THE UNREASONING MASK by Philip JosÉ Farmer

THE UNREASONING MASK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hyper-complex but inconclusive galactic odyssey which opens at a blistering pace, then bogs down in religious mysticism and--like the ""Riverworld"" series--runs out of steam about halfway through. Ramstan, lapsed Moslem and captain of an organic spaceship, has stolen the glyfa (an egg-shaped sentient artifact) from the Tenolt, who vengefully give chase--but then along comes the bolg, a fearsome planet-sized destroyer of intelligent life. So Ramston must scour the galaxy for help in dealing with the bolg and eventually learns exactly what forces are at work: the bolg is an antibody generated by the ""pleuriverse""-god to destroy intelligence and thus prevent the use of the ""alaraf drive"" (which intelligent races invariably discover); this drive tears holes in the walls between the universes comprising the pleutiverse, producing cancer in the body of the god and collapse of the pleuriverse. Thus, Ramstan's task is to save the various intelligent races by destroying the bolg--but in so doing will he condemn the pleuriverse-god to cancerous premature collapse and death? Farmer leaves this central conflict unresolved (perhaps with a sequel in mind), but there are sf/fantasy ideas aplenty here--with lots of mystic mind-boggling thrills for readers who are prepared to deal with wildly complicated, not-quite-logical fabrications.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1981
ISBN: 1585677159
Publisher: Putnam