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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1979 by John Varley

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this in 1981 and most recently in August 2001

Cirroco "Rocky" Jones is captain of the Ringmaster, a spaceship on the way to Jupiter. Her crew are Gaby, Gene, April, August, Bill and Calvin, They've survived the long voyage from Earth, primarily passing the time (I far as I could tell) by getting sweaty with each other. Now they're in reach of their magnificent goal.

But to their astonishment they discover something very strange around the orbit of Jupiter: Themis, just 1300 kilometres in diameter, apparently an artificial construct, a ringworld. It catches them, and their whole world turns upside-down.

But Themis is not an artificial construct, it's a gigantic and ancient living creature.

Rocky, very conscious of the tribulations through which her crew and indeed the local residents have been put, has decided that it's about time some one had some very strong words with it.

This, and the sequels "Demon" and "Wizard" rather knocked me out when I first read them back in the '80s and they're still great fun. Of course the Ringworld theme was familiar, trailing Larry Niven's "Ringworld" by eight years, but it's a very different treatment.

What's it got? great aliens in the Titanides, the Angels and Gaea itself, brave quests and heroes, and of course, the wonderful Cirroco Jones, prototype for all those tough female protagonists of the past twenty years of SF.

Loaded on the 23rd September 2001.
Cover of Titan