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The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

by John Varley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Eight Worlds (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0982015,759 (3.66)33
THE BRILLIANT NOVEL THAT LAUNCHED THE VARLEY PHENOMENON   The invaders came in 2050...They did not kill anyone outright. they said they came on behalf of the intelligent species of Earth--dolphins and whales. The Invaders quietly destroyed every evidence of technology, then peacefully departed, leaving behind plowed ground and sprouting seeds. In the next two years, ten billion humans starved to death.  The remnants of humanity that survived relocated to the moon and other planets. But they are not alone in their struggle--someone or something, somewhere in deep space, is sending them advanced scientific data via the Ophiuchi Hotline. And by the twenty-fifth century, the technological gifts from the Hotline--especially its biological and medical solutions--have created a world unlike any ever known or imagined...… (more)
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» See also 33 mentions

English (18)  French (2)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I only read half this book then put it away. It has some interesting ideas, but the characters are not well developed so I just couldn't bring myself to care about them or the story. ( )
  keithostertag | Dec 11, 2021 |
This was a very novel take on post-Earth humanity and human encounters with aliens. There were a few elements I found unsatisfying (mostly the aliens themselves) but I think those weren't really mistakes on the author's part, just stylistic choices that didn't fit my preferences. Most of the drama of the story centers on cloned individuals of the magical memories-retained variety, which I find a little tired. However, the book itself is from the 1970's so when the author wrote it that idea was more fresh. Speaking of which, the book was surprisingly not dated considering its age. Nearly all of the Sci-Fi trappings were still plausible today, without any old-timey-Sci-Fi stuff that I noticed. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
A lot of science fiction gets dated because technology outruns the story. This one doesn't, and probably won't, suffer from that problem. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
Trying some John Varley novels because this series has a lot of bioengineering instead of mechanical tech, and has the "aliens and humans coexisting" theme (most of the series seems to be about the challenges of that). Varley goes a bit overboard on "weird sex stuff" (my cutoff for that is Heinlein style; this was a bit graphic, although not absurdly pornographic or anything), but there are a number of decent plot elements. Characters aren't too flat for sci-fi, although it's not great. Probably will read the next book in the series, but might stop there. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Kill all dolphins and whales NOW! And possibly octopuses as well, although they have been known to use tools so maybe they're OK but why take chances?

In all seriousness this has aged remarkably well (by not going into any day to day details)! Really clever, except the non-ending but I guess it was written with a sequel in mind which I will definitely be picking up. People who read the book on release had quite a wait (15 years)! ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Varley, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grothaus, MikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lobry, RémiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNeely, HollyJacket designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siudmak, WojciechCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisJacket artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To My Mother
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The file was started on Lilo when CCR computers noticed she had been dealing with Ophiuchi Hotline data tagged by analysis as probably related to human DNA.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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THE BRILLIANT NOVEL THAT LAUNCHED THE VARLEY PHENOMENON   The invaders came in 2050...They did not kill anyone outright. they said they came on behalf of the intelligent species of Earth--dolphins and whales. The Invaders quietly destroyed every evidence of technology, then peacefully departed, leaving behind plowed ground and sprouting seeds. In the next two years, ten billion humans starved to death.  The remnants of humanity that survived relocated to the moon and other planets. But they are not alone in their struggle--someone or something, somewhere in deep space, is sending them advanced scientific data via the Ophiuchi Hotline. And by the twenty-fifth century, the technological gifts from the Hotline--especially its biological and medical solutions--have created a world unlike any ever known or imagined...

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