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The Dirdir by Jack Vance

The Dirdir (1969)

by Jack Vance

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tschai, Planet of Adventure (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
351748,441 (3.95)5
Getting back to Earth from the planet Tschai involved either stealing a spaceship or having one built to order-for Tschai was home to several intelligent star-born races, and so they had spaceyards. But Adam Reith's problem was not so simple.He'd already been lucky to escape the Chasch and the Wankh and a dozen different types of humans, and now his course led directly to the Grand Sivishe Spaceyards in the domains of the Dirdir.But the Dirdir were quite different from the other aliens who competed for this world. They were quicker, more sinister, and had an unrelenting thirst for hunting victims like Adam Reith. The closer he came to his objective, the keener their hunting instincts would become.… (more)
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English (4)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 4 of 4
Having now read all four Tschai novels, I think this (Book 3) is my favorite. Intriguing alien and human characters, well-plotted, with plenty of action and suspense. ( )
  JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
The weakest so far of Vance's Planet of Adventure series. I found myself slogging through it as a completionist. There is actually very little about the Dirdir themselves and more focus on the central characters and one "Dirdirman" who aids (and hinders) their progress. Long passages of haggling. ( )
  faganjc | Feb 16, 2009 |
In 'The Dirdir', Vance shows what an adventure really is; the third (and IMHO, best) of the Tschai (Planet of Adventure) series.

NOTE: If you haven't read the previous books in this series, and don't want me to ruin it for you, stop reading now! Read my review of 'City of the Chasch'; or better yet, read the book!

Reading 'Dirdir' is like watching a 2-hour car chase/desperate escape scene in a movie theatre. The other three parts of this series are interesting enough for atmosphere, but I've read this one at least 20 times in the last 10 years and it pulls me to the edge of my seat every time.

After failing to steal a ship from the mysterious Wankh, Reith, Anacho, and Traz are in desperate straits: the one race on Tschai they've managed to avoid has become interested in them. Terminally.

Reith STILL needs a ship of some kind in order to return to Earth; since theft is no longer an option, he and his companions must now find the funds to purchase or build one. The Dirdir, the only race of the three 'occupiers' of Tschai with active trade to their original world, is Reith's last resort. And he won't have to go looking far to find them, either.

The Dirdir are extremely agressive predators; an elaborate caste system keeps their civilization (the most vigorous of many on Tschai) from degenerating in to barbaric chaos. But they must have an outlet for their animal heritage, and the 'Black Zone' is their hunting reserve.

The 'Black Zone' also produces the common currency of all Tschai, 'sequins'; a plant, dependent on an anomolous concentration of uranium in the Zone's soil, grows only here. The Dirdir populate their hunting reserve by allowing the 'degenerate' peoples (i.e. the various human races) to prospect for sequins in the Zone. Reith intends to do the impossible: gain the fortune necessary achieve his improbable goal without becoming part of the Dirdir's diet. ( )
3 vote wyrdchao | Aug 21, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Vanceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Briemen, Reindert vanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Dongen, H. R.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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