The World of Tiers series
Farmer began his saga in 1969 and wrote the last volume in 1993. It is made
of seven books :
- The Maker of Universe ;
- The gates of creation ;
- A private cosmos ;
- Behind the walls of Terra ;
- The Lavalite world ;
- More than fire ;
- Red Orc's rage.
The series deals with a lot of Farmer's fetished topics : immortality,
religion, linguistic, high technology, strange creatures... It tends to
show how access to a great power (by the means of high technology, in this
case) can lead man to downfall, even though this downfall is especially
psychological (arrogance, jealousy, cruelty, paranoia and total absence of
compassion or love feelings).
The main heroes of the series are Robert Wolff and Kickaha.
The first two books feature Robert Wolff, a man with a strange past. Found
alone in Kentucky at age 20, totally amnesiac, he was adopted by the Wolff.
Many decades later, at the beginning of The Maker of Universe, Wolff
discovers by accident what seems to be a "gate" to another universe.
Fascinated, he crosses through it and finds an incredible world. Its
inhabitants are all young, aged physiologically 25, thanks to the water
they drink, as Wolff gets to discover. Robert Wolff himself becomes young
again after a few weeks. But this isn't the only strange feature of the
place. Its geography and physical laws are unique : the world is made of
several circular tiers, shaped like a terraced tower of Babylon. Each tier
has its own ecology and population : dryads, sirens, fauns and other greek
mythological creatures live on Okeanos, the first tier ; Amerindians and
centaurs inhabit the second tier, Amerind Tier ; Teutonic knights live on
Dracheland, third tier ; Atlants are found on the fourth tier, Atlantis.
Last but not least, the Lord of this "pocket universe" rules from his
palace on the fifth and last tier. Asking to the people he meets, Wolff
learns that the "Lord" created this world and its creatures with
extraordinary means that Wolff believes to be scientific and not
supernatural. Apparently chased by the Lord of the World of Tiers, who
sends him his thugs (the horrible gworls), Wolff fulfills an odissey to
reach the palace. His fortune fellow is Kickaha, another Earthman arrived
there by accident, who enjoys his life on the World of Tiers much more than
Wolff and Kickaha meet a lot of people and exotic creatures (strange
animals, fantasy creatures such as Podarge the Harpy, giant intelligent
green eagles, centaurs, ...) before arriving to the Palace. Wolff realizes,
after an emotional shock, that he is Jadawin, the original one and only
Lord of the World of Tiers. The other Lord, who currently lives in the
palace and claims to be the maker of this universe, is actually a usurper.
After the second volume, the hero is Kickaha, who lives incredible and
particularly dangerous adventures, switching from a universe to another
one, avoiding and tricking Thoans (other name for Lords), fighting Black
Bellers ("brain stealing" machines created by the original Lords) and
defying Red Orc, most powerful and dangerous Thoan of all, and Lord of
Troughout the seven books, Farmer judiciously gives information about
Thoans, bit by bit. Here is what the reader can get to learn eventually.