- Hardcover: 316 pages
- Publisher: Dial Press J. Wade (1978)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803768664
- ISBN-13: 978-0803768666
- Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 2.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,622,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The stories all feature characters in a remote future, in which everything about the human body, and everything about human society, is completely mutable and within the ability of individuals to choose for themselves. John Varley writes about sympathetic human beings, dealing with what seem to them to be fairly run-of-the-mill problems. To you or me, however, everything about the lives of these characters is simply awe-inspiring... Here you will meet lonely spacemen dwelling at the outer reaches of the solar system; sociological musings on the long-lost institution of the "nuclear family," by future, human inhabitants of Mercury; conversations between an explorer/composer and his alien symbiote, amongst the rings of Saturn; and much, much more. The last tale in the volume, the one the book is named after, is particularly memorable. It features a man who becomes part of a colony of deaf-mute-blind people, who have developed a highly spiritual means of communicating. That story is the most profound one in this collection, but they are all stirring. I highly recommend reading "The Persistence of Vision." Two thumbs up.