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Up the Bright River Hardcover – December 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean (December 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596063297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596063297
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After college, I once again had time to read for leisure rather than for class and found myself catching up on speculative fiction from the fifties, sixties and seventies. I discovered a core of pioneering writers, born in the early part of the century, who stretched my young mind with new concepts while creating strange worlds in which I could briefly live. As the years passed and I moved on to more serious reading fare, I noticed that the quantity and quality of production from this group of writers sadly but naturally began to wane. Eventually, mortality took its toll. In 1982, Philip Dick, originator of paranoid science fiction, passed away at age 53 followed the next year by master of rural sci-fi Clifford Simak who, fortunately, had lived to the ripe age of 88. By decades end, Frank Herbert and Robert Heinlein were also gone. We lost Asimov, Lieber, and Zelazney in the nineties. During the new millenium often envisioned by these masters, Clarke, Sheckley, Ballard, Tenn and Philip Jose Farmer each passed away.

Unwritten books and unrealized ideas were lost with each of these passings. Worlds populated by these authors remain frozen in each of their last literary incarnations. Reader's passports to Amber, Newhon and other locations have been perpetually revoked.

This book is the final collection of stories of Philip Jose Farmer who created 2 of my favorite genre series: World of Tiers and Riverworld. This volume includes the final 3 Riverworld stories (previously collected in anthologies in 1992 and 1993.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Philip J. Farmer should be a household name. His works have been in print for over 60 years, from the early 1950s science-fiction pulp magazines to today's trendy e-book format. In 2009, he died. Up the Bright River, edited by Gary K. Wolfe, has collected some of Farmer's best work and unknown material. Wolfe, a legend himself, gives Farmer's work a chance to shine by putting the right amount of care into this collection. It is difficult to make an anthology work as one piece, but Wolfe pulls it off.
Each story is quaint and interesting and has colorful and memorable characters. All the short stories lead up into the main feature, some unpublished work from Farmer's biggest hit, Riverworld. The anthology is also a great place to taste and sample Farmer's work to see if it is right for you. There are at least sixteen different stories to familiarize yourself with. The best thing is how the anthology has something for everyone. From the darkly humorous science romps to the casual space Western, Up the Bright River does not disappoint.

*Originally published for San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review*
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Format: Hardcover
Philip José Farmer died in 2009, stimulating a modest revival of interest in his work. UP THE BRIGHT RIVER gathers 16 of his short stories, averaging 19.4 pages. The shortest has 6, the longest 41. I rated each story individually, and they averaged 4.1 stars. I am rounding off my final rating to 5.0 because amazon does not allow fractional ratings, because with only three exceptions this is a good collection, and because the last three stories constitute a trilogy of Riverworld stories that I had not previously read.

In the Introduction, Gary K. Wolfe says that he hopes this book "...will reveal a number of hidden gems that even Farmer readers may have overlooked, but mainly it's a showcase of imaginative worlds, literary preoccupations, and Farmer's capacity for pure entertainment." For me, Wolfe's hope was fulfilled.

That concludes my review, but if you want a more specific grasp of what to expect, I include a few non-spoiling words for each story. Following its title I give its length, my rating, and the magazines and anthologies in which it has been previously printed.

"Attitudes" 17 pages, 5 stars, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION (1953), FATHER TO THE STARS (1981)

In a futuristic fable with interstellar passenger ships, the two main characters are Father Carmody and a sinful gambler. The plot involves psychokinesis and gambling. The lesson? The house never loses.

"How Deep the Grooves" 11 pages, 5 stars, AMAZING STORIES (1963), DOWN IN THE BLACK GANG AND OTHER STORIES (1971)

A doctor invents a machine to alter a human's thought patterns. By using it on a fetus, he hopes to create a perfect citizen, completely obedient to the state.
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