July 2nd, 2009

there!, Hello

From the Man with the electric brain . . .

40) A Woman a Day by Phillip Jose Farmer (220 pages, Berkley Books, 1980)
A somewhat surreal Post-Whoops romp through a Paris ensconced in political, religious, sexual and moral conspiracies. A double agent doctor discovers love and lust with the dead wife (who may or may not be an extraterrestrial) of a political bigwig (wone of the heads of a church dedicated to the principles of a time travelling messiah who will be back . . . any . . . day . . . now) and squares off against a suspicious Agent of Authority in an effort to undermine . . . well, just about everything. Clones, curious relations, sexuality without sleaze, crimes, unauthorized dissections, surprising transgender switches, and a post apocalyptic Israel that has dominated the Mediterranean Sea area with colonies . . . Wow. This book is surprisingly complex for being so short. I find it a challenge to collapse plotline into a single paragraph, since so much happens. And the twists are actually surprising. Not bad for a novel first published in 1968.

I have not read a lot of Farmer's work (shame on me!) and only now after he's dead do I find myself drawn to some of his work. I really should have got onboard earlier. There are a lot of intriguing ideas bubbling through his work (as many as in the works of that other sf-Philip: K. Dick, that'd be). A very strange read and a very strange experience.

For the pun found in the name of super mysterious mastermind "Jacques Cuze" alone, I give this book a hearty recommendation.