Part of Farmer's body of work
is the Tarzan
works. He has a fascination with The Lord of the Jungle
His Tarzan books that I know of are --
- Lord Tyger, in which a rich man decides to create his own Tarzan. This works until Ras Tyger decides to face his creator...
- a fictional biography, in which he ties all the classic characters of the time into a convoluted two-family tree. His thesis is that strange radiation from a meteorite altered the genetics of these families, giving their progeny superhuman strength, endurance, and intellect.
- A Feast Unknown, Volume 9 of the Memoirs of Lord Grandrith, in which it is revealed that Tarzan is linked to a mysterious group of immortals whe secretly rule the world. Tarzan and his relative Doc Caliban, the Man of Bronze, are pitted against each other in a savage battle that turns into a rebellion against The Nine. (The title is based on William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch)
- Lord of the Trees/The Mad Goblin (Ace Double (c)1970). In a very interesting move, LotT, Volume 10 of the Memoirs of Lord Grandrith tells the story of the fruition of the rebellion begun in A Feast Unknown, while TMG tells the same story through the eyes of Doc Caliban.
I would love to believe that the immortal Tarzan is still swinging through the trees...
Farmer has many themes he continually returns to.
- Immortality -- Tarzan, World of Tiers, Time's Last Gift
- Artificial souls -- Riverworld, Inside Outside
- Real People (or famous fictional people) as characters -- Riverworld, Tarzan, The Other Log Of Phineas Fogg, The Wind-Whales of Ishmael, A Barnstormer In Oz, the Riverworld cycle, etc.
- the pastiche. Farmer has written countless numbers of these...
- Phil Farmer often appears in his own novels as a redheaded man with a long upper lip and the initials PJF. In Riverworld he is Peter Jarius Frigate. In the World Of Tiers, he is Kickaha, Paul Janus Finnegan.
Farmer was one of the first science fiction authors to look unflinchingly at sex, human, alien, and human/alien. In A Feast Unknown
, Tarzan has sex with Jane, a friendly leopard
, and there are deep sexual overtones to his immortality. In Image Of The Beast
, Farmer has written what may be the most significant piece of sf/horror/porn ever.