TWO HAWKS FROM EARTH BY PHILIP JOSE FARMER

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Copyright 1979.

Roger Two Hawks an Iroquois is a bomber pilot during WWII. During a raid on the oil fields in Romania his bomber is shot down. When he bails out he finds himself not in Romania but some strange foreign land. Yet it is a world that is also fighting a world war. He soon finds himself in an alternate Earth. One where the Americas never existed. The Asian tribes that migrated their instead turned westward and settled in Eastern Europe. So these tribes now have established nations for themselves. The Perkunishans are the Germans of this world and have launched a genocidal war against their neighbors. Blodland is the England of this world and the main opponent to them. Two Hawks soon finds that both factions are out to get him for his knowledge of technological advances from his world. He has many adventures that sees him fall into both factions hands.

This was a really interesting book. Farmer did a lot of research into the various peoples to give us a fascinating look at a world without the Americas. That Eastern Europe is populated by descendants of the tribes that migrated to America seems plausible. There are also no negroid peoples because India is an island and that race never developed. Instead Africa was settled by an Arabic people. There are no horses or camels because these originally developed in the Americas. Only they later became extinct in out world but thrived in Eurasia. There is no rubber so there are no rubber tires for vehicles. It is a world where slavery is still common and ruled by absolute monarchs.

This book was originally written back in 1966 and published under the title The Gate of Time. Farmer states in a foreword he never liked this title because the gateway never dealt with time. That an editor in his words “bowdlerize’ a scene by rewriting it. His original was restored and he wrote an extra 10,000 words for an ending. This ending has Two Hawks after the war finding a portal that brought him to a prehistoric America that had pre-Columbian natives and Two Hawks settling down with dreams of turning them into a modern society.

I loved how this book starts with him giving his story to a writer and you think it is our world. But it turns out to be this world at the end. Also another German also came through and at the end we find out Two Hawks is not from our Earth. When he asks who Hitler is we find out that in his world the Kaiser still rules Germany. Otherwise his world and ours have very similar histories. So if you want a unique alternate history book I would highly recommend this one.

DARK IS THE SUN BY PHILIP JOSE FARMER

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Copyright 1979.

It is fifteen billion years in the future. The sun is a black dwarf and the sky is filled with the debris of dying galaxies. Young Deyv of the Turtle tribe has no knowledge of his world’s fate or history. He has been ordered to leave in search of a new mate. So with his dog Jum and cat Aejip he sets out into unknown lands. Along the way a Yawtl steals his soul egg. He finds a woman from another tribe named Vana and a plant centaur named Sloosh that also were victims of the Yawtl. So they begin a quest that takes them across the world. Through strange lands with even stranger creatures and peoples. Through the ruins of the ancients. They first go to Feersh the blind witch that ordered the thefts. The quest takes them to an ancient alien known as the Shemibob in the jeweled wastelands. They soon find themselves looking for a portal that will take them to new world and escape a dying planet.

As a kid I loved the book The Stone God Awakens. Seeing this book I though it sounded similar. I was not disappointed in reading it. This is a fantasy passing itself off as science fiction. Farmer creates this incredible world with all sorts of strange creatures. It amuses me to think of humans surviving fifteen billion years later. Seems they managed to move the Earth so it wasn’t destroyed when the sun went nova and created a new sun using the moon. Of course humanity has gone through many ups and downs and now are back in a primitive state.

Anyway this was an epic story in scope and very enjoyable. I highly recommend it. I will have to check out more of the author’s work.

THE STONE GOD AWAKENS BY PHILIP JOSE FARMER

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tarzan

Ulysses Singing Bear is a scientist in the far future year of 1985. He is working on a project that freezes the movement of atoms which petrify the object. One day he is sitting at his desk when an accident with the machine occurs. The next instant Ulysses finds himself in a burning temple. He was accidentally turned to stone and twenty million years later a lightning bolt unfreezes him.

This new world is populated with anthropomorphic people descended from animals. He was worshipped as a god and now the god as come alive. He is able to unite the Siamese cat people and two raccoon type people. He then sets out on an expedition to find other humans. His first obstacle is the giant tree Wurutana. Wurutana is a giant sentient tree that is growing all over the land and will soon cover the entire Earth.

Ulysses fights threw the dangers of Wurutana and his followers of leopard men, bear men and little bat winged people. He makes it to the other side and finds what appear to be humans enslaved to an elephantine people called the Neshgai. The Neshgai use advanced biological machines that they found in a ruined city. When Ulysses gets to access an ancient computer program he finds out the truth. Humans were killed millions of years ago by an alien race and the Tree was a giant sentient computer that was created by them. The people he thinks are humans are actually descended from monkeys.

Ulysses convinces the Neshgai to build a fleet of dirigibles to mount an expedition against Wurutana. The fleet attacks the main trunk in an epic battle.

This book is something that if you read the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon as either something you love or hate. I do count myself as one of the former. I really found to whole idea a captivating and unique story. I have read this many times and this last time I still found it an interesting story.

Some of my negatives is that this book has no chapters. I never read a book at close to three hundred pages with no chapters. I found that weird. I like chapters in books. Ulysses also seems to adapt a little too easily to being transported twenty million years into the future populated by cat people. He is obsessed with finding a mate to have children with right away. He has a relationship with his handmaiden cat woman Awina. Nothing sexual but he does spend a lot of time thinking about it.

The story ended open ended with the possibility of a sequel. Since the author died some years ago and this is over forty years old, its a safe bet that one is never coming. That is too bad since I always wondered on how it ended for Ulysses. I would definitely recommend this book.