; Varley’s Gaea is intensely interested in humans—luring them to her world, sometimes with very convoluted methods, and using their films to express her insanity in this final volume of the trilogy.

    About mid-book, Conal (a man from Earth with all of the prejudices associated) and Nova (a woman from a lesbian society on a human made satellite) have an argument/discussion which I think articulates Varley’s view of things rather well. Conal came from a society in which males were privileged and Nova came from one which demonizes men. They are thrown into a situation where they will have to co-operate and they must work out their differences and an interesting discussion on in-groups and out-groups ensues. Conal realizes that Nova’s choice of wardrobe (or lack thereof) is really none of his business (and shouldn’t affect how he relates to her) and Nova realizes that you don’t have to be a lesbian female to be a worthy companion. I re-read this particular section 2-3 times, just because I enjoyed it so much—it fit so well into the action, without feeling overly preachy (at least to me).

    Needless to say, this whole series passes the Bechdel test with flying colours, very refreshing in a works from the 1970s and 1980s. The whole Gaean world, with its odd plants and animals, is interesting and fun to explore and has its own internal logic that made perfect sense to me as I read it, despite its oddity.

    Book 205 of my science fiction & fantasy reading project.

  6. says:

    This is a strange book. It's a lot to take in. It's got zombies, centaur like creatures, lesbians, witches, a giant Marilyn Monroe and so much more.

    So I read it again. I bought the Gaea series directly from John Varley's site. It cost more money, of course, but he signs it and the money goes directly to him and if anyone deserves some loot to go directly to him it's John Varley.

    I need to read more of him. And you need to read this series.

    He's the sort of writer who adds diverse characters, diverse sexualities and he doesn't blast his trumpet all through the book about it. He just lets them be fully developed characters.

    Cirocco Jones is one of the strongest, coolest female characters EVER! It's not just because she's badass, and she is. It's not just because she is a great leader. It's the way she develops as a character that just makes her so awesome. It's the way she cares about humans and Titanides alike.

    Oh, and don't get me started on the Titanides. They are centaurs with human breasts and three sets of genitals and they are top on the list of my favourite fictional creature, along with Wraeththu. They love music, they're compassion and they're just excellent.

    So, yes. Read this book. John Varley needs to become more popular than certain other writers who are the opposite of John Varley in terms of creating diverse characters. Their idea of being diverse is just having stereotypes of different races and that gets aggravating as all hell!

    And should I mention that Cirocco is totally a woman of colour?

    Read it again. It's so imaginative. Perhaps I am immature but I enjoy books where characters become friends and defeat some great evil together the most. It gives me hope. If these people can defeat giant evil Marilyn Monroe who know what's possible

  7. says:

    I review all three books here (Titan, Wizard and Demon).

    Ah, Varley, what am I to do with you?

    First and foremost, this trilogy is highly enjoyable, if quirky and eccentric in some places. Varley has a strong sense of how people work and his wisdom in his understanding of human interaction plays well in building a strong plot, and several subplots that add to the story's attractiveness. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books when the came out, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them when I found them on They have some language and promiscuity issues, and my prudish mind will never think it is all right to mate with animals, no matter how liberated the person finds him/herself, but if one can handle these side distractions to a very memorable story, then one will be the richer from the experience. Here are quick, probably inadequate one-paragraph summaries of each book:

    Titan: Scirocco Jones and the Ringmaster (a NASA ship) arrive at the moon Titan and are immediately attacked and swallowed up by...something. Shortly thereafter we find out that Titan is alive and run by a being called Gaea, a mad, god-like creature. After several adventures they meet face-to-face with Gaea and become her employees and all ends well.

    Wizard: Varley adds Chris and Robin to the cast of human characters. Both have debilitating ilnesses and have come to Titan to seek medical cures. There they find an alcoholic Scirrocco Jones and her faithful sidekick, Gabby, considering the first careful steps toward overthrowing the mad Gaea. We also find that Scirocco has been given an added responsibility: she must approve every Titanide (the name given to the lovely Centaur-like creatures that make Titan their home) pregnancy, which is why she is probably alcoholic. Chris is an unremarkable figure, but Robin is a member of a sect of women who hate men and consider them all sex fiends. Robin consider Christians to be the worst, probably because they (Robin's sect) style themselves as witches and practice magic, and we all know what conservative Christians think about that (disclaimer: I AM a conservative Christian). At any rate, they have several adventures (required by Gaea before she will cure then), in the company of Scirocco and Gabby, Robin has her eyes open to the true nature of males (both bad and good), and something bad happens to Gabby which turns Scirocco into the enemy of Gaea. Robin and Chris are healed and Chris remains on Titan, but wants to be made into a Titanide.

    Demon: Twenty years or so later, and Earth is in the throes of its fifth nuclear war, a protracted war the we find out has been started and is kept going by the machinations of Gaea. Connall, a weightlifter from Earth immigrates to Titan with the express purpose of killing Scirocco, but instead after a pretty nasty encounter with her, decides to serve her instead. Robin and her daughter Nova show up on Titan with a male child (as in "still in swaddling clothes") after having been kicked out of the coven because Robin had that male baby (which means she must have had intercourse with a man -- a horribly heinous sin in their culture). They both fall from riches to rags overnight and Nova is extremely bitter while Robin (who hasn't had sex with a man since Chris in the previous book) is just perplexed. They meet up with their old friends Scirocco and Chris. Scirocco is no longer a lush, and Chris has begun the slow change from human to Titanide. It is shown in his long floppy ears and horse's tail. Connall becomes Robin's lover while Scirocco decides to take on Gaea, the first step being the cleaning up of the city Bellanzona, a cess pool of human misery. She is successful, though only after draconian steps are taken. She raises an army that marches upon Gaea, who has now descended into such madness that she surrounds herself with the trappings of human movies, watching them continuously almost to the exclusion of everything else. The child Adam may be Scirocco's replacement in the near future if Scirocco doesn't watch herself. Adam is kidnapped, Chris goes along with him to try to counteract the influence of the mad Gaea and a nice little war ensues where we find out that Gaea is not the world, Gaea is just the woman at the controls (to understand, RAFO). Scirocco is successful but only with help from a secret and mysterious friend, who invites her to share godship after Gaea is gone, which she rejects. Scirocco is released to follow her ow path for as long as she wishes, without special protection.

    So why do I hint at a dislike for this story? Well, a couple of reasons. Now, Varley is compared to Heinlein in many reviews, and I can see why, although I would add that the comparison is apt only if we compare him to the Old Heinlein, not the young Heinlein. One of that earlier author's main signatures is his cynicism for any kind of spirituality. Varley is a bit more subtle but just as vicious as the Old Heinlein (the younger Heinlein had honest places for spiritual men--See THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS to find that one of his characters on the right side is a padre--and that's just one example). In this book are lots of characters such as a resurrected Martin Luther, Pope John, even Gautama Buddha and Sidhartha (forgive the spelling if I do not have it right). They are all evil minions of the deranged self-proclaimed goddess of Gaea, not to mention that they are all, well, ridiculous characters. There is not one single person who says, "Yes I belive in an Other Reality, and by the way, I am also a good person. You can see so by my actions." Not a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or even a plain theist, nada, zip, zero. Varley either makes fun of this part of the human property set, or ignores it all together. Even Frank Herbert recognized that part of humanity and what it might do for us, though he minimized it somewhat. I found that rather objectionable in a story that features so many slurs on my chosen faith. He didn't even recognize that sometimes the spiritual does some good.

    Second, and finally, he gives me the strong sense that he can find very little good in humans to write home about. More importantly, his alien creatures were far more noble, insightful, kindly, beautiful of spirit than any human being and that made me just a bit angry. Only one human being had the guts to stand up and make the human condition better on Titan and that happened only because the author-god would not have had a story if he hadn't.

    In concluding, I have tried reading other of Varley's works, and couldn't get past the first twenty pages or so. I suppose he lightened up on this trilogy to make another point or two about human happiness and human love. Nevertheless, until he finds a better balance point between the phenomena and the noumena, between mere physics and metaphysics, he is off my plate for the nonce.

  8. says:

    010713: the longest, the slowest, the last, of the Gaea trilogy by Varley. there are many emotions evoked by this work, but the first is relief. only the first of the three books can really be read independently, and some points of this one dipped severely, but there is relief that it survives certain endemic aspects- the fact that apparently everyone has sex to express varied attachments- and sex, while never simple, is always positive...

    so maybe this is a particularly seventies sort of sf culture, but i think heinlein heads this way in later works, and there is nothing wrong with sex, but this does not seem to leave room for other ways of characterizing feelings. people and their titanide companions, have sex, often, or think about its complications, often, as in wanting sex, denying sex, being troubled by sex. bad guys are essentially sex dysfunctional. bad guys are more pathetic than scary...

    i do like the format, the conceit, of writing the story as if a collection of films. and satirical animals designed to make films, even if they only exist for Gaea, only exist in a pre-digital world, even if the results are more surreal than sf- fifty-foot Marilyn- then endless supplies of zombies, capital with gates, walls, streets, all named for movies. yes, i recognize the names, the images, the movies quoted...

    of course it is a pleasure to reunite with various characters, but new ones not necessarily that interesting, and they, too, seem to be understood in sexual terms. so, much of the book relies on organizing sex, and this is boring. possibly interesting for the presumed demographic- but there is much more interesting elaboration of the various creatures, geography, nature, of the wheel's sentient populace...

    did i mention that sex is a big plot/theme? i could give this a three because varley does pull it all together, in this and previous books, does end with a real show-stopper, does make me glad to have read it. even if it is not something likely to reread. aside, the three books add up to about a thousand pages- so would i rather have it all in one long book? or should it be spread out in some interminable series? well, this is relief those options are not taken, because one volume would be too dense and difficult to give idea of time passed, and the multi=volume series would just go on and on and on...

  9. says:

    This is the final volume of the Gaea trilogy by John Varley. I found it totally a worthwhile read and the characters were fleshed out enough to be their own and likeable. My one and only downer on this was my own failing. I've not read many trilogies and hardly ever back to back to back, and I became a bit like someone that had a visitor that has over stayed. I began to be ready to move on to something else, yet I was too involved with this story. I never considered dropping it.
    This series is probably considered science fantasy. I walked into this series with no preconceived notion of what it was about and I found that it was just as well. I think this is the kind of story (spread over three self contained novels) that one should explore and let it work its magic on each and every reader willing to do some exploring. I did find it interesting and an excellent time well spent. John Varley uses his narrative scalpel with a deft hand and he flashes his keen sense of humor enough to lighten up an already good read.

  10. says:

    Disappointingly, the most conventional book in the trilogy (surprising since it mostly concerns the build-up to war with a 50-foot Marilyn Monroe avatar). Varley falls back on war-novel stuff, half-baked politics and too much deliberate withholding of important plot points in service of the big reveal to really pull off a satisfying conclusion.

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