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Titan (Gaea) Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 1987

4.0 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Gaia Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the most wonderful reading experiences...comparable to Dune in its scope and surpassing it in the sheer audacity of its invention."

About the Author

John Varley is the author of the Gaean Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon), Steel Beach, The Golden Globe, Red Thunder, and Mammoth. He has won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for his work.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (April 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441813046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441813049
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Beau Yarbrough VINE VOICE on November 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Gaea Trilogy traces the arc of a hero's ascent, fall from grace and redemption. So if you like "Titan," the ride just gets better from here.
Having said that, why should you pick up "Titan?" Isn't this the same book as "Rendezvous with Rama?" Well, yes and no. The book is about astronauts exploring the environment inside an alien space station. But from there, the core concept is all filtered through the mind of John Varley.
Beyond being a straight exploration story, Varley also discusses issue of women in power, homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, altenate breeding relationships for alien species (nothing you can possibly imagine) and some fun with the science of angels. And, of course, it's here that Varley begins his deepest exploration between man and God, although to say more would be to give away too much of the book.
First and foremost, though, "Titan" is an adventure story of the highest caliber, with a heroic lead, weird creatures, alien settings, a warm heart and a very sharp mind. (And it's a mind not nearly as dirty as some of the reviewers are complaining that it is. If you live in America in the 21st century, you'll likely find the book fairly tame sexually.)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book (and the other two in the series Wizard and Demon) in the early 80s as a teenager. I bought them at the time based primarily on the comparison to the Dune novels by Frank Herbert. I was a Herbert fan, and wanted more excitement in a similar vein. Of course there is not nearly the depth of socio-political, philosophical core as there is in the Herbert novels, but the world Varley creates is as fantastic and new and exciting as anything in Dune.
Cirroco Jones and her crew are sent on a mission to explore the moons of Jupiter, and when they approach the moon Titan, they make an amazing discovery: Titan is not a moon, but what appears to be a gigantic space station in the shape of a wheel. The discovery of what is the actual nature of the wheel is the whole point of the book, and early in the book, the natural defenses of the wheel grab Cirroco's ship and crew out of space. They essentially get absorbed into the machine, only to be "reborn" on the inside of the machine. Each of the crew goes through a metamorphosis in this re-birth, not all survive, some transformed for the better, some transformed with psychoses or neuroses. And along the way they discover a myriad of fantastical creatures much out of mythology, like a race of centaurs, angels, and more than I can go into much detail about.
This book is a prime example of what science fiction used to do: tell a compelling story, keep you guessing at what all the details of the universe are (you'll have to read Wizard and Demon, the two sequels to find out all the truth about this world the humans call "Titan") and is well edited, that is, it is not an overblown novel stretched out to some 700 or 800 + pages the way many writers do these days. What ever happened to conciseness?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book several years ago and it has become the standard for which I base innovative SF. I have read everything that John Varley has written since. His works seems to have common themes- a near future distopia, bio manipulation, and strong female characters are only some of them. "Titan" was the first in the series with "Wizard" and "Demon" following. Sigorney Weaver's Ripley in "Alien" must've been modeled after Titan's Cirroco Jones. I thought, "Some one's been reading Varley", when I first read Foster's novelization of "Alien". Varley has just the right mix of speculative and provocative fiction that are appealing to me as an open and imaginative reader. Varley's "Persistance of Vision" is one of my all time favorite short story series.I am thrilled to see anything new from John Varley.I was excited about reading his newer novels, "Steel Beach","The Golden Globe" and his latest "Red Thunder". Despite what any of the reviewers have said in these reviews, "Titan" remains at the top of my all time favorites. If you can't get this book at Amazon look for it elsewhere. As a long time bibliophile with broad and eclectic reading experience, I still say..Varley Rules!
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By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this on the recommendation of a friend and to be honest, I had a few reservations. All the descriptions of the book, including those here on amazon.com sounded a little hoky and a little weird. I said I would eat my hat if I loved the book. In time I was duly forced to get out the salt and pepper and get torn in to my trilby. This is a massively enjoyable book that is an exercise in imagination beyond imagination. For those looking for a more concrete idea of what Titan is about and how good it is then look no further than Larry Niven's Ringworld or A World Out of Time. It's drawn from exactly the same vein as those two classics. Varley has let his imagination run wild while still retaining suspension of disbelief. To those who claim this book is not SF then I would challenge you to point out exactly where. This is no less SF than the aforementioned Niven classics and as a fan of hard SF than is a strong recommendation in its favour. Varley writes with a terrific style, being easy to read and maintaining a breakneck pace, never once lulling into middle-book periods of tedium that seem to plague some novels. Having read this book, having been proved wrong and having enjoyed it immensely I can't recommend this book strongly enough to anyone with a mind for SF or good fantasy for that matter. If you like the aforementioned Niven books then why haven't you bought this earlier? My only regret is not discovering it sooner. Now, anyone know where I can get a copy of Wizard and Demon? :o)
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