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The World of Tiers: Volume One Paperback – October 15, 1996


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The World of Tiers: Volume One + The World of Tiers: Volume Two + Gods of Riverworld
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Product Details

  • Series: World of Tiers (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312857616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312857615
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The greatest science fiction writer ever."--Leslie Fiedler

"Farmer offers his audience a wide-screen adventure that never fails to provoke, amuse, and educate...his imagintaion is certainly of the first rank."--Time

"Philip Jose Farmer owes a fair measure of his fame to the World of Tiers series, based on the notion of immortal Lords whose ancestors made a host of pocket universes (including ours) and then lost the technological skills to make more."--Analog

About the Author

Hugo award-winning author Philip José Farmer (1918-2009), author of the Riverworld books, was one of the great science fiction writers of the 20th Century. He lived in Peoria, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are interesting and very well developed.
P. Martin
After about 100 pages, I was frustrated with the complete lack of character development and breakneck pace of the book.
Preston Hunt
If you like Sci-Fi Fantasy books by Roger Zelazny or Piers Anthony, you have to read Farmer's World of Tiers.
KingKrom@hotmail.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nathan B. Hyatt on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
For some reason, Amazon is combining the reviews of both volumes of the World of Tiers instead of storing them separately under the actually-reviewed volume... So don't be confused by reviews of the second volume appearing under the first, and vice versa.

The first volume contains the first three books of the series, the Maker of Universes, the Gates of Creation, and A Private Cosmos. People looking for realistic romances or accurate portrayals of human emotion might want to look elsewhere; those in the mood for classic world-spanning science fiction with an emphasis on action have found their grail.

The first two books center on Wolff, a man who starts on Earth and is taken through a Gate to another world where strange Lords rule pocket universes of their own creation and wage a cruel and inventive war against each other. In addition to fabulous landscapes and strange beasts, we have many vintage science fiction ideas and death traps galore. The third book introduces the Black Bellers, creations originally intended to store human consciousnesses for transferring to new bodies, which have themselves evolved consciousness and now present a major threat to all life. Farmer's forte is putting characters in horrible situations and letting them work their way out with wits alone.

The imagery in this book is amazing as we travel through multiple universes, each conceived by a Lord as either a palace of pleasure or one giant planet of destruction. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a great, imaginative thrill ride.

The second volume concludes one of the most entertaining and original adventure/science fiction series in history.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dominic Chappellet on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was my introduction to Philip Jose Farmer. Within five pages I knew I'd found something worth reading and by the end I realized that my Sci-fi knowledge was truly lacking prior to having read Farmer. He is undoubtedly a master. Farmer's literary style may seem pulpish but the shear scope of his imagination combined with the unrelenting pace of his naratives leaves one saturated in worlds complex and thoroughly detailed. I've since read the Riverworld Series (a triumph of imaginative literature filled with thought provoking situations and mind expanding metaphisical conotations) and a number of his other works and now consider myself a fan bordering on cult status. Any fan of Sci-fi or fantasy should not be without a collection of Farmer's works.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D Strick on February 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
The World of Tiers: Vol. One contains books 1, 2 and 3 of the series. What Philip Farmer writes best is strange worlds and strange creatures and action, action, action. All of it is found here in spades. The concept of multiple worlds controlled by highly advanced and immortal but petty and jealous "lords" gives him licence to write Doc Savage type pulp adventures on a grand scale. Not much time is spent on the past but in what happens to the characters in the here and now.

Book one intruduces us to Robert Wolff who stumbles upon a doorway to a new world. The word itself is the star of this book and the entire series is named for it as it is the World of Tiers. Not a round planet but a series of plateaus one on top of the other. Each plateau is basically a continent and instead of being separated by oceans are separated by 30,000 and 60,000 foot mountains which have to be climbed to reach the next continent. The Lord of this world lives atop it in a giant palace. Wolff gets to know this world with the help of the enigmatic Kickaha as he strives to save his new love. And Wolff is greeted by a surprize at the end of the journey.

Book two continues the adventures of Wolff as we see him fight for his life though world after world of his deranged father, again trying to save his love. This time he must team up with a cadre of back stabbing relatives, other Lords who would just a soon kill each other but must try to work together to kill their father. Farmer again gives pulp style action as all the characters are placed in near constant jeopardy through the book.

Book three occurs during the events of book two but back on the World of Tiers. This time Kickaha takes the stage as our main character, a place he keeps for the next 3 books as well.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Annette C. Nelson on November 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Meet Robert Wolff: 66, fat, balding, married to a shrew, and ready for retirement - but perhaps not on on earth. Everything starts out promisingly enough when our likeable hero with the unfortunate gap in his past is drawn by a magic horn to a paradise in another universe. Sadly, things go down hill from here as Wolff sort of accidentally gets drawn into a journey and quest of heroic proportions to rescue said horn, win the girl of his dreams, and topple the Lord of the universe.
The main problem here is that Farmer bit off more than he could chew, shoving a plot that Robert Jordan would have spun out into a dozen massive volumes (at least 6 of which would have been worth reading) into a bare 270 pages. I kept finding myself looking for the name of the abridiger on the cover! As a result, there is no time or space for niceties such as character development, suspense, or an examination of motivations, let alone some inkling that the book might *mean* something. The plot rushes on and on, with frequent references such as "3 months later" or "after a long hard journey." Foreshadowing, flashbacks, and other key revelations are handled clumsily at best - as if Farmer had forgotten to tell you something earlier (say, about Wolff's near super-human strength) and is slipping it in now in hopes you won't notice the omission. When he stops to deal with motivation or character development at all, his characters are likely to spill in one succinct paragraph their longstanding battle with alcoholism and apathy to a perfect stranger. When he does stop for breath, it is only to describe in gory detail a battle of some sort in which characters are killed off like so many Starfleet Redshirts (except for the important ones, of course, who escape with nary a scratch.
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