Philip José Farmer:The Other Log of Phileas Fogg

This book is somewhat after the style of Farmer's Doc Savage and Tarzan novels. As the title implies, it concerns itself with the protagonist of Verne's Around The World In 80 Days, with the premise that the story did, for the most part, take place as Verne described. It even goes so far as to come up with explanations for things that were most likely just sloppiness on Verne's part.

The simple explanation for most of these anomalies is just that Fogg is on one side of a long way between the Eridaneans and the Capellans on Earth. There are, actually, very few of the original alien races left, but the humans they've raised consider themselves equivalent. Each side paints the other as horrors, and claims that once they rid the world of the others, they can bring Earth to a golden age. (One is not necessarily convinced of their sincerity, though.)

Fogg himself, his 'man' James Forster, Forster's replacement Passepartout, Andrew Stuart(Fogg's whist partner and the one who proposes the eighty-day jaunt), and Aouda(the woman they rescue in India)are all Eridaneans. Fix, the detective who attempts to arrest Fogg for the robbery he allegedly committed before his departure, is a Capellean. His master behind the scenes(whom Verne does not mention in 80 Days, but in another of his novels)is the Capellean Captain Nemo.

The events in 80 Days are not altered appreciably--the premise is that Verne was, for the most part, telling the truth. They are summarized for those who haven't read the book(I confess, I myself have only seen the TV version), but most of the meat of the story takes place while Verne assumed his characters are sleeping or engaged in other harmless activities.

It's a diverting tale, especially if one has read the original book, but that isn't entirely necessary. If you're a fan of Captain Nemo, then you may not like the picture this book paints of him, but this edition, at least, includes an essay by H.W. Starr, a Baker Street Irregular, whose thesis is that Sherlock Holmes's nemesis Professor Moriarty is none other than Captain Nemo at a later age.

It may not be in the front rank of Farmer's fiction, but it's readable. Were I to rank it on a scale of ten, I'd give it about a 6.5.

%A Farmer, Philip Jose
%T The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
%I Daw
%C New York
%D Copyright 1973
%P 191 pp.
%O Paperback, US$0.95

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