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The Wanderer

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  2,401 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
All eyes were watching the eclipse of the Moon when the Wanderer--a huge, garishly colored artificial world--emerged. Only a few scientists even suspected its presence, and then, suddenly and silently, it arrived, dwarfing and threatening the Moon and wreaking havoc on Earth's tides and weather. Though the Wanderer is stopping in the solar system only to refuel, its mere p ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 318 pages
Published March 12th 1976 by Ballantine Books (first published 1964)
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In this bizarre SF novel, which somehow managed to win a Hugo, a mobile planet crewed by a race of intelligent cats materialises in orbit around the Earth, causing all sorts of trouble. Tidal forces, you see. I think it's a metaphor for the arrival of sex in modern science fiction. Until the early 60s, it had been conspicuously lacking, for all the skimpily-dressed Martian princesses and suchlike. But then, suddenly, tidal forces! And there is, indeed, a surprising amount of odd sex, which I bel ...more
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I finished this one out of sheer stubbornness. I'm a great fan of Leiber's "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser" fantasy stories but this Hugo award-winning science fiction tale from 1964 has aged badly, in my opinion.

An interesting premise, a planet-sized spacecraft appearing in near-Earth orbit, is thrown off track by frequent hopping amongst several groups of characters, mostly unrelated. These asides do show the destruction caused by the now out-of-control tidal forces on our planet but Leiber spend
Rachel (Kalanadi)
A planet space ship appears above Earth and eats the moon, catastrophic floods and earthquakes kill millions, all the ladies sleep with the men (in what I imagine are filthy conditions too, ew!), and one lucky guy gets sexy masturbation times with the cat-lady alien. There's a little space battle.

The second half was very tedious to get through, like starting a disaster movie that should be brainless fun... until you get super irritated by the endless dumb CGI moments.

I bet it was fantastic in th
Nov 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories so I was very much looking forward to reading this 1965 Hugo-Winner. Regrettably, it's a mess. The story of a "wandering" planet that emerges from hyperspace to wreak havoc upon the moon and Earth's tidal system is strange to begin with, but the Leiber uses a multi-POV approach with a bunch of oddball characters from around the globe (the three stoners in New York were among the most pointless) that is really unnecessary. And the story ...more
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
1965 Winner of the Hugo Award.

Years before furry was popular, there was The Wanderer. Years before Lucifer's Hammer, there was The Wanderer. Years before it was popular go epic numbers of scientists and normals oohing and awing over BDO's entering the Earth's orbit... oh wait, no that's pretty much a standard of SF.

Seriously, aside from the times, which may or may not let you guys forgive the casual references to casual racism, sexism, and the oddly frank depiction of a lesbian woman deciding ri
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The predecessor of the disaster movie, or even better, the spoof Disaster Movie. Characters of all walks survive tidal chaos when a new planet comes to visit. Fun, but Fritz steals the show with his funny observations on culture and SF.
Overblown disaster story. Traveling planet pops out of hyperspace near the Moon, causes massive tidal disruption on earth. Novel follows way to many dispersed characters across the world, most of whom are of no consequence at all.
Apr 18, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Bonesteel
A mysterious planet of approximately the same mass as Earth appears from hyperspace within the orbit of our moon, tearing the satellite to pieces and inflicting tremendous damage on our planet through vastly increased tidal forces. When author Fritz Leiber keeps his focus on that basic premise, detailing the effects of the Wanderer's appearance and mankind's efforts to cope with it, this novel really flies, particularly in an early sequence wherein an astronaut barely escapes the shattering of t ...more
Mike Wallace
Jan 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this painfully tedious book won the Hugo. Perhaps our Science Fiction sensibilities have just changed quite a bit since 1964. This book threatens to derail my plans to read every Hugo Best Novel winner; apparently the award has occasionally been an unreliable yardstick.

On second thought, it must have been a slow year; I have not read Davy, The Planet Buyer, or The Whole Man, 1965's other contenders, so I can't say. But the previous year the nominees were Cat's Cradle, Dune, Glory
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber 56 41 Dec 20, 2017 01:02PM  
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Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. was one of the more interesting of the young writers who came into HP Lovecraft's orbit, and some of his best early short fiction is horror rather than sf or fantasy. He found his mature voice early in the first of the sword-and-sorcery adventures featuring the large sensitive barbarian Fafhrd and the small street-smart-ish Gray Mouser; he returned to this series at variou ...more
More about Fritz Leiber...
“The right to take a chance, the right to suffer. The right to be unwise, the right to die. These aims are hateful to the government, which values ever frightened mouse and falling sparrow as equal to a tiger burning bright.” 9 likes
“Do you think the saucer actually had an inertialess drive—like E. E. Smith's bergenholms or something?” Harry McHeath asked Doc.  “Have to, I'd think, the way it was jumping around. In a situation like this, science fiction is our only guide. On the other hand—” 2 likes
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