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The Ophiuchi Hotline (Eight Worlds #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,990 ratings  ·  78 reviews
After supremely advanced aliens invade Earth to liberate the planet's intelligent species--whales & dolphins-- the majority of humankind is exiled into space, where, by means of bioengineering, they begin to adapt to & thrive in their unforgiving environments. Cutting-edge tech means that they can modify body parts, regularly store their memories for cloning purpos ...more
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published March 1st 1977 by Dial Press/James Wade (NYC) (first published 1977)
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4.5 stars. This is a fantastic story and I am surprised I have not heard more about this as I beleive it has all the makings of a CLASSIC SF novel. This is the first novel set in Varley's "Eight World" universe and is full of very interesting, and I imagine at the time, original concepts. Just a few of these include:

- The ability to back-up via computer a person's personality at any time and to "download" it into a clone of such individual (a strong parallel can be found in Richard K. Morgan's
This book starts out *wonderfully*, and I love the premise of the book. Generations ago, humanity was cast out of Earth by Invaders who are so much smarter and more powerful, they actually operate on a completely different plain. A tinkerer of genetic structures gets caught, condemned to death, and rescued by various factions of humanity. It follows her story, although along the way she gets killed and cloned a half dozen times. A cool look at identity, and I definitely loved the world Varley cr ...more
Weird book. Opiuchi Hotline by John Varley, the author of the Gaian trilogy, is about… a lot of stuff – and all rolled up into a hard sci-fi, Bradburyan fantasy mix. I guess if I had to break it down and slap a label on it, I would say this is a first contact story, though a very original one. This is a difficult book to review, it was kind of hard to follow, and yet, strangely compelling, like Dane Cook narrating a children’s book: contextually OK, but edgy and not just a little disconcerting. ...more
Henry Avila
Lilo-Alexandr-Calypso is your typical mad scientist on the moon. Doing illegal human genetic research,that it's proscribed by the state doesn't bother her.What annoys Lilo is the death sentence after being arrested and found guilty by the court!Set in the far future ,when Earthlings have lost the Earth ,to alien invaders.What's left of the human race is scattered all around the solar system, from Mercury to Pluto and even their satellites.Just in time , she's rescued by the Free Earthers.They su ...more
-En su tiempo, innovadora en los contenidos.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Lilo-Alexandr-Calypso cometió uno de los peores crímenes posibles en esta época del futuro, la alteración de material genético fuera de los límites legales, por lo que está condenada a la muerte definitiva. El expresidente Tweed le propone su liberación (dejando un clon para que sea ejecutado en su lugar) a cambio de su colaboración en un proyecto secreto y también ilegal que necesita de su experiencia en man
Jim Mcclanahan
Can't belive this is the first Varley work I've read. Surprisingly fresh and relevant, considering its age. I found it to be an interesting way of affirming the value of the human spirit through a host of adverse circumstances. Some fascinating characters in extraordinary scenarios.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Try not to take this personally.

In the year 2050, invaders from another galaxy enter our solar system and take over Jupiter and Earth. They have come to make contact with intelligent species like themselves, which unfortunately does not include the human race. On earth they are interested in only whales and dolphins. Human beings they put in the same category as beavers and muskrats. By plowing under the surface of the planet, they cause most earth life to starve. I suppose the invaders are mea
Quelle histoire !
Tout commence avec la première mort de Lilo, une ingénieur en biotechnologies qui, pour s'être intéressée d'un peu trop près au génome humain, se retrouve condamnée à mort. Evidement, il ne lui arrivera pas que ça.
Et je n'en dirai pas plus sur l'intrigue parce que même si elle est intéressante, elle n'est pas l'intérêt esssentiel de ce roman.
Non, ce qui est intéressant, ce sont les voyages que fera Lilo à travers ce système solaire qui n'est plus vraiment aux mains de l'humanité
Audiobook-- which does not play well with Varley's somewhat long winded writing style. I nearly gave up about half way through as Varley gives little reason to care about the fate of one of many clones. This book is definitely a sort of guided tour of his clever world building, and moves along mostly by deus es machina. The world building is very clever if you don't mind the ineffectualizing of the human race.
John Varley's "The Ophiuchi Hotline" is an interesting book in his "Eight Worlds" universe. It's the first novel in the series (published in 1977), but it lies smack in the middle of the 18 short stories (which run from 1974 through 1985) in the series. The remaining two novels (Steel Beach (published in 1992, but not available in Kindle format for some reason) and The Golden Globe (published in 1998)) are sort of in the series, but aren't necessarily consistent with the rest of the books. Speak ...more
I personally disliked this book. Everything counts. Style, lack of scientific imaginations, “extravagant” sexual lives of characters etc. So I will not write about it much. What should I say? How Lilo, a main heroin had intercourses with nearly everyone and every creature? Ridiculous.

There lives a higher intellectual race. They say they evolved gradually, from the step where they were primitives in thinking to the higher level when they use no tool like humans, but they are telekinetic race. Th
"(...)Este libro ofrece una oportunidad notable de comprobar varias cosas. Primero, vemos cómo Varley destaca más en el formato breve que en el largo; de hecho, sus relatos y novelettas han sido más reconocidas por crítica y público que sus novelas. En segundo lugar, observamos, con una claridad meridiana, esta diferencia en su primera época como escritor, cuando todavía estaba explorando sus habilidades en la ciencia-ficción. Y en tercer lugar, le
Erik Graff
Apr 29, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
What an excellent book to be written as a first novel! Not only is the story well-plotted and written, but the cloning theme raises serious questions about what we understand as individuality. It has not been often that a novel has caused me to pause, repeatedly, for reflection.
I read this outside during warm summer days in the quadrangle of Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Christopher Sutch
My five-star rating of this book should not be taken as an indication of its literary merit; Varley's prose in his first novel is not exactly masterful. It does, however, get the job done, and this is a pretty impressive debut. This is the kind of science fiction book I enjoy reading: it's about half a dozen different things that somehow all fit together, it contains a bunch of scientific extrapolation (from a mid-1970s perspective), and the plot is pretty ingeniously worked out...and all that i ...more
When I first began to read Varley's future history, I didn't realize something that comes through very clearly here: the society as described is based on mass murder. The process of memory recording is not murder (yet). It becomes so when clone bodies are 'grown', and then not allowed to develop naturally. The people they might have been are just destroyed, and their bodies are coopted by the original of the genotype, whose memory is forced into their novice brains.

But clones are nothing but ar
Great story and innovative style.

We follow the heroine through-out the book, but as she is a clone she lives in many differerent places and times and consequently meets with a variety of fates.

Head twist.
Wild, pioneering sci-fi ideas. Reminds me of a Reynold's hard sci fi approach, but Varley wrote this in the 70ies and that's just something
Lo más interesante que plantea John Varley es el dilema moral que supondrían los clones,algo que nos haría llegar a una inmortalidad simulada en la que si mueres, te reviven en tu clon. Varley analiza muy bien este tema y pienso que es lo más importante del libro ya que a nivel estructural se dispersa con numerosas premisas muy interesantes pero sin concretar ninguna de ellas. Sin embargo, los personajes son atractivos y tienen un desarrollo creíble por lo que a pesar de la continua sensación de ...more
Totally awesome, landmark book in my science fiction reading career!
Excellent science fiction.
Loved it.
הוצאת זמורה ביתן, מודן, 1979, 278 עמ.

הקדמה - לאחרונה נפלו לידי כמה ספרים של מד"ב שהוציא השילוב המוזר הזה "זמורה ביתן, מודן" שאינו קיים כיום. חלקם טובים וחלקם טובים יותר. מסתבר כי בתחום המד"ב הם עשו עבודת תרגום די מקיפה וחבל כי אני לא בטוחה שאפשר להשיג עוד את הספרים שלהם. בכל קונסטלציה, את הספר הזה לא הייתי מצליחה לקרוא בשפת מקור גם בגלל שהוא מורכב מבחינת ציר הזמנים והתפתחות הדמויות שבו. אני מודה שבספר הזה לפחות המתרגמת, מלכה פרידמן, עשתה עבודה נהדרת.

לפני כ- 500 שנים נכבש כדור הארץ ע"י פולשים מוז
Robert 'Rev. Bob'
Now that's what I call a mindbender.

I read this immediately after Clifford Simak's A Heritage of Stars, and the blurbs make the two books seem very similar. Both were published in the same year, and in both cases Something Happened several hundred years ago that wiped out most of the people on Earth. Aside from that, the books could hardly be more different.

Simak's book is a post-apocalyptic tale of tribal humans taking their first steps toward rediscovering society and technology. It's very Gol
One of the most ambitious science fiction worlds I've read since Dune, The Ophiuchi Hotline tells the story of a post-alien-invasion humanity eking out a living on the less hospitable worlds of the solar system. The survivors discover a deep space transmission they call the Ophiuchi Hotline (since it seems to come from a near star with the same name) filled with engineering information far beyond humanity's previous comprehension. These alien technologies transform daily life in outer space, but ...more
Ian Mathers
A future in which cloning replicas of people with the full memory and personality of the original at the time, but where such clones are tightly regulated to prevent more than one copy living at once; a brilliant scientist who breaks one of the few inviolate laws in that society who is sentenced to permanent, total death only to be 'rescued' by a shadowy political figure who keeps killing and recloning her until she stops trying to escape. You could easily make a novel out of that, especially on ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in May 2011.

The Ophiuchi Hotline is one of the great idea based novels of the science fiction genre, but was not even nominated for either the Hugo or Nebula awards - clearly 1977 was a strong year for SF. The novel is set in a future where human technology is dominated by ideas derived from a stream of data received from an alien civilization (from the direction of the Ophiuchi constellation), hence the book's title. As the back of this edition says, the sto
Joey Brockert
Lilo is the star of this unlikely story. She has been condemned to death for some offense that is just judged to not be in the best interests of humanity. She is saved by a very well connected and wealthy politician, Tweed. The human race has been effectively kicked off Earth by some beings from another intergalactic race that is similar to beings from Jupiter. It just gets stranger and stranger.
In this future, cloning has been perfected and the memories of a person can be installed (programed
John Varley’s first novel, and also the first one in the Eight Worlds Universe, has an interesting and intricate, premise. Four hundred years previously, enigmatic aliens invaded the Earth, and most of humanity died off. Humans now live scattered around the solar system, dependent at least in part on technological know-how beamed from faraway Ophiuchi. No one knows who or what is beaming the data, except that it is finely attuned to the needs of humans. Lilo, a genetic engineer condemned to deat ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Merrick
This is one bendy unexpected journey as Lilo heads off in any number of cloned directions, I am re-reading it as I type so you can expect a longer review at some future point but if you have not read any John Varley, well trust me you just should ;-) This one is a particularly good starting point to so expect more noises about it from me soon.........
This is a great example of the little (three hundred pages or so) 70s and early 80s SF novels that came out that were these great nuggets of imagination, stuffed with great twists on the old Golden Age standbys like first contact. Ophiuchi is that great mix of intelligent, self-aware and genuinely funny that Varley does so well in the Gaea trilogy (not what it sounds like at all), plus some genuinely head-expanding ruminations on what's become modern hard SF's major question: the Fermi Paradox. ...more
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Hard SF: BotM: “The Ophiuchi Hotline” by John Varley 5 30 Jan 03, 2012 05:24AM  
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Full name: John Herbert Varley.

John Varley was born in Austin, Texas. He grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, moved to Port Arthur in 1957, and graduated from Nederland High School. He went to Michigan State University.

He has written several novels and numerous short stories.He has received both the Hugo and Nebula awards.

More about John Varley...

Other Books in the Series

Eight Worlds (3 books)
  • Steel Beach
  • The Golden Globe
Titan (Gaea, #1) Wizard (Gaea, #2) Demon (Gaea, #3) Steel Beach Millennium

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