Rereading: WIZARD and DEMON by John Varley

A few weeks ago I posted about my rereading of TITAN by John Varley. Of the new science fiction authors that I sampled in the 1970s, Varley was one of the best. I first read some of his short stories in the science fiction digests of the time, and when this trilogy came out in paperback in the 1980s, I devoured it. Varley seemed to me (and others) a talent as original and compelling as Robert A. Heinlein, and this trilogy was as full of terrific ideas, impressive world building, and wonderful characters as Heinlein’s “Future History” stories. I continue to follow Varley’s work and enjoy each new book by him as it comes out, though he no longer seems as important an author to me as he did in the 1980s, but that may just be my jaded view through the passage of time. Certainly these books were just as great on the reread as when I first read them. I’d like to review the second and third books in the trilogy in more detail, but I can’t see how I might do that without spoiling some of the surprises in the plot, so I’ll just say that I encourage anyone interested in top-quality science fiction to give this trilogy a try. You won’t be disappointed. It’s been so much fun to reread that I only wish there were more in the series. Highly recommended. Here are links to all three books.

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