Hugo: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1972)

To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer
Read November 26, 2010 – December 20, 2010

Premise: In some mysterious place at some mysterious time all members of the human race from the first pre-Monolith Kubrick ape down to the extra-terrestrial who has destroyed all of humanity are resurrected to fend for themselves and are protected, nurtured, and presumably studied by mysterious benefactors. The people resurrected include Richard Francis Burton, Alice Liddell, and Hermann Göring. It’s all quite mysterious. Ooo.

Verdict: I have never read a more stupid useless book. Except for some of the other Hugo winners that I’ve read. Burton the manly explorer is resurrected, has much sex with nameless “beautiful women,” is creepishly in love with Alice Liddell (as in, Lewis Carroll’s real Alice), and continually bucks authority to try and find the point of the whole resurrection exercise—meaning he commits suicide to escape the creatures controlling the resurrections and is resurrected somewhere else on the great river of humanity. That’s fine, that’s great, that’s all mysterious and wonderful. Oo, I’m impressed. Except there isn’t even an ending to the stupid book. The ending is “Curse you evil future beings monkeying with my life! I will defeat you some day and find out your nefarious purpose!” I didn’t care for this novel at all. There is no real plot beyond Burton being an asshole and the premise is at first intriguing but ends up coming off as stupid, boring, and like nothing more than poorly written hero-worshipping “real person fic.” 19th century adventure stories at least have excuses for their misogyny and general weird state-of-being. This does not.

Just wtf. Don’t even bother. This is the first of a series that you’d have to pay me good money to waste my time reading.

You may also like