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A Private Cosmos by Philip José Farmer

A Private Cosmos (1967)

by Philip José Farmer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: World of Tiers (3)

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444335,389 (3.77)4
  1. 00
    Monsoon by Wilbur Smith (Sandwich76)
    Sandwich76: Fantastic adventure story

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
Not bad, but my suspension of disbelief is getting stretched. This one is entirely from Kickaha's point of view - the events are taking place during the same time as The Gates of Creation, while Wolff is away. An old enemy of the Lords, the Black Bellers (mentioned once, briefly, in Gates), just happen to show up while Wolff's gone. And while chasing some Lords, they just happen to arrive at the same place Kickaha is and try to capture him; and they're led by a man Kickaha knows, so he knows he's acting abnormally. Given all those things, plus Kickaha's pulp-hero abilities, the rest of the story flows reasonably well, but the premises are a bit much for me to swallow. And one of the Lords, Jadawin's famously arrogant and treacherous sister Anana, partners with Kickaha and, apparently, falls in love with him...he's cautious and doubting, but not nearly as much as I am. Events pile on events, practically everyone dies except the two of them, Wolff & Chryseis show up and flee - to Earth, as it turns out, along with the last Black Beller. So Kickaha and Anana have to go after them...and the book ends as they depart. These three books really are one book in three volumes - glad I have them all together. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 6, 2012 |
Not quite as good as the first two books. This one features Kickaha as the hero. Lots of action - almost too much. It's a bit confusing & I caught a couple of story line snafus. Nothing terrible, but it just wasn't as thoughtful or well written as the previous two. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Sep 25, 2009 |
Re-read in Sept. 2006; if possible, I'd give this two-and-three-quarters stars: it's not quite a 3-star book due to Farmer's sadly typical sloppiness in following his own plot points, but it is a respectable sci-fi (that should be "sci-fan," BTW: there's demmed little science in this series) adventure.

A Private Cosmos is the 3rd of 6 or 7 books in the World of Tiers series, which takes its title from the world fashioned by the millennia-old Lord Jadawin (a.k.a. Robert Wolff): a giant stepped pyramid-shaped world with a green sky and an Earth-sized moon fashioned after Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom (Mars) series featuring John Carter. In it, Farmer's Mary Sue character Kickaha (a.k.a. Paul Janus Finnegan; check out that monogram...) gets harried from his favorite level on the World of Tiers, the Amerind level (which also features several different prehistoric animals from Earth and several bio-engineered fantastical creatures, such as the Amerindian centauroid Half-Horses, one of which is depicted on Boris Vallejo's cover, minus the bellows-like breathing organ), by the forces of the Black Bellers (sometimes just called Bellers), who are a variation on the body-snatching, villainous aliens of Jack Finney and Robert Heinlein. Kickaha, styled the Trickster, must somehow combat the threat of the Bellers before they take over all of the pocket universes of the various Lords, most of whom actively try to kill or capture each other as a matter of course.

A Private Cosmos isn't quite as good as The Maker of Universes (which gains points for being the first in the series as well as having a smidge of depth underneath its pulpy adventure narrative), although it is much better than The Gates of Creation. I'll reserve judgment on Behind the Walls of Terra and The Lavalite World until I re-read them; I've never read Red Orc's Rage, and I've not read/don't own More Than Fire. There seems to be some debate as to whether Red Orc's Rage is an official part of the series.

If nothing else, the World of Tiers series should be of interest to RPG'ers: the titular world would make a heck of a setting for a role-playing game. ( )
  uvula_fr_b4 | Sep 17, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip José Farmerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zelazny, RogerIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Under a green sky and Yellow sun, on a black stallion with a crimson-dyed mane and blue-dyed tail, Kickahaha rode for his life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In a world of tiers and layers - The Amerind level, the Garden of Eden level, the Talanac, the Atlantean - a universe of green skies and fabled beasts. and it was all the playground of the Lord Jadawin, the transgravitational gates to the other levels, and other words

But now those gates were being sabotaged to permit the entry of an invading force of "Bellers" - human bodies housing the transferred minds of rebel Lords. They sought two things: total domination of every Lord's private cosmos, and the life of Kickaha the Trickster, who knew too much
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