Wizard – John Varley

In the second novel of the Gaean trilogy, human explorers have entered the sprawling mind of Gaea. Now they must fight her will. For she is much too powerful… and definitely insane.

Fairest of the Fair

For three million years Gaea turned in solitary splendor.

Some of those who lived within her knew of a broader space outside the great wheel. Long before the creation of the angels avian beings flew the towering vaults of her spokes, looked out the clerestory windows, and knew the shape of God. Nowhere in the darkness did they see another like Gaea.

This was the natural order of things

God was the world, the world was a wheel, and the wheel was Gaea.

Gaea was not a jealous God.

No one had to worship her, and it never occurred to anyone to do so. She demanded no sacrifices, no temples, no choirs singing her praises.

Gaea basked in the heady energies to be found near Saturn. She had sisters scattered through the galaxy. They too were Gods, but the distance between them enforced Gaea’s theology. Her conversations with them spread over centuries at the speed of light. She had children orbiting Uranus. They were Gods to those living inside them, but they hardly mattered. Gaea was the Supreme Titan, the Fairest of the Fair.

Gaea was not a distant concept to her inhabitants. She could be seen. One could talk to her. To reach her, all one had to do was climb 600 kilometers. It was a formidable trip, but an imaginable distance. It put heaven within reach of those daring enough to make the climb. She averaged one visitor in a thousand years.

Praying to Gaea was useless. She did not have the time to listen to all those within her, and would not have done so if she could. She would speak only to heroes.

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