The Languages of Pao

The Languages of Pao

by Jack Vance

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The young heir to the Pao throne, Beran Panasper, flees his usurping uncle Bustamonte when his father, the Panarch of Pao, is killed. His refuge is the austere world Breakness, under one of the planet's ruler-academics - the elderly but immensely powerful Lord Palafox.

Palafox and his peers are obsessed with prestige and dominance, augmenting their bodies technologically, and breeding legions of sons upon indentured women brought from scores of worlds. As years pass, Beran's suspicion grows that the aging Palafox has his own plans for tranquil Pao; returning at last, he finds the planet ravaged by war and upheaval, its placid culture fractured by viral languages designed by Palafox, introduced by Bustamonte.

Beran is determined to restore peace, but if Bustamonte finds him, he is dead. And should he win back the Panarch's throne, he will inevitably face Palafox - who, if senile - is physically more powerful than ever.

Grandmaster Jack Vance turns an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the human mind into a classic SF tale of intrigue, revenge, and madness.

- Matt Hughes

The Languages of Pao is Volume 11 of the Spatterlight Press Signature Series.
Released in the centenary of the author's birth, this handsome new collection is based upon the prestigious Vance Integral Edition. Select volumes enjoy up-to-date maps, and many are graced with freshly-written forewords contributed by a distinguished group of authors. Each book bears a facsimile of the author's signature and a previously-unpublished photograph, chosen from family archives for the period the book was written. These unique features will be appreciated by all, from seasoned Vance collector to new reader sampling the spectrum of this author's influential work for the first time.

- John Vance II

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812556964
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date: 05/01/1989
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 1.00(h) x 6.80(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.

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The Languages of Pao 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
kurvanas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is classic Jack Vance, which we all love. But the fame attached to this book comes from its unique subject matter. This is perhaps the best SF book ever written concerning linguistics and constructed languages. It is a deep and penetrating study of the intersection of culture, politics, and language at the heart of civilization. A great read.
Bestine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Should be required reading for all linguistics and political science majors.
Loocha More than 1 year ago
Fascinating concept, superbly executed.