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The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip José…

The Fabulous Riverboat (1971)

by Philip José Farmer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Riverworld (2), Riverworld Original Series (2)

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1,890295,437 (3.6)29



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English (23)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
We exchange Richard Burton for Samuel Clemens and set the story a couple decades past "Resurrection Day", when all of humanity (and then some) who ever lived wake up naked on the shores of an impossibly long river.

Clemens, or Mark Twain, has a dream of finding iron. Riverworld seems to have been intentionally deprived of all natural resources with the exception of water and fish from the river and stands of trees along the banks and some quarryable stone. But Clemens wants to big a big ol' fabulous riverboat so he too can get to the bottom of the mysteries that surround the creation and purpose of Riverworld. The exploits of Richard Burton in To All Your Scattered Bodies Go are the subject of rumor and legend. This goes against the growing "church" of the second chance, which believes that Riverworld was made to provide all the basic needs of humanity and allow them to turn their thoughts towards self-improvment instead of war and greed.

In pursuit of his goal Clemens must ally himself with King John (Lackland) and reunites with his pasteboard wife and meets a pasteboard with a sword Cyrano de Bergerac. An odd cameo was [a:Frederick Rolfe|312524|Frederick Rolfe|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1253526227p2/312524.jpg] as a toady of John's.

The book has about the same amount of pages as the previous one but it seemed to take a lot longer. There was a lot of politicking between Clemens & King John's "state" and a neighboring "state" of black sepratists that was probably timely in 1972, but is now just absurd. That heaped on top of more sexism (despite the prescene of a Soviet female engineer, such largess!) made this seem like a good place to leave Riverworld because I hear the books just keep getting worse. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |


The only part of this that survived the decades well is the subplot about SamMark and his beloved, obsessed-over Livy. Be careful what you wish for in this life! (I actually mean "Riverworld life," though that hoary old saying is hoary and old because it never stops being true.) The "race relations" aren't new or trenchant, just tediously familiar. The modern then, well-trodden-trail now use of insomnia, depression, and drug use to self-medicate them is gloom-inducing. Heteronormative dreariness is de rigueur, tobacco use is unstigmatized, and the whole damned enterprise has at its core a frustrating reality: THIS IS A HUGE MISSED OPPORTUNITY. There's no essential difference between the various factions scrapping over bits and pieces. There's nothing, in short, new under this brand-new sun.

But DAYUM is the Fabulous Riverboat a spiffy Maguffin. I don't think it's too much to say the ride is worth the journey if only just. ( )
  richardderus | Dec 18, 2018 |
Good book two of the Riverworld Saga. Not quite as good as the first but still enjoying Farmers imagination. Look forward to book 3. ( )
  ikeman100 | Nov 24, 2018 |
SF: volume 2 in the Riverworld series
  stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
This is the second in the Riverworld series. King John is out to get Samuel Clemens. I've always liked John Plantagenet better than PJ Farmer does. Adequate entertainment. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Farmer, Philip JoséAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Di Fate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Peter A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the unholy trinity of Bobs: Bloch, Heinlein, and Traurig - may I meet them on the banks of the River, where we'll board the fabulous Riverboat.
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'Resurrection, like politics, makes strange bedfellows,' Sam Clemens said.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345419685, Paperback)

In To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip José Farmer introduces readers to the awesome Riverworld, a planet that had been carved into one large river on whose shores all of humanity throughout the ages has seemingly been resurrected. In The Fabulous Riverboat, Farmer tells the tale of one person whose is uniquely suited to find the river's headwaters, riverboat captain and famous Earthly author Sam Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain). Clemens has been visited by "X," a mysterious being who claims to be a rebel among the group that created Riverworld. X tells Clemens where he can find a large deposit of iron and other materials that Clemens can use to build the greatest riverboat ever seen. Since there is virtually no metal on the planet, it will also give Clemens an unbeatable edge when it comes to battling the various warlike societies that dominate the Riverworld.

But Clemens is not alone in his quest for the iron, which arrives on the planet in the form of a giant meteorite. In fact, Clemens is besieged on all sides by forces determined to seize the precious ore, leading him to make a deadly pact with one of history's most notorious villains, John Lackland. Lackland's crimes during his reign as king of England were so hideous that no other English monarch will ever carry his name, and he's up to equally nefarious tricks on Riverworld. However, Clemens has a guardian angel in the form of Joe Miller, a giant subhuman with a big nose, a serious lisp, and a cutting wit. Miller has also been to the very headwaters of the river, where he saw a mysterious tower in the middle of the North Sea and where the creators of Riverworld are thought to reside. He will be an invaluable ally in completing the riverboat and sailing to the headwaters, but even an 800-pound giant may not be enough to help Clemens fulfill X's mission. --Craig E. Engler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:20 -0400)

Samuel Clemens, resurrected on the banks of Riverworld with the rest of humanity, wants to build a riverboat and steer it up his new home planet's waterway to discover its source, but first he must undertake a dangerous voyage to unearth a fallen meteor.… (more)

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