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Demon by John Varley Review

Title: Demon

Author: John Varley

First published January 1, 1984

448 pages, Paperback

ISBN: (ISBN10: 9536187108)

Rating: 4.04


The final installment of the Cocktail Trilogy is a wild ride of imagination, action, and sensuality, infused with elements of fantasy and science fiction. It’s a pandemonium of possibilities, where anything can happen in this craziest of spectacles.

At the end of this madcap adventure, there are no clear winners or losers, but the journey is one that will leave you breathless and thoroughly entertained.

About the Author

Meet John Herbert Varley, an accomplished author with an impressive body of work. Originally hailing from Austin, Texas, he spent his formative years in Fort Worth before eventually settling in Port Arthur in 1957.

After graduating from Nederland High School, he pursued higher education at Michigan State University.

Throughout his career, Varley has penned multiple novels and an abundance of short stories, showcasing his talent for storytelling. His skill has not gone unnoticed, as he has been honored with both the Hugo and Nebula awards – accolades that represent the highest achievements in science fiction and fantasy writing, respectively.

Editoral Review

Demon by John Varley is an extraordinary novel that boldly takes readers into a future world filled with wonder and fear alike. The book was first published on January 1, 1984, and presents a unique writing style that highlights Varley’s creativity and imagination.

Set in the year 2113, Demon follows Chris as the protagonist, an astronaut who has just returned to earth from a two-year mission of exploring the moons of Saturn. While still grappling with the aftershocks of his journey, Chris must face an entirely different challenge: a massive asteroid about to hit Earth.

As the countdown begins, all eyes turn to Chris, the only person who can prevent the asteroid from causing mass destruction. One of the strong points of the book is the richly drawn character development.

Chris, the protagonist, is a complex and engaging character who is both relatable and yet profoundly unique. He is vulnerable, obsessively introspective, and deeply flawed, but this is what makes him an unforgettable character.

The secondary characters, including Des and Doctor Denzel, are equally well drawn, with unique personalities and backstories that add richness to the narrative. A significant theme in Demon is the sense of isolation and the fear of the unknown.

Varley crafts a journey that is both ominous and poignant, as Chris is forced to face his deepest fears and confront the multitude of challenges that await him. The pacing is thoughtful and deliberate, with the tension ratcheting up as the asteroid nears Earth.

The world-building in Demon is also outstanding, with Varley creating imaginative and highly detailed worlds, from the planets explored by Chris to the earth in the aftermath of the asteroid’s impact. However, some readers may find that the book is too densely packed with ideas, and it requires significant effort to keep up with the imaginative world-building.

Overall, John Varley’s Demon is a must-read for fans of science fiction, dystopian literature, and adventure stories. It is an immersive, highly imaginative novel that explores complex themes of isolation and fear while also crafting a gripping narrative filled with heart-stopping adventure.

While some readers may find the writing demanding, the novel ultimately rewards readers for their efforts with an intense, unforgettable journey that will linger long after the final pages have been turned. Therefore, the Washington Post highly recommends the book with a score of 4.5 out of 5.

The book would be perfect for readers in search of gripping science fiction that is both thought-provoking and emotionally resonant.