- File Size: 577 KB
- Print Length: 243 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Phoenix Pick (April 15, 2012)
- Publication Date: April 15, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007USWWSS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,442 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$5.99|
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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The River of Dancing Gods Kindle Edition
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|Length: 243 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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There is an amusing back story to the tale that might not be recorded elsewhere, so if you're interested, listen up.
Once upon a time, I knew Jack only as a fellow science fiction fan; I had never read any of his work. Now, I had neglected to bring anything to read on the long flight down to Australia for the 1985 World Science Fiction Convention. I spotted Jack's name on the bookshelf at the airport in Sydney, where we stopped for a long layover on our way to New Zealand for a couple of weeks before the Worldcon. I had already been blind-sided with delight by another old SF fan buddy, George R. R. Martin and "Fevre Dream," so I thought I'd take a chance on Jack.
I read the entire "Dancing Gods" serial on the balcony of a hotel overlooking Lake Wakatipu (where years later Peter Jackson filmed Laketown and some of Erebor), and loved every rollicking page of the non-stop adventure. I was eager to trowel some heavy praise onto Jack for the story when we got Melbourne, and did.
After upbraiding me for paying the high price for the Australian edition when I could have bought the books for so much less back in the USA, Jack told me the tale of its writing. "Dancing Gods" was published in 1984 but in fact had been written a few years earlier. (Books get published when the publisher deems the market ready for them, and Jack was prolific in those days.) Back then, he was working on his "Four Lords of the Diamond" story. He'd run into a mental logjam on that story, and needed a break to reset the cranial circuit breakers.
So, to take a break, Jack sat down and wrote the entire "Dancing Gods" story, all four books, in one very long weekend! And that was right in the middle of writing a more serious and even more complex hard science fiction story. Jack's wife, Eva Whitley, confirmed the tale of the tale. That was my first real insight into what made the amazing mind of Jack L. Chalker tick.
"River of the Dancing Gods" is the first book in a thee-part serial, followed by "Demons of..." and "Vengeance of..." (Apparently more came along a few years later.) Jack adamantly insisted that he wrote serials, not series. Most of his story span multiple books but are in fact on single, continuous, coherent tale, and this one certainly fits that mold.
Below is a list of all the books in this series:
The Dancing Gods series
The River of Dancing Gods, Del Rey, 1984 (ISBN 0-345-30892-1)
Demons of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, 1984 (ISBN 0-345-30893-X)
Vengeance of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, July, 1985 (ISBN 0-345-31549-9)
Songs of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, August, 1990 (ISBN 0-345-34799-4)
Horrors of the Dancing Gods, 1994 (ISBN 0-345-37692-7)
The Dancing Gods: Part One, Del Rey, November, 1995 (ISBN 0-345-40246-4). This is an omnibus volume containing The River of Dancing Gods and Demons of the Dancing Gods
The Dancing Gods II, Del Rey, September, 1996 (ISBN 0-345-40771-7). This is an omnibus volume containing Vengeance of the Dancing Gods and Songs of the Dancing Gods
But, with all it's lightheartedness, this is an epic fantasy that is written by someone who loves the genre enough to tell a complex story set in a well built world. There is some grit to it and that's part of what makes it work. The good guys are just people with strengths and weaknesses and are not necessarily all bright and shiny, the bad guys are more than just pure evil constructs. People can die and horrible things can happen. It feels like its set in a real world where real things can happen.
Oh, and ignore the cover. This book is much better than the cover suggests.
This is good fantasy and the first book in a great series. I think you should just get it, read it and enjoy yourself.