Wizard, by John Varley

In my continuing saga of the list of Sci Fi books that I’m working through …

I went back and read ‘Titan’, and then read ‘Wizard‘, by John Varley. I am now reading ‘Demon’, because I’m a glutton for punishment.


I did not like these books. The concept is interesting, but unabashedly borrows from other books – even having characters in the book mention how derivative it is. But there are some characters who are compelling enough that I do want to finish the third book, to find out what happens, so I suppose it’s not all bad.

The frontmatter for Wizard contains this quote:

“I’ve been saying for years that John Varley is the best writer in America. This book proves it.” — Tom Clancy

I suppose how seriously you take that depends in large part on what you think of Tom Clancy.

Anyways, what I find most distracting and irritating about this book is how much of the book focuses on sex, when it has nothing whatever to do with the story line.┬áI imagine that an abridged version of the book, aimed at a younger audience, would be more focused on the story, and┬ároughly half the length. I don’t think I’m exaggerating – or at least, not much. It’s not that it’s lewd or graphic, it’s just gratuitous, and weakens the story, and goes on, and on, and on.

But, yes, I’m finishing the trilogy, because that’s what I do.

The full list that I’m working through is over here.