[Ebook] ➢ The Ophiuchi Hotline Author John Varley – Blockdiagramwiring.co
This is a short novel by John Varley, who in the late 1970s was considered by some the next Heinlein While I don t think that he is, but this doesn t mean he isn t a good and strong SF author, for he definitely is The novel is set in the Eight Worlds universe The following text will spoiler a bit but no than the book s page here on Goodreads The Mankind lost the Earth to singularity level invaders There was no real war, for there was nothing the humanity could have done Now it lives across the Solar system the remnants of extra terran colonies , thus the title The humanity was helped a great deal by info streaming from the direction of Ophiuchi 70, the star 17 light years from the Solar system The reason why this info was supplied has never occurred to the mankind, which grabbed this free lunch while it can.Some five centuries passed after the invasion A renegade gene engineer is sentenced to death, but it saved by Luna s politician, who commits the high crime of cloning her mind and body without destroying the original The engineer, called Lilo Alexandr Calypso is then used to promote Free Earth a group that plans to re capture the Earth , without much enthusiasm She is interested in running away There will be clones, asteroids, aliens, black holes and adventures in abundance.There are a lot of allusions intentional or not to many classic SF, like invasive holo ads see Podkayne of Mars , or 4D representation of human see Slaughterhouse Five A very interesting author, recommended. DNF 56%I am sad to say I hate this book It s taking me forever, I have no idea what s going on and am beginning to think this is a thought experiment in how many ways sex and clones can be used in mundane ways than anything like a story.While I was initially intrigued at a society with completely flipped morals to ours, and a sort of normalization of trans or non binary life, it became clear that this wasn t actually assumed fully into the story I hate the way sex is used I hate that the women are all bi but prefer men who only present as men and who prefer being exclusively with women I didn t overlook that the only brown people are a couple, the woman exotic and gorgeous and the dude nerdy and unwashed Oy.I m also than halfway in and I don t know what this plot is The science doesn t make sense, not even the normal stuff like knowing what north is if you ve never been on a planet with a revolving iron core, let alone Earth.I m sure it s forward thinking for its time, but having been born a decade after it first broke new ground, I m not gonna punish myself I just read a chapter entirely about the difference in fashion and advertising between the Moon and Pluto I like myself too much for this G bye After The Effortless Capture Of Earth By Vastly Superior Aliens, Humanity Is Forced To Fight For Existence On The Moon And Other Lumps Of Airless Rock The Invention Of The Hotline A Constant Stream Of Data From A Star In The Constellation Ophiuchus Facilitates Survival And Enables The Development Of Amazing New Technologies Then, After Years, Humanity S Unknown Helpers Send A Bill For Their Servicesand Suddenly Everything Is Threatened Once Again The Ophiuchi Hotline Was John Varley S First Novel, And It Received Nominations For Both The Hugo And Nebula Awards He Later Won Both For His Book Persistence Of Vision Varley S Tight, Clean Writing, Full Of Wit And Good Humor, Evokes Despair, Joy, Anger, And Delight His Luna Is Packed With Wild Inventions, Intriguing Characters, And Stunning Scenery Publishers Weekly It Is Fast And Complex, And It Glitters Most Impressively Science Ficiton The Best Novels John Varley Is The Best Writer In America Tom Clancy This Is A Novel Rich In Societies, Settings, And Technological Wizardry It S A Tough Minded, Yet A Playful Book Ian Watson How do you fight gods This is the question humanity is grappling with in John Varley s The Opiuchi Hotline, a rollicking SF story short enough to gobble up over a couple of afternoons.In Varley s future humanity has spread across the eight worlds of the solar system, establishing thriving colonies on Mars, mercury, Venus, even Pluto But there is a catch, as you might have guessed with their being eight worlds, not nine note in Varley s time Pluto was still a planet.Earth the nicest and comfiest of all the worlds, is now denied to humanitys At some point a few centuries back some all powerful aliens arrived, landed on Earth and, using technologies so advanced that they might as well be magic, destroyed every human built structure on the planet They didn t directly kill anyone not their style, apparently but they did leave 10 or so billion people to starve, along with a lunar colony that wasn t quite ready for self sufficiency, and was forced into a terrifying life and death struggle as their supply drops ceased.As you can imagine, this left the human race a touch traumatized, but people have made the best of it and have spread through the solar system and beyond, including into a region near Pluto where strange transmissions can be picked up transmissions that spell out how to create advanced technologies, manipulate genetics and generally skip a few centuries of laborious scientific development.Humanity has used this information to great effect and Earth has been almost written off by most people as lost forever, something strict government embargoes on the planet reinforce But, there are those who would re conquer Earth, who dream of humanity recovering its lost home and whoever has been sending information down the hotline has just sent all of humanity a threatening message a bill for four centuries of services rendered.Into this scenario comes Doctor Lilo Alexandr Calypso, a geneticist by trade who has been using the Opiuchi hotline information to perform banned experiments upon human DNA When we meet her she is in a prison cell awaiting execution by singularity she is to be tossed into a tiny black hole, and every computer record of her mind, and clone of her body for these are common in this era is under sentence of death too.This is a fast paced story that follows multiple versions of the same person, across different worlds and even different timelines as Lilo, the companions she encounters, and the human race as a whole come to realise exactly what they are up against, what the future holds for the human race and how crowded and unfriendly a place our galaxy can be.I know what you re thinking this sounds like yet another story where plucky humanity fights off a vastly advanced invader with grit, luck and the odd deus ex machina the same trope we ve seen in novels as far back as The War of The Worlds and in modern TV series like Falling Skies This is a truly old genre trope, but it still limps along, kept alive by authors who perhaps should know better.Varley knew better when he wrote this novel, so prepare to be surprised The beings that took Earth, known only as The Invaders, are so advanced that their science, their tech, even their perception of time are simply incomprehensible to humanity They are truly godlike, and the direction Varley takes his narrative in is one I haven t encountered before This book is well worth your time, but be warned that The Opiuchi Hotline is very much a scene setter of a novel, and it becomes clear early on that there won t be space to resolve the big questions Varley sets up, which I assume are dealt with in the further books in the series The narrative is occasionally a little confusing, and the characters not as deeply explored as they could be but this is an enjoyable, pacey read and I m genuinely keen to see where Varley goes in his next book In response to my original question, taking into consideration what I ve learned from reading The Opiuchi Hotline How do you fight gods Answer You don t You do your very, very best not to piss them off.3.5 stars. 2018 reread I m at p 92 of 180 of this compact and amazingly good first novel, and very pleased with how the book is holding up Kicked it back up to 5 stars Just about nothing has dated This was the setup book for Varley s remarkable Eight Worlds future history, his most lasting contribution to SF literature book comes to a rousing and surprisingly hopeful finish, considering that it opened with the deaths offscreen of 10 billion humans on Earth, and will shortly end with the destruction and death of the Eight Worlds Hey, hope springs eternal, and no, it s not a gloomy book Something of a pastoral, actually.If you missed this one, or it s been awhile, you have a treat ahead Easy 5 stars Jo Walton, as always, has astute commentary on both author works 2002 comments This was Varley s first novel published 1977 , and it is amazingly good On my periodic reread list I ve read it 4 or 5 times by now, with equal pleasure each time FWIW, Hotline has been on my personal Top Ten SF Novels list, though I ll cheerfully admit I ve never read it critically nor do I plan to.I don t think quite as highly of the book now 2016 , but if you ve never read it, you should Still his best novel, I think. 4.5 stars This is a fantastic story and I am surprised I have not heard about this as I beleive it has all the makings of a CLASSIC SF novel This is the first novel set in Varley s Eight World universe and is full of very interesting, and I imagine at the time, original concepts Just a few of these include The ability to back up via computer a person s personality at any time and to download it into a clone of such individual a strong parallel can be found in Richard K Morgan s Altered Carbon The ability of people to alter their genetic make up basically at will i.e., adding or removing arms, legs, tails, eyes, etc Humans and intelligent symbiotes combining voluntarily to form a completely new life form you can think Trills from Star Trek but it is complicated than that The Ophiuchi Hotline itself and the back story behind it, which I will not spoil for those who have not read it And much, much This is a really terrific read and I strongly recommend it. John Varley is a writer with enormous reserves of imagination, and this book pulses with a gonzo energy as he throws in to the mix a bunch of fun and varied and original ideas In a manner that s similar to the inventive classic Babel 17, the plot doesn t always live up to the exciting ideas and vivid characters and the colorful dynamics coursing through its pages, but this book was always thoroughly enjoyable and provocative, and I definitely want to read of his work. 3.5 I ve been aware of Varley since middle school, but his books appeared to be the hardest of hard sci fi, and thus of very little appeal to me this however, Varley s first novel, has proven to be mostly an exception to my prior assumption, for despite the author s interest in hard science that would later assume central focus, this book can be categorized as a hybrid, being roughly 3 4 New Wave space opera in the tradition of Bester, Dick, and Zelazny, and 1 4 hard science fiction I found the latter aspect of the novel much less engaging, although Varley s high tech action sequences, reminiscent of a far future heist movie or Mission Impossible episode, still entertain even though they feel as if they d fit better in another narrative far interesting is the fascinating portrayal of a transhumanist society where do it yourself body modification, casual gender switching, and people living simultaneous lives via multiple clones is the norm, anticipating bio cyberpunk of the sort best represented by Bruce Sterling s Shaper Mechanist fiction If this is, ultimately, a novel whose individual pieces were stronger than the whole, in the end those pieces are so well made it is still worth reading in order to experience them. After I finished the Gaia trilogy, I knew I had to keep going through all of John Varley s work It s not a compulsion It s a necessity for the sake of my love of SF.John Varley is one of the most impressive authors of the field I ve had the pleasure to experience The imagination and the devotion to pushing all those envelopes is the key to my love This one starts out noir with cloning goodness, moves on pretty quickly to the fate of the Earth and how it had been invaded, very successfully, to save the fishes and to oust the rest of humanity as lower life forms If the intrigue to Free Earth hadn t been enough, there was the whole business about the message being transmitted just outside of the reach of the inner system, the one letting us know that the bill has come due for the instantaneous communication technology we d been using for the last five hundred years.Ooops.I guess it s time to figure out if humanity is doomed two times over Maybe it sounds like a joke, but it s hardly anything like a joke The telling of it is all adventure, immortality, corruption, intrigue, and pure imagination through and through The joy is really in the execution.And the ending Wow Like, totally wow This is easily one of the very best Hard SF novels I ve ever read It s right up there with anything I can think of It explores time, memory, and even the social aspects of what alien races might think or do and how they could relate to any other species.I m tempted to rank it right up there on the same level as Cixin Liu s latest English translated trilogy starting with Three Body Problem and ending with Death s End, and I haven t even read Varley s subsequent novels You can guess that I ll be picking up books two and three very soon This is on another level compared to most modern SF Let s just call it an undisputed classic 77 and timeless. Weird book Opiuchi Hotline by John Varley, the author of the Gaian trilogy, is about a lot of stuff and all rolled up into a hard sci fi, Bradburyan fantasy mix I guess if I had to break it down and slap a label on it, I would say this is a first contact story, though a very original one This is a difficult book to review, it was kind of hard to follow, and yet, strangely compelling, like Dane Cook narrating a children s book contextually OK, but edgy and not just a little disconcerting Varley describes a quirky, but brutal social order where Earth had been invaded centuries before and humans were denigrated to second class status amongst aliens and even Earthlings, as aquatic mammals were considered advanced So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.Most interesting, Varley anticipates the writing of William Gibson in Neuromancer and the bio punk sub genre Hotline exhibits bioengineering and manipulation, cosmetic sex changes, overlapping multi level cloning with memory recording and nanotechnology This is also reminiscent of Joe Haldeman s work in All My Sins Remembered also published in 1977 and There Is No Darkness published 1983 and the similarity in these works and the closeness in time suggest a collective literary movement in this direction.