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Slan by A. E. Van Vogt
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Slan (1946)

by A. E. Van Vogt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Slan (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
OK, but seriously overrated. Not the Author's best work. One expects more 'scope' from a vanVogt novel, and this fails in that regard. ( )
  briangreiner | Sep 16, 2017 |
scifi
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This is a book I've wanted to read for a long time, finally that time arrived over the weekend. One of the real classics of the genre and it did not disappoint this reader at least. Written at a time when war and world domination was uppermost in peoples minds it's hardly surprising that this book follows those story lines.

We follow the life of a young Slan, (Slan: named after the scientist Samuel Lann in the book), Jommy as he learns about his abilities. Why his kind are hated by humans and why he is even hated by what appear to be his own kind.

This book is full of secret societies, natural hatred and enemies along with a few twists and turns from unexpected quarters. Although written in the early 40's this book ages well and most of the ideas are still quite believable.

I ploughed through this book, picking it up whenever I had five minutes to spare and thoroughly enjoyed every word. An excellent read in my opinion. ( )
  sundowneruk | Feb 2, 2016 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2551376.html

A classic short sf novel of 1940, and one that will surely be in the running for next year's Retro Hugos. Our two protagonists are slans with telepathic superpowers, running the gauntlet of the oppressive government of normal humans, aided only by powerful secret weaponry. It's obviously a bit of a fable for fans of earlier days; now that geek culture has gone mainstream, I don't think it resonates as much, and some of the social attitudes of the writing were already out of date by 1940. I suspect it has a good shot at the Retro Hugo, but not with my vote. ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 10, 2015 |
This book speaks volumes about the difference in publishing between today and the '40s/50's/pick-an-olden-time. And maybe this comes from having just recently finished the 900+ pages of the latest volume of Game of Thrones. But one of my first impressions (beyond being impressed with the overall quality of the book) was that there is so much crammed in these 176 pages I couldn't help but think how easily it could be converted into a multi-book extravaganza.

On the one hand I think it is a pity that the story has not been fleshed out that way. On the other hand, the result is a tight, complete story that is far from bogged down in detail.

The upshot - It is a most excellent book. (I want to say novel, which, I guess it is, but by today's standards it might come in as a novelette. A mere quibble. I digress.)

It is the story of the Slan – humans who have special abilities which include the ability to read minds. The book follows the lives of two young Slan – separate stories that eventually come together – and it is a story that, in a very few pages, spans a great amount of time (taking the two protagonists well into adulthood) and themes. It is an exploration of how the Slan obtained their abilities (a major point of the book) and an exploration of the effect of xenophobia on the human race. This was probably a very compelling plot line at the time the book was written. And, in spite of time, it remains relevant and impactful today. Things just don't really change, do they?

There are a number of fascinating characters in the book that are not allowed to develop (again, the limitation placed on the author by the length of the book) and some interesting aspects of the civilization such as a side group of Slan who are not...complete...Slan, and the intrigue that is going on among the powers that be.

All in all, I wish I could have spent more time with this world and these people. I am not a fan of multi-book stories, but this is begging for a treatment that is, at least, a very long book.

But this is what we have, and it is a good thing to have, nonetheless.

By the way, to type the first line of this review I had to go back and look at the original publication date. I was shocked to see 1946. Aside from my comments about how slim the volume is, it should be emphasized and reemphasized that this book stands up in today's world. Van Vogt is a great, unsung writer of the past. And this book is evidence of just how good he was. ( )
1 vote figre | May 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
A. E. Van Vogtprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anderson, Kevin J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiFate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hubbell, Robert ECover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, RichardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiazemsky, PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To My Wife E. MAYNE HULL
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His mother's hand felt cold, clutching his.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312852363, Paperback)

Slan is legendary science fiction author A. E. Van Vogt's first and best-known novel, back in print from Tor Books's Orb imprint. The story is classic golden age science fiction: Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bred superhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by "normal" humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stop Jommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis, the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray. But on their latest trip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother is killed. Jommy, only 9 years old, unwittingly becomes caught up in a plot to undermine Gray, who may be more sympathetic to slans than the public suspects. The nonstop action and root-for-the-underdog plot has made Slan a science fiction favorite.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

'Slan' is the story of Jommy Cross, the orphan boy mutant, outcast from a future society prejudiced against mutants, who grows up to be a superman and to represent the next stage in human evolution.

» see all 4 descriptions

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