Hugo award 1972. It is not like our world – or any world that can be imagined by anyone but Philip José Farmer. It is huge and mysterious. It has a central river, rimmed by mountains, with a hidden source and an unknown end. Reborn there is every last soul who ever lived on Earth – from prehistoric apemen to moondwelling future civilizations. Reborn there is Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator of The Arabian Nights, explorer, brawler, scholar, womanizer – adventurer. His quest to discover the end of the river, the meaning of this world's existence – and lovely Alice Hargreaves (the real-life model for Alice in Wonderland) form a science fiction adventure that is already recognized as a classic.
Philip José Farmer (1918–2009) was an American author, principally known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He spent much of his life in Peoria, Illinois.
Farmer is best known for his Riverworld series and the earlier World of Tiers series. He is noted for his fascination for and reworking of the lore of legendary pulp heroes, and occasional tongue-in-cheek pseudonyminous works written as if by fictional characters.