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The Dark Design by Philip José Farmer
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The Dark Design (1977)

by Philip José Farmer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Riverworld (3), Riverworld Original Series (3)

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English (10)  French (2)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Now equipped with an airship, instead of a riverboat, richard Burton and his gang go looking for the "Ethicals" in this third installment of the "Riverworld" saga. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 28, 2014 |
Better than book 2 but some parts were boring. Too many people were introduces again. it got too complicated. I wasn't happy with the Frigate character for instance. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
This surprisingly ended up becoming my favorite of the series. I loved the first book, which prompted me to read on, but the second left me a bit cold, so I my hopes were not high for this one.

I think this installment shows Farmer getting a bit self indulgent with his whole concept at times, which can, understandably be a turn off for some. The detail Farmer provides about all of his characters, and I mean all of them, was really enjoyable for me perhaps because Farmer introduces a number of great characters in this book.

Another unexpected result of reading this book is that I now know way more about dirigibles... ( )
  Caitlinefa | Nov 26, 2010 |
This is where I got off the Riverworld express, not because it is a bad novel, but because it isn't nearly as good as the first two in the series, "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" and "The Fabulous Riverboat". In this book, Burton and Clemens are back, still trying to solve the mysteries of the Riverworld. Some changes have also appeared in the way the world works (notably, you now stay dead if you get killed). New historical characters are introduced, as are new forms of transportation. For me, however, the ongoing quest wasn't nearly as interesting as it was before, and the novelty of the Riverworld had worn off. ( )
  annbury | Sep 28, 2010 |
To me, this series is one of the inspirations for the Matrix, and some of my favorite science fiction. In this book, the inhabitants of Riverworld have recovered some technology, and continue to attempt to get to the end of the river, and discover who is behind what has been done to them. Unlike the Matrix, this seems to be a life after their original life, and no one knows to what purpose. Great stuff. ( )
  Karlstar | Nov 16, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip José Farmerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petagno, JoeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.

- The Kasidah of Haji Abdu al-Yazdi
'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'
- Alice in Wonderland
Dedication
To Sam Long and my godson David, son of Doctor Docter
First words
Dreams haunted The Riverworld.
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Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345419693, Paperback)

The Dark Design is the third book in the epic Riverworld saga, in which almost all of humanity has been resurrected on a strange planet along the shores of a river 22 million miles long. But why have humans been given another chance at life, and who is behind it all? That's what Sir Richard Francis Burton and Sam Clemens set out to discover in two earlier novels, one by riding the "suicide express" (if you die on Riverworld, you're resurrected again at a random point along the river) and the other steaming on the greatest riverboat ever seen. Now Milton Firebrass, Clemens's former enemy and now his No. 1 lieutenant, is planning to use the dwindling iron supply on the Riverworld to create a great airship, which can fly to the North Polar Sea far more quickly than any boat can travel. There he hopes to learn the secret of the mysterious tower thought to house the beings who created this planet.

Jill Gulbirra does not care as much about the mission as she wants the chance to captain the great airship, which in all likelihood will be the last airship ever constructed by humankind. But in landing the coveted role, she faces stiff competition--especially from the greatest swordsman of all time, Cyrano de Bergerac, who turns out to be a natural pilot. But even if Jill can win the command of the airship and even if the ship can reach the river's headwaters, there is no guarantee it can get through the mountain wall that surrounds the tower. And it's likely that one or more agents of the Ethicals--the creators of Riverworld--are on board the airship, plotting its downfall. Worse still, somewhere along the way the airship is sure to encounter the Rex Grandissimus, the steamboat stolen by Sam's archnemesis, King John Lackland. --Craig E. Engler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Much has transpired since Earth's denizens found themselves resurrected along the shores of a river 22 million miles long. With the truth of this strange river's creators, the Ethicals, still shrouded in mystery, Sir Richard Francis Burton, Samuel Clemens, King John, and Cyrano de Bergerac face a fantastical voyage of discovery.… (more)

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