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The Dragon Masters and Other Stories Copertina flessibile – 24 aprile 2016
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Here in one unforgettable volume are three of Jack Vance’s best novellas–rich adventures of humanity in crisis, showcasing Vance’s stylistic flair, creative ingenuity, wit, and storytelling skill: the Hugo-winning “The Dragon Masters,” Hugo and Nebula-winning “The Last Castle”, and that gem of science re-born, “The Miracle Workers”.
Resilient Joaz Banbeck of Aerlith sends his remarkable dragons against the non-human Basics. Xanten of Castle Hagedorn deals with the alien Meks, in their war of retribution on our own beleaguered, far-future Earth; the pragmatic Sam Salazar outdoes his betters, to save the last remnants of the human race on Pangborn.
A volume for the Vance completist, a book so many of us wish we’d had for the last fifty years. – Terry Dowling
The Dragon Masters and Other Stories is Volume 12 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 Each book bears a facsimile of the author's signature and a previously-unpublished photograph, chosen from family archives for the period the book was written.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
- Editore : Spatterlight Press (24 aprile 2016)
- Lingua : Inglese
- Copertina flessibile : 256 pagine
- ISBN-10 : 1619470985
- ISBN-13 : 978-1619470989
- Peso articolo : 300 g
- Dimensioni : 15.24 x 1.63 x 22.86 cm
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 32,528 in Fantascienza (Libri)
- Recensioni dei clienti:
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The stories follow similar themes: settlers on another planet / returnees to Earth have regressed to feudalism / effete ineffectuality. An implacable alien enemy tries to destroy the humans, who are too busy fighting each other / consider it beneath their dignity to mount an effective response. One or more independent-minded individuals are prepared to adapt to overcome the challenge, and thanks to them humanity lives to fight another day.
The stories are concise yet elegantly written, the characters colourful and eloquent, the societies they inhabit immersive and beautifully realised. Disappointingly – although entirely in keeping with the era in which they were written – the three tales between them boast just two female characters, both ornamental, but this minor quibble should not detract from the feast.
"The Miracle Workers" was for me the unexpected delight of the day, with its Hoodoo Jinxmen settlers and spumescent indigenous lifeforms. "The Dragon Masters" carries us to a land where local dragon-breeders would do well to put aside their quibbles in the face of a more ominous threat. Finally, "The Last Castle" starts a tad on the over-explicative side, but turns out to be a worthy comrade to the other stories herein. Yes, I'm being deliberately vague - I would hate to spoil this for anyone!
My sole complaint is that, although actually fairly long as far as short stories go, all good things must come to and end - and this is no exception.
Buy this immediately.
Having rediscovered Vance while on a search for fantasy writing with some literary credibility (taking in and discounting Steven Erikson and George R R Martin along the way) I have finally found what I was looking for. Not only does Vance have a great imagination, with more original ideas per novella - sometimes, per page - than some writers expend on a whole trilogy, his fabulous prose often makes me laugh out loud.
This particular collection of short stories is an absolute joy. Any book that contains the words "flicked the leathery buttocks of their mounts with their quirts" deserves five stars in my opinion. And the great part about it is, he was so prolific, over such a long career, I have dozens of his works still left to read.
Perhaps a little more cynical than some of his longer works such as Lyonesse or perhaps the cynicism is more concentrated in the short stories. All the usual imagination and presentation of unusual worlds and races operating on different rules from our own. I just love reading Vance and have always enjoyed any of his works I have read. This collection is no different.