Titan Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1982
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About the Author
John Varley is the author of the Gaean Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon), Steel Beach, The Golden Globe, Red Thunder, and Mammoth. He has won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for his work. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Without getting too much into Spoilertoria, this basically takes place in a plausible near-future until something is discovered in the outer orbit of our solar system. Something big.
And while much of the treatment of sexuality and social mores will likely seem dated to us writing in the twenty-first century, keep in mind that this was written over three decades ago, and was pushing a lot of boundaries when it first came out. It won a Hugo, after all. Definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for something outside of the usual, from a surprisingly fresh perspective.
All the truths that were established in the other two novels are blown completely away. Proof again that the reader is always as ignorant as the narrator.
An enormous investment of imagination and analysis went into creating Gaea, the giant living space-habitat where the story takes place. Many novels of this day were full of strange alien landscapes and creatures that come off as hollow flights of fancy arranged by authorial fiat. Here though, they fit together in symbiosis. Even the parts of the world that seem "not quite right" on the first read through make perfect sense at the end after finding out more about the world's history. In fact, this is a good analogy for the plot of the book as a whole: a series of apparently random adventures with little obvious connection that finally makes perfect sense at the end when you learn what's really been going on.
Titan is also a reasonably good psychological novel. The opening events leave all the human characters mentally "damaged" in various ways, and Varley does a very believable, mature job of developing the plot as each character overcomes or sinks deeper into his or her respective psychosis.
What prevents Titan from being much better than it is is that Varley does not apply this same maturity to his handling of the various sexual issues he tries to address. In his treatment of free love, homosexuality, rape, abortion, and the like, his characters don't act like the liberated personalities he intends them to be, but simply as people who are as dogmatized in one direction as the American society of thirty years ago was dogmatized in the other. As a result, what Varley intended as thought provoking, having in time lost all shock value, comes off somewhere between childish and puerile.Read more ›
1) Fantastic world created!!
2) Like others have said the author suffers from immaturity when handling the sexual portion of this book.
3) Definitely not for kids! Not to mention there are so many other things that could happen without characters having sex ever thirty pages or so. I literally counted three scenes within the space of 80-90 pages...which took up most of those pages.
4)Characters were ok, but nothing too rememberable.
OVERALL: Kept reading in the hopes things would improve but they didn't. Gave it a two stars vs. one because of the fantastic world created in general. For exploring an alien artifact, Greg Bear's "Eon" was a much better read (and more mature)