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The Golden GlobeLittle madness and a LOT of Lear And let s not forget to send Valentine across the full Solar System as we do it This book might rank p there with one of the best SF ever written It breaks all molds and does its own glorious thing never apologizing never doing the expected thing Flashbacks Sure Tons Flashforwards Fourth wall breaking Third person First person Second Person Yep And you know what It all works It has PERSONALITY Varley is o Storyline 15Characters 45Writing Style 45World 45I came to this wanting to dislike it I found myself here because I tend to finish series that I start and I had already read the first two I hadn t particularly liked them but I could give some grudging respect to numbers one and two That s than I can say of Varley s Gaea Trilogy which I count as the worst science fiction trilogy I ve ever read And it is not just that I had low expectations I actively dislike Varley as an author There s plenty of science fiction authors whose embrace of the genre seems to be due to its sexual speculative possibilities Whether it be Robert Silverberg toying with how time travel can permit one to fornicate with his ancestors David Gerrold exploring the multiverse s possibilities for radical self lust or Larry NivenFritz Leiber schoose from about a 100 other science fiction authors titillation at the idea of cross species sex a The Golden Globe is an Eight Worlds novel mostly closely related in setting and world to Steel Beach which was one of my favorite science fiction novels to come out of the 1990sWill you smell a whiff of Double Star as you read it My goodness yes you will On the other hand Double Star by Robert A Heinlein was one of his best so there s no shame in thatBut Varley does give things in his novel a niuely Varleyish in thatBut Varley "DOES GIVE THINGS IN HIS NOVEL A UNIUELY VARLEYISH "give things in his novel a niuely Varleyish characters are entertaining and the worldbuildling as lavish as only Varley can Don t believe me Read the Gaea Triolgy Great StuffThis n A former child television star Kenneth the rich and famousSparky Valentine in the 23rd century is now an itinerant actor excuse me thespian scratching out a living beyond the orbit of distant Pluto on a floating The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! ugly city an eyesore in the future a planet again worse yet he s a runaway from the lawsing numerous aliases to stay that way poor but free not a big fan of incarceration what the felony was is never stated Let s face it his wretch of a touring troupe of which Valentine was a membernever any good financially speaking or artistically shaky at best but the audience were grateful for any entertainment in their hell holes Sparky isn t the star either the versatile actor has done many parts men s and women s with modern medicine not difficult the stage has changed too anything shocking goes and doesInvaders have taken our Earth and the native population those that survived fled to the moon Luna Mercury Venus Mars and their various satellites of Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune many remote asteroids space stations and yes Pluto and her heinous moon Charon inhabited by a ruthless merciless savage mafia the toughest in the Solar System hence Eight Worlds Earthlings have made a remarkable recovery though billions are alive now since death has been postponed hundreds of yearsthat is a problem where to put all these fertile humansSparky if I may call him that best friend is Toby his loyal dog an excellent performer too he earns his keep acting doing back flips and able to count money at least to five coins Even after being a fugitive for seventy one years since the age of 29 yes he is now a spry 100middle aged by the era s standards Nevertheless Sparky has an imaginary buddy the good Elwood who resembles a well known Hollywood actor from the past only he seescall him his conscience not insane Some npleasant heated discussions occur when Elwood tells Sparky of. A motley theater troupe bringing Shakespeare a version of it anyway to the outer reaches of earth's solar system He journeys through the outlands where thousands of artificial satellites drift conglomerates of junk and rock welded together to support meager communities of human life Here Sparky plies his trade transforming himself from young to old fat to thin man. .

Summary The Golden Globe

SHAKESPEARE IN SPAAAACEIt s hard to tell how good this book actually was because it was the perfect book for ME as Mikah told me several years ago see I do get around to recs Minus one star for too much weird middle bit and for not foreshadowing the conclusion ite enough but a good space romp and overall so much fun "I mean as far as I m concerned you can t beat the opening line I once played Romeo " mean as far as I m concerned you can t beat the opening line I once played Romeo Juliet as a one man show This is my favourite science fiction book by my favourite science fiction author Set in the same Even Monsters Need Haircuts universe as Steel Beach a modified version of Varley s Eight Worldsniverse The Golden Globe features one of the most memorable narrators in science fiction Kenneth Sparky Valentine a washed p child television star who now wanders the Solar System as an itinerant thespian not to mention conman thief and general miscreant Sparky s wisecracking narratorial voice is easily the most amusing and readable of any I ve ever come across He regularly goes off on tangents and anecdotes often in the employ of worldbuilding which never fail to entertain and fit in seamlessly with the narrative something "That Was Often Beyond Steel "was often beyond Steel s Hildy JohnsonWhile Steel Beach focused on Luna Sparky s story takes him from the ramshackle boondock orbitals beyond Pluto across the system to Luna a Grand Tour of Varley s world and one with a much tighter plot than the loose rambling story of Steel Beach Sparky is bound for Luna to play his dream role of King Lear in an pcoming stage production in pursuit is a near nkillable member of the Charonese Mafia pursuing him for one of his many crimes This is nothing new for Sparky who has spent his adult life on the run for a much serious crime which the blurb gives away so don t read itLike Steel Beach The Golden Globe retains a certain cartoony satirical aspect reminiscent of Terry Pratchett it feels somehow less mature and serious than other science fiction novels or indeed than Varley s it feels somehow less mature and serious than other science fiction novels or indeed than Varley s novels It is however much readable and I feel that this tone is a deliberate result of the specific zeitgeist of the Eight Worlds namely they don t have one Their culture is entirely derived from Earth and they are overcome with obsession about the vibrant history of the world they lost an artificial ocean on Pluto that recreates famous historical scenes from the Pacific movie studios on Luna modelled after the famous studios of Hollywood s golden era Shakespearian productions fashions and styles taken from centuries past while the Invaders are barely referenced in these two books it s clear that humanity is still mourning for Earth and that sooner or later a second confrontation will occurI dearly hope this happens in Irontown Blues the as yet nwritten book which Varley has said will feature a police detective and round out the Metals Trilogy This is the book I long for than any other Until then however The Golden Globe is the most enjoyable and readable science fiction romp I ve ever read and Sparky Valentine one of the greatest characters A wonderful book sort of near future sci fi a relatable future 200 years from nowIt was really a family story from the view of the child star who tried to flee that world LiterallyMaybe should be 4 stars but I feel I ve been throwing them about too liberally This SF is well nigh nclassifiable For glorious reasons I mean sure you could call it a Heinleinesue romance in the vein of Double Star or call it a thespian ish thriller revolving an immensely popular child star turned murderer who has been on the run for 70 years or you could call it the One Last Great Shakespearian tragedyI mean damn I m caught thinking that this is as glorious as and is a great mashup of Alfred Bester s best book The Demolished Man and The Stainless Steel Rat full of on the run acting con jobs Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards John Varley is truly one of the greats of science fiction comparable only to Heinlein Herbert Asimov and Clark Now the all time master returns with his long awaited epic novel of life beyond the great beyondAll the niverse is a stage and Sparky Valentine is its itinerant thespian He makes his way from planet to planet as part of. ,
His wrongs he knows but the former star of the long running Sparky and his Gang has committed many violations still he likes to eat mostly petty crimes cons stealing here and there if you re kind say misdemeanors sually from those who can afford it a new Robin Hood Mr Valentine believes he has become forever an actorOn the cold bleak strange world of Pluto the artist is a master of Punch and Judy shows in emergencies the lack dough which are sadly very freuent goes too far crosses the line taking a priceless Japanese artifact of old Earth from a wealthy however foolish woman She hires or her family does the barbaric Charonese mafia no offense if you are Charonese to settle the score find him kill him but not before a very slow torture lasting many months they enjoy the work and always get their man Isambard Comfort a misnomer the heartless cruel relentless immortal pursuer is still a Sparky fan like the Mountiesthe lady ironically doesn t care about the artifactAt last the fleeing Sparky gets the role of a lifetime King Lear in a prestigious theater on the Golden Globe that is Lunahe will risk everything to play If you think the weirder the better this novel is for you "fans of the bizarro niverse will be pleased I almost almost liked this one than "of the bizarro niverse will be pleased I almost almost liked this one than Beach It was close It s all about a wandering vagabond this one than Steel Beach It was close It s all about a wandering vagabond an actor and his dog about a thousand years in the future He s got to get from Pluto to the Moon before they cast the part Golden Globe is thus far my favorite Varley I haven t read the Titan series yet because I m an ASS but I don t see how it could beat Globe for a place in my heart The main character is deeply conflicted original and interesting As Varley often does he jumps through chronology We spend portions of the book in the present er future and in the past er still future of the protagonist What I found most surprising was that I was as invested in both settings When I read a book that does this I typically find myself hurrying through one portion to get to the next Okay Okay he got beat as a kid get to the mafia chasing him NOW With Golden Globe I was just as eager to read every aspect of the protagonists life I can only assume that this is because both times have conflict I mean GOOD conflict Characters who we are curious about in the present we see detailed in the past and vice versa We see where some of those bizarre parts of the past ended p in the present and I found myself eagerly reading to find out as much as I could about everyone Okay that aside the world is great This is the same world as in Steel Beach and from what I know could be wrong all or most of his books And by world I mean Universe Point is it is as good as it ever was I actually read this BEFORE Steel Beach which I think is the precursor or maybe not but Steel Beach goes much in depth into the political and economical situation these characters live in That being said Golden Globe still does a phenomenal job of tuning the reader in to where they are and what
is going on 
going on the Shakespearean nature of the main character in a sci fi setting was just too cool for me to pass Poison (Med Center, up This is probablyp there in my favorite books SF Sparky Valentine child star turned con artistactor is on the run from the Charonese mob Can he make it to Luna in time to play Lear Though that s only nominally the plot Mostly this book doesn t have one It reads like a mix of Douglas Adams Terry Pratchett The Garbage Pail Kids and Shakespeare And it does several things that I normally won t tolerateIt breaks the fourth wall repeatedly Sparky not only talks to the reader he addresses the typesetter reuesting that they stop putting the flashbacks in italics The extended flashbacks of which there are many are in third person even though all but the news articles are narrated by To woman by altering magnetic implants beneath his skin Indispensable hardware for a career actor and an interstellar con man wanted for murder for while Sparky Valentine may have a song in his heart he also has a price on his head But his galactic roamings are bringing him closer to home closer to justice and closer to the truth of his strange and prolonged existen.