In To Your Scattered Bodies Go, everyone who ever lived on Earth has been resurrected by an unknown power on another planet. Everyone awakes simultaneously on the banks of a huge, world-encircling river. The novel's title is taken from John Donne's 7th Holy Sonnet, concerning resurrection:
At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go.
This fascinating premise allowed Farmer to bring together whatever historical figures he found most interesting in a single story. Farmer explored the concept through four further volumes, collectively called the Riverworld Series. To Your Scattered Bodies Go won the Hugo Award for Best Novel of 1971.