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Big Planet (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 4 feb 2017

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10 di 11 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Read SHOWBOAT WORLD First (or Instead). Avoid Butchered Editions 10 luglio 2012
Di Chilly Polly - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This 1952 sci-fi novel takes place on the aptly named "Big Planet", a vast untamed world of high diameter and low density, where a lack of heavy metals impedes advanced technology. It has been settled by countless Earth colonies seeking the freedom to pursue their own particular way of life.

Earth authorities, concerned about the activities of a local warlord/slaver, send a team to investigate/intervene. However, their ship is sabotaged and crashlands on Big Planet. The survivors, led by Claude Glystra, set out on an impossibly ambitious trek to reach Earth Enclave, located on the other side of the planet, 40,000 miles away. Meanwhile, they continue to worry about the possibility of an enemy agent in their midst.

Although I like the idea of "Big Planet", I don't think Vance puts that idea to its best use here. The overarching warlord/sabotage plot tended to distract from the challenge of the planet itself, and tended to have the effect of making a big planet seem small again. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that Vance's original 1948 manuscript (now lost) was almost twice as long, but edited down after he was told it would not sell. But, for whatever reason, we are left with a rushed adventure story that could just as easily taken place on a small planet.

Vance's inventiveness is on display, but he has done better elsewhere. In particular, he has done better with his vastly superior 1975 novel SHOWBOAT WORLD (a/k/a THE MAGIFICENT SHOWBOATS OF THE LOWER VISSEL RIVER, LUNE XIII SOUTH, BIG PLANET), written 23 years later, which is also set on Big Planet. Read that one first - it stands on its own. Read this later, and only if determined to read all things Vance.

If you do seek out BIG PLANET, make sure you find an edition that reverts to the 1952 text that appeared in Startling Stories. The 1957 Ace edition, and later editions based on it (such as the 1977 coronet edition), massacred the 1952 text. The 2012 Kindle edition from Spatterlight Press, the Gollancz Kindle edition, 1978 Miller-Underwood edition (but not, as Wikipedia wrongly says, the 1978 Ace edition) and the unobtainable Vance Integral Edition revert to the 1952 text. I'm not sure about the Gollancz paperbacks. One test is whether the opening paragraph refers to Hidders' mixed-race origens and ends with a reference to "many brains". If so, then read on. If not, and if the second page refers to a "Sister of Succor" rather than a "nun", then hold off and wait for a better copy.
4.0 su 5 stelle Dave H 17 agosto 2011
Di Dave H - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Jack Vance's baroque writing style comes-to-the-fore in this astonishing story. The preeminent world building sci/fi adventure writer in generations tantalizes his readers with an imagination of huge scope and originality and brings all of his genius to bare with "Big Planet." You will marvel at "the monoline" and heroic efforts of Glystra the earthman in this amazing action/adventure story...truly brilliant storytelling by a master in the genre....
5.0 su 5 stelle Excellent storytelling. 13 novembre 2013
Di ellipse - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
One cannot but like Vance's simple and direct storytelling. However, like someone said before, "Showboat World" is really a better novel than this one.
5.0 su 5 stelle A Great Trek 3 aprile 2014
Di Arthur W Jordin - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Big Planet (1957) is a standalone SF novel. The Big Planet is much larger than Earth, but has virtually no metals. Thus the surface gravity is about the same as Earth.

Big Planet was settled by hordes of restless people looking for someplace other than the highly regulated home planet. Over four hundred years, millions of people migrate to Big Planet and find a home. The planet is now filled with thousands of small societies, who perpetuate every crime outlawed on Earth.

In this novel, Claude Glystra is the Executive Chairman of a commission sent to the Big Planet to investigate the Bajarnum of Beaujolais .

Pianza is a well-meaning, but dense old man. He is the team organizer and administrator.

Bishop is the team data specialist. He has memorized many records on the planet cultures and terrain.

Cloyville is the team mineralogist

Ketch runs the team video and sound equipment.

Darrot is the team ecologist.

Corbus is the Chief Engineer of the ship.

Vallusser is the Second Engineer of the ship.

Abbigens is the ship radio operator and purser.

Arthur Hidders says he is a trader in furs.

Charley Lysidder is the Bajarnum of Beaujolais. He has been taking over nearby territories.

In this story, Pianza and Hidders are discussing the planet they are approaching. Hidders seems interested in the latest team sent to Big Planet. He wonders what they can do that previous teams could not.

Claude comes to the observation lounge just in time for the dinner chime to ring. As they leave the lounge, the ship appears to sway. Claude asks Abbigens if anything is wrong.

Then the alarms sound. Clause learns that the lifeboats have been ejected without them. The Captain and First Mate are dead and the ship is out of control.

When Claude returns to consciousness, he learns that the ship crashed. Abbigens and Hidders are missing and Corbus and Vallusser are the only surviving crew. A nun passenger is presumed dead since her cabin is at the bottom of the ship.

All of his team have survived. Claude orders them to pack anything useful for a hike and tells them to get ready to leave. If Abbigens or Hidders survived, they are probably off to fetch soldiers to capture them.

His nurse Nancy wants to go with them. Claude refuses, but says she can go with them as far as the woods. As they leave the village, the residents are dancing around them.

In the woods, Clause leaves his team and Nancy to reconnoiter. He finds Beaujolais soldiers settling in for the night. One sets up a blaster and goes back for something.

Clause settles behind the blaster and tells the soldiers to freeze. The gunner rushes him and six soldiers die. Claude calls his team and has them set guards on the soldiers.

Clause pretends to sleep, but keeps an eye on the blaster. The far guards go into the woods one at a time to relief themselves. Vallusser sneaks around and attacks the two men on the blaster. Claude shoots him with his ion shine.

Vallusser and Darrot are dead. Corbus is wounded in the neck. During the excitement, three soldiers escape from the camp. Ketch uses the first aid kit to tend to Corbus.

The next day, the dead are buried. Nancy is sent back. The soldiers are tied together with ankle ropes and marched out of the camp.

This tale takes Claude and his group toward the Earth Enclave. They have forty thousand miles to travel to get there. Along the way, the people of the planet will try to kill them for their wealth and as food.

Claude is determined to let nothing stop him. This story is also available in the Jack Vance SF Gateway Omnibus.

Highly recommended for Vance fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of human settled, but anarchical planets with many cultures. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
0 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
1.0 su 5 stelle Waste of a great planet 10 agosto 2014
Di Jerry Larsoni - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
I recall reading this as a child, or maybe a teenager; I can't remember exactly. It was a long time ago. I seem to recall thinking it was pretty good, and it has a reputation; I took a notion to reread it after 50 years or whatever, and I'm astounded. It totally stinks. I can't understand why other reviewers have given it 4 and 5 stars. Could they be reviewing based on childhood memories, without rereading it? Just kidding, but I really don't understand.

First place, it's supposed to be a big adventure set on Big Planet, which has "30 times the volume of Earth", which by my quick calculation gives it a diameter of about 75-80,000 miles, an area about 9 times that of Earth; and the characters supposedly have to travel 4000 miles on foot, or swinging through trees or riding on zipangote-back, that sort of thing. An epic story, right? So wait, how come it's such a tiny book, 218 pages and not big ones either? What kind of epic journey only takes an hour and a half to read? And it's full of a million place names, but no maps, so you can't follow the route.
Big Planet is an interesting idea for a world, but it's wasted on this piece of dreck; nothing else whatsoever in the book is any good. The planet has this huge space, where you can put all kinds of cultures and races; it has roughly Earth gravity, because it's light in composition, with very little metal, so those cultures will have to be low-tech. There's an Earth Enclave, but outside of that it's all anarchy. Sort of like Heinlein's Coventry, except it's voluntary; all the nutcases and individualists come here.
If you want a big planet with little metal, and lots of different cultures and races and stuff, Silverberg's Majipoor trilogy is a million times better. Or Niven's Ringworld, at least half a million times better, with an even bigger landscape. Or Varley's Titan series, also very good and infinitely more interesting.
Man, when I think of what George RR Martin could have done with this.... well, if he ever finished it :-|

The characters are beyond two-dimensional; plotlines are ridiculous; sentence structure and dialog are absurd (a character is introduced as having a "round head containing many brains"; the hero at one point "takes a sinister step forward"); people behave in completely unbelievable ways. The protagonist isn't said to be a superman or anything, but he's so much smarter than everyone else, and everyone does what he says, to the point where it's no fun. You don't hear anything worth hearing about all these cultures that could be on this remarkable place. Nothing worthwhile is done with the potential of this great idea for a planet.
Actually, there's something else to say about the "many brains", but it would spoil the ending, not that that's much of a loss. Look at the very bottom if you're interested.

One funny thing I noticed-- there's a reference to a political entity headed by a Baron Gaypride. The book was written in 1952, so I don't suppose "Gaypride" means what it would now; I wonder what Vance was thinking about?

Anyway, don't waste your time, even though it wouldn't take much; you could whip through it in a couple of hours.

The guy introduced on the first page as having "many brains" does have more than one identity, and there is a thing about injecting people with the juice of other people's brains to make them go crazy, tell the future and die (unless they've had the forethought to load up on vitamins). However, this character with the round head full of many brains never takes the stuff, so he can't really be said to have many brains. Also, I was suspicious about the nun dying in the second chapter, what's she even there for? Well, of course, she's actually the secret identitiy of the female lead, and the round-head guy is the dreaded Bajarnum. And the one guy who's a hypochondriac, what he's in the book for is to bring the vitamins so the hero can survive the dreaded brain-oracle-juice!
So there are a lot of hints in the first couple of chapters.

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