|Publisher:||Underwood Books, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)|
About the Author
California native Jack Vance (1916-2013) was one of the greats of science fiction. He was the author of dozens of sci-fi books and fantasy novels, including the popular Lyonesse and Dying Earth series and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning book The Last Castle. In 1997, he was honored as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in Oakland, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Apollon Zamp, master of the Showboat Miraldra's Enchantment has just been informed of a contest held by King Waldemar for the best entertainment. He almost misses the preliminary competition because of the machinations of rival Garth Ashdale, which rivalry continues throughout the the journey undertaken toward the final tournament, staging exhibitions at various and multifarious hamlets along the way. Comic tragedy befalls at times, at others no small profit. This is Big Planet, of course, and if you're not familiar it was colonized by refugees from assorted marginalized groups, religious cults, and barbarians of Earth. These settlements and civilizations have remained apart and retained their flavor. Each has interesting laws and prejudices that the showmaster has to contend with in staging his productions, sometimes with unfortunate results. Vance's strengths lie in describing these denizens and Zamp's productions. His weakness is creating sympathetic characters. It may be that he intends the reader to not mind as much when tragedy befalls his characters if we don't really like them. I suppose I was compelled to continue reading, and I do feel that I enjoyed the book, so Vance largely succeeded. I also think that Vance intended to set more books on Big Planet, and it's unfortunate that he hasn't because it's a very interesting place.
Lesser Vance is still Better Written than most other science fiction. I wouldn't start here, or stop; but once you get hooked to Vance, you will not be too horribly disappointed with this book.