(IBList user synopsis):
The many faceted talent of Philp Jose' Farmer encompasses both the satirical and the serious sides of science fiction, and this action filled collection of seven short stories and a novelette is a marvel of diversity and originality. Here the author gives an exciting demonstration of the unflinching style and imagination that have gained him such a large, enthusiastic following.
Promometheus is set in the 23rd century and relates the misadventures of one John Carmody, a monk of the order of St. Jairus. Atttcked by hoodlums in a zoo on Earth, Carmody has the misfortune to fall into the enclosure housing a horowitz-a giant bird from the planet Feral-which holds him down with one foot and proceeds to lay an egg on his chest!.. Carmody manages to escape from the enclosure, but discovers that the egg has put out tendrils and attached itself permanently to his chest!
Carmody's plight becomes a golden opportunity for zoologist, who believe the horowitzes to be the Galaxy's most intelligent nonsentient beings. Not only can they now study the embryo's development in the egg, but they also convince the hapless monk to go to Feral and impersonate a horowitz to help gather scientific data.
Dressed in feathers and wearing a false beak, Carmody is set down on the alien planet and begins to make friends with the horowitzes. He soon learns just how intelligent they really are, and before the eyes of the amazed zoologists, Carmody single-handedly procedds to advance the horowitzes a million years up the evolutionary scale.
In a more serious vein, Down in the Black Gang presents an incredible view of the universe and the role human beings play in it. It tells the story of an all-powerful group of aliens who, throughout history, have secretly manipulated the actions of human beings. Their purpose is to extract a special form of energy from human emotions. To the aliens, humans are merely "engines" in their spaceship-and their space ship is the entire universe.
Among the six other stories you'll find A Bowl Bigger than Earth, which concerns a man who finds himself trapped on a ghastly world of sexless, total identical beings. The Shadow of Space, a hair raising account of the first men to travel faster than the speed of light, and the first to discover the frightening dangers. and Riverworld, where every human who ever lived is reincarnated on the banks of a river on a vast and unknown planet.
- Down in the Black Gang · nv If Mar ’69
- The Shadow of Space · nv If Nov ’67
- A Bowl Bigger than Earth · nv If Sep ’67
- Riverworld [Riverworld] · nv Worlds of Tomorrow Jan ’66
- A Few Miles [Father John Carmody] · nv F&SF Oct ’60
- Prometheus [Father John Carmody] · na F&SF Mar ’61
- The Blasphemers · nv Galaxy Apr ’64
- How Deep the Grooves · ss Amazing Feb ’63
Original title: Down in the Black Gang
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction
The following works are contained within this one:
Few Miles, a (1960) [Short Story]
Author: Philip José Farmer
Prometheus (1961) [Short Story]
Author: Philip José Farmer