Saturday, August 8, 2009
The Maker of Universes, by Philip José Farmer
Download The Maker of Universes by Philip José Farmer
Click here to go to all seven novels
I am playing a bit of catch-up with this Web log as I was entertaining company over the weekend and I experienced some blogger technical difficulties, which have since cleared up on their own as mysteriously as they arrived. I thought I'd digress just a bit from comic books to my favorite novels, which are from Philip José Farmer's World of Tiers series. I discovered this series of books thanks to my sister Annette, who is also a die hard Farmer fan, and her membership in the Science Fiction Book Club. While Farmer receives a lot of attention for his Riverworld series, I think those are greatly overrated and I would not reread them if I was paid to do so. On the other hand, I have read the entire World of Tiers novels over again and again and never tire of them. I felt knowledgeable enough about the series that I wrote Wikipedia's entry for Red Orc's Rage, which was the only sequel we had after the fifth book until More Than Fire hit the stores. If you loved Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, you'll love this as I think that Zelazny swiped much of the plot setting and incorporated it into his Amber novels and not as well as Farmer.
SF Review provides a pretty good plot breakdown:
The protagonist is Robert Wolff, a 66-year-old World War II veteran who has never been able to recall his childhood. Dissatisfied with the mundanity of his later life, and married to a woman with whom he hasn't gotten along in years, Wolff seems resigned to a mundane fate as he and his wife find themselves house-hunting in Arizona.
In a basement closet of one house, Wolff thinks he hears the improbable sound of a trumpet call; his surprise is only compounded when, upon opening the closet, he finds himself gazing not at musty old coats but into another world entirely. Wolff sees the mysterious figure with the horn, and the man, who seems not only to know Wolff but is expecting him, throws Wolff the horn before the portal between worlds closes.
Wolff — not surprisingly — decides then and there he wants to buy that house, but his wife remains stubborn and intractable, and so Wolff makes the fateful decision to return that night. He breaks in to the basement, blows the horn, and leaves this Earth forever.
....and all that is in the first, albeit brief, chapter! This is a must read!