The Ophiuchi Hotline

  • by John Varley
  • Narrated by Gabra Zackman
  • 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The invaders came in 2050...they did not kill anyone outright. They said they came on behalf of the intelligent species of Earth - dolphins and whales. The invaders quietly destroyed every evidence of technology, then peacefully departed, leaving behind plowed ground and sprouting seeds. In the next two years, 10 billion humans starved to death.The remnants of humanity that survived relocated to the moon and other planets. But they are not alone in their struggle - someone or something, somewhere deep in space, is sending them advanced scientific data via the Ophiuchi Hotline. And by the 25th century, the technological gifts from the hotline - especially its biological and medical solutions - have created a world unlike any ever known or imagined.


What the Critics Say

"Varley's tight, clean writing, full of wit and good humor, evokes despair, joy, anger, and delight. His Luna is packed with wild inventions, intriguing characters, and stunning scenery." (Publishers Weekly)
"It is fast and complex, and it glitters most impressively." (Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels)
"This is a novel rich in societies, settings, and technological wizardry. It's a tough-minded, yet a playful book." (Ian Watson)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Capstone of the 8-Worlds

An SF classic where Varley deftly combines cloning and memory recording to give a sort of pseudo-immortality to its practitioners. It is a shame that this is the only story from John Varley's 8-Worlds series presently available on Audible. This should be read last. In the earlier stories Varley explores the societal impact of cloning, changing and memory recording through engaging characters and memorable events.

If this sparks your interest but you find yourself at a loss on some of the issues dealt with in THE OPHIUCHI HOTLINE, go back and read (yes like pick up a book with paper and ink) some of his earlier short stories. For starters try these stories that include Varley's suite of technologies that change human society:

"Picnic on Nearside"
"The Phantom of Kansas"
"Lollipop and the Tar Baby"
"Beatnik Bayou"

Gabra Zackman reads THE OPHIUCHI HOTLINE well. She gets the sarcastic tone of Lilo's voice in her own head just right.
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- Doug D. Eigsti

Very good Sci-Fi

This book flowed really well and was easy to follow for something with such a complex plot that follows a single character in multiple settings and times. It isn't about the invasion of Earth by aliens, but what happens long after that invasion from the perspective of a woman who has several possible roles in the salvation of various parts of humanity. Most of the book takes place on various planets in our solar system and outer space, and it is very imaginatively described without too much detail or invention of unneeded new words that some authors have a tendency towards in this genre. It was fun to listen to, though the narrator is not my favorite. She often speaks statements with an inflection that makes them sound like questions and tries too hard on male voices, but I got used to it after a while and was glad I'd chosen to listen.
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- Kelli

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios