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The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley Review

Title: The Ophiuchi Hotline

Author: John Varley

First published January 1, 1977

180 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780575072831 (ISBN10: 0575072830)

Rating: 3.87


In John Varley’s riveting sci-fi novel The Ophiuchi Hotline, humanity’s fate hangs in the balance after being conquered by far superior aliens. Forced to eke out an existence on airless rocks like the Moon, they turn to a mysterious stream of data from a star in the Ophiuchus constellation known as the Hotline.

This amazing technology not only helps humanity survive but also enables them to develop groundbreaking new inventions. But when humanity’s anonymous benefactors demand payment for their services after 400 years, everything is thrown into jeopardy once again.

A Hugo and Nebula award-nominated novel, The Ophiuchi Hotline is a thrilling page-turner that will have readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

About the Author

Meet John Herbert Varley, an accomplished author born and raised in Texas. After spending his formative years in Fort Worth, he eventually settled in Port Arthur and graduated from Nederland High School.

He later attended Michigan State University where he honed his craft.

Throughout his career, Varley has penned several novels and a multitude of short stories, earning him both the Hugo and Nebula awards for his outstanding work. He continues to be a prominent figure in the literary world, inspiring readers with his captivating storytelling.

Editoral Review

John Varley’s The Ophiuchi Hotline is a science fiction classic that was first published on January 1, 1977. Varley is a celebrated science fiction writer who has won several awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards.

The Ophiuchi Hotline is a prime example of Varley’s imaginative storytelling, and it is considered a landmark work in the genre of science fiction.

The Ophiuchi Hotline is set in a distant future where humanity has colonized the solar system, and Earth is a distant memory. The story follows the exploits of Lilo, a young woman who works for the Ophiuchi Hotline, which is a communication network that connects various colonies in the solar system.

Lilo is tasked with investigating a mysterious signal that is emanating from a distant star system. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she discovers that the signal is a message from an alien race that is seeking help.

Lilo must navigate the treacherous politics of the various colonies and convince them to help the aliens before it’s too late.

The Ophiuchi Hotline is a thrilling adventure that is full of suspense, action, and intrigue. Varley has created a richly detailed world that is populated with complex characters and political intrigue.

The story is told from multiple perspectives, which adds depth and complexity to the narrative. The main characters are well-developed, and their motivations and struggles are compelling.

One of the strengths of The Ophiuchi Hotline is Varley’s writing style. He has a gift for creating vivid and imaginative worlds that are grounded in scientific plausibility.

The story is fast-paced, and the action never lets up. The plot is well-structured, and the pacing is excellent.

Varley’s use of language is also noteworthy. His prose is elegant and evocative, and he has a talent for creating memorable images.

However, The Ophiuchi Hotline is not without its flaws. Some readers may find the multiple perspectives and complex political machinations overwhelming.

The story is also somewhat dated, and some of the technology and scientific theories may seem quaint when compared to current scientific knowledge.

Overall, The Ophiuchi Hotline is a must-read for fans of science fiction. It is a classic work that has stood the test of time, and it is a testament to Varley’s skill as a writer.

The story is thrilling, the characters are compelling, and the world-building is superb. While it may not be perfect, it is definitely worth reading.

I would give The Ophiuchi Hotline a rating of four out of five stars.