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Literature / World of Tiers

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World of Tiers is a series of Science Fiction novels by Philip José Farmer.

This series provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Black Bellers.
  • Ancient Artifact: The Horn of Shambarimen.
  • Amnesiac God: As revealed at the end of the first book, Robert Wolff is Lord Jadawin, but lost his memories after being defeated by another lord and being stranded on Earth.
  • Author Avatar: Paul Janus Finnegan (note the initials).
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  • Cool Gate: Inter-dimensional machines/gates.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Paul Janus Finnegan (AKA Kikaha the Trickster) and Robert Wolff spend much of the novels traveling through artificially created universes.
  • Evil Redhead: Red Orc.
  • Grand Theft Me: Black Bellers are capable of taking over the bodies of human hosts.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Last words of a Drachelander (German-descended) knight in the first book, after he was swarmed by enemies and the protagonist arrived just too late to save him: "'siz kalt."
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: People can travel between the artificial universes of the setting by using gates. Gates can be activated by various means, including tokens and playing music on a special horn.
  • Healing Factor: All Thoans and some dwellers of the pocket universes able to regenerate lost and damaged body parts.
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  • Portal Cut: One of the many interdimensional teleport gates is a trap that dismembers by severing the connection and the intruder.
  • Recursive Precursors: This fact has been revealed in Behind the Walls of Terra. Thoan home universe itself has been created by unknown race.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: An aging man with a failed life and a shrewish wife is in the basement of a tract house he is buying when a door between the worlds opens up. He can stay with his living-death retirement or leap into the utter unknown. Soul-killing safety vs death-or-glory.
  • Significant Monogram: Paul Janus Finnegan's initials are the same as Phillip José Farmer's. This is something of a recurring easter egg in Farmer's works.
  • Villainous Incest: Incest is perfectly acceptable among the Lords and Ladies of the pocket.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The eventual fate of Robert Wolff/Lord Jadawin and Chryseis is never revealed after their disappearance in A Private Cosmos.
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  • World Shapes: The World of Tiers takes the form of a world-sized Tower of Babel, just that the continent-sized layers (tiers) are way wider than they are tall. And the top layer has the Lord's palace on it.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time in the pocket universes moves quite differently indeed.

Alternative Title(s): The World Of Tiers


Example of: