EBOOK READ (The Golden Globe) Author John Varley
review The Golden GlobeS This is my favourite science fiction book by my favourite science fiction author Set in the same universe as Steel Beach a modified version of Varley s Eight Worlds universe The Golden Globe features one of the most memorable narrators in science fiction Kenneth S Storyline 15Characters 45Writing Style 45World 45I came to this wanting to dislike it I found myself here because I tend to finish series that I start and I had already read the first two I hadn t particularly liked them but I could give some grudging respect to numbers one and two That s than I
can say of varley s gaea trilogy whichsay of Varley s Gaea Trilogy which count as the worst science fiction trilogy I ve ever read And it is not just that I had low expectations I actively dislike Varley as an author There s plenty of science fiction authors whose embrace of the genre seems to be due to its sexual speculative possibilities Whether it be Robert Silverberg toying with how time travel can permit one to fornicate with his ancestors David Gerrold exploring the multiverse s possibilities for radical self lust or Larry NivenFritz Leiber schoose from about a 100 other science fiction authors titillation at the idea of cross species sex and for brevity s sake let s just leave Heinlein s later works alone I m
always a little weirded out sharing these typically older men s techno fantasies The Golden Globea little weirded out sharing these typically older men s techno fantasies The Golden Globe t start off uite as vulgarly as did Steel Beach but Varley s still playing with the potentials of rapid sex changes and exhibitionism So Varley gave me just what I was really looking for another reason to dislike him So as I settled in to compile a list of what other offenses I could catalog I found myself in an odd position I was intrigued Initially this intrigue was inexplicable Varley s stage is actually a stage he s following the life of an actor a Shakespearean actor in our future I m ignorant of stagecraft and oblivious to the merits of Shakespeare so this shouldn t have tempted me Further there was no plot Not just at the 20 page mark or the 50 page mark or the 100 or 200 or 300 page mark there just wasn t an obstacle or goal for the reader to overcome along with the main character I should have been celebrating Varley s demise his failure to write a variety of characters to appeal to a myriad of interests I should have been happily recording errors for my harsh review listing the missed opportunities that would have allowed him to turn to some recognizable goal But I confess I found I was enjoying the story That offensive character well he is rogue but his disdain for civilization has a lot of commentary on our own That backdrop of the thespian life Varley made it bitter depressing artful conceited tawdry and glorious throughout the tale It was a drama The characters were on a life path of their own choosing with all of its humiliations and triumphs That lack of a plot Varley fills it with backstory a backstory that seems to overshadow the main story until ou realize that the interconnection between the present and the past is the story It really was a drama a drama at multiple levels There are different ways to enjoy a novel and what I least expected from Varley was to be impressed But there I was 517 pages later impressedThe Golden Globe puts a little effort into the seuel format than did the Steel Beach but still Varley didn t do a good job making this a series The connections between this and the last were never surprising didn t lead up to much and generally were a wasted opportunity That said Le druidisme au quotidien : Guide pratique et philosophique you could probably read this as a stand alone just fine There are a couple of overlapping characters locations and events but it is not necessary to be able to identify them to appreciate the Golden Globe Also worthy of note this won the Prometheus Award the award for libertarian science fiction I found that I was eually horrified and attracted to the libertarian socialpoliticaleconomic commentary scattered throughout the same reaction I have to libertarianism as a serious political philosophy Finally the ending was disappointing because it wasn t imbued with the same craftiness as the rest of the tale had been In fact it opened up the tale to what I think was an unintended direction and uestions and I would have liked it better had Varley taken us there purposefully I almost almost liked this one than Steel Beach It was close It s all about a wandering vagabond of an actor and his dog about a thousandears in the future He s got to get from Pluto to the Moon before they cast the part of King Lear and he s having a tough time of it what with running out of money and being pursued by a psychopathic assas. A motley theater troupe bringing Shakespeare a version of it anyway to the outer reaches of earth's solar system He journeys through the outlands where thousands of artificial satellites drift conglomerates of junk and rock welded together to support meager communities of human life Here Sparky plies his trade transforming himself from oung to old fat to thin man. SF Sparky Valentine child star turned con artistactor is on the run from the Charonese mob Can he make it to Luna in time to play Lear Though that s only nominally the plot Mostly this book doesn t have one It reads like a mix of Douglas Adams Terry Pratchett The Garbage Pail Kids and Shakespeare And it does several things that I normally won t tolerateIt breaks the fourth wall repeatedly Sparky not only talks to the reader he addresses the typesetter reuesting that they stop putting the flashbacks in italics The extended flashbacks of which there are many are in third person even though all but the news articles
are narrated by Sparky who is in first person for the rest ofnarrated by Sparky who is in first person for the rest of bookAnd et those things are all done well especially the flashbacks I found myself liking this book despite its slow start and flimsy plot It s all about the writing and the narrator and I enjoyed both of them Things Varley does well humor descriptions of environments technology neighborhoods all the details of space travel and living and working in space the narrator s conversational flippant toneThings Varley handwaves obnoxiously culture everyone speaks English because it just happened to work out that way after the Invasion race at this point no one s all black or all white apparently those are our only options sexuality and gender Sparky born male has been modified so that he can change his outward gender at will He makes a point of saying it s rare to be 100% heterosexual Sami et Julie CE1 Sami et Julie font des crpes yet all sexual encounters described or even hinted at are malefemale The one malemale encounter is during a production of Romeo and Juliet with Sparky as Juliet He and Romeo are supposed to have sex on stage but his male partner being 100% straight can t get it up even with Sparky physically female at the time This would have been an excellent opportunity to examine the relationship between gender sexuality and the mind but Varley totally passes it up It s disappointingThe ending comes with a one and a half twist one whichou might see coming and half of one that sounds like something from the last five minutes of a Law and Order rerun By that time I kind of didn t care what was going on any because it was already clear this isn t the kind of book that gives a concrete resolutionWarnings for child abuse grisly fight scenes and animal harmThree stars It took a while to get going but I grew to like Sparky or at least to be entertained by him I ll be reading by Varley He gives good space A wonderful book sort of near future sci fi a relatable future 200 Deliciously Ella entre amis years from nowIt was really a family story from the view of the child star who tried to flee that world LiterallyMaybe should be 4 stars but I feel I ve been throwing them about too liberally The Golden Globe is an Eight Worlds novel mostly closely related in setting and world to Steel Beach which was one of my favorite science fiction novels to come out of the 19 Golden Globe is thus far my favorite Varley I haven t read the Titan serieset because I m an ASS but I don t see how it could beat Globe for a place in my heart The main character is deeply conflicted original and interesting As Varley often does he jumps through chronology We spend portions of the book in the present er future and in the past er still future of the protagonist What I found most surprising was that I was as invested in both settings When I read a book that does this I typically find myself hurrying through one portion to get to the next Okay Okay he got beat as a kid get to the mafia chasing him NOW With Golden Globe I was just as eager to read every aspect of the protagonists life I can only assume that this is because both times have conflict I mean GOOD conflict Characters who we are curious about in the present we see detailed in the past and vice versa We see where some of those bizarre parts of the past ended up in the present and I found myself eagerly reading to find out as much as I could about everyone Okay that aside the world is great This is the same world as in Steel Beach and from what I know could be wrong all or most of his books And by world I mean Universe Point is it is as good as it ever was I actually read this BEFORE Steel Beach which I think is the precursor or maybe not but Steel Beach goes much in depth into the political and economical situation these characters live in That being said Golden Globe still does a phenomenal job of tuning the reader in to where they are and what is going on Lastly the Shakespearean nature of the main character in a sci fi setting was just too cool for me to pass up This is probably up there in my favorite book. Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards John Varley is truly one of the greats of science fiction comparable only to Heinlein Herbert Asimov and Clark Now the all time master returns with his long awaited epic novel of life beyond the great beyondAll the universe is a stage and Sparky Valentine is its itinerant thespian He makes his way from planet to planet as part of.