August 9, 2017

John Herbert Varley was born on August 9, 1947 in Austin, Texas, USA. In the mid-1970s, John Varley started publishing science fiction stories and among them there were the first of the Eight Worlds series, a future history of the solar system marked by the invasion of Earth by an alien species. These invaders intend to protect the Earth’s cetaceans from the effects of human activities and for this reason destroy the infrastructures built on Earth. Most humans flee to colonize the rest of the solar system and only a few tribes remain on Earth living as primitives.

In the late 1970s, John Varley also began the Gaea trilogy, composed of “Titan” (1979), “Wizard” (1980) and “Demon” (1984). The story is focused on a gigantic wheel-shaped artificial habitat populated by strange living species created by an alien intelligence. In this series, the author used various elements of the fantasy genre but all have a scientific explanation.

Often John Varley has been compared to Robert A. Heinlein for the themes of many of his stories such as personal freedom and sexuality. The resemblances are particularly visible in novels such as “The Steel Beach” and the Thunder and Lightning series, inspired by Heinlein’s juveniles.