The Dark Design by Philip José Farmer

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.

–Richard Francis Burton ‘The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî’

Revisit 2015 via audio file 18:03:27

Description: Years have passed on Riverworld. Entire nations have risen, and savage wars have been fought–all since the dead of Earth found themselves resurrected in their magnificent new homeworld. Yet the truth about the Ethicals, the powerful engineers of this mysterious “afterlife,” remains unknown. But a curious cross-section of humanity is determined to change that situation . . . at any cost.

Intrepid explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton leads the most remarkable voyage of discovery he has ever undertaken. Hot on his heels are Samuel Clemens, King John of England, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Spurred by the promise of ultimate answers, they chart a course across the vast polar sea–and toward the awesome tower that looms above it. But getting there will be more than half the battle. For death on Riverworld has become chillingly final . . .

We open with Burton in front of The Twelve, the Ethicals, whom I prefer to call F-icals. He has been investigated because of his 777 deaths on the Suicide Express.

There is a ::lot:: going on in this book and although it is baggier than the first two books the story is not (yet?)out of control. Main point is that there are no more reincarnations – you die, you stay dead.

Truly exciting storyline dotted with some scathing philosophy and home truths. Highly recommended for those who like to stop and think.

It’s this third installment of the series where there is an opportunity to roll that lusciuous noun around the mouth:


and finally we meet a strong woman in the shape of Australian Jill Gulbirra.

Pharoah Imhotep
Richard Burton
Sam Clemens
Tom Mix
Jack London
Cyrano de Bergerac

From wiki: The second storyline follows the real Peter Jairus Frigate. Unaware that an alien agent has been posing as himself, this Frigate, whose life story is identical in most respects to the one which the false Frigate told, has been living an ordinary life along the river.

5* To Their Scattered Bodies Go
5* The Fabulous Riverboat (Riverworld, #2)
5* The Dark Design (Riverworld, #3)
The Magic Labyrinth (Riverworld, #4)
The Gods of Riverworld (Riverworld #5)


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