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Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance
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Planet of Adventure

by Jack Vance

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tschai, Planet of Adventure (Omnibus 1-4)

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5261129,017 (3.9)13
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» See also 13 mentions

English (7)  Dutch (2)  Tagalog (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Questo ciclo fantascientifico presentato in volume unico, ma composto da quattro romanzi, appartiene a quel filone della fantascienza avventurosa e rutilante che più fa sognare. Altamente immaginifico (come sempre i libri di Vance) non ha pretese di profondità ma è una lettura assai gradevole, rocambolesca e delle più classiche ( )
  Zeruhur | May 26, 2012 |
Questo ciclo fantascientifico presentato in volume unico, ma composto da quattro romanzi, appartiene a quel filone della fantascienza avventurosa e rutilante che più fa sognare. Altamente immaginifico (come sempre i libri di Vance) non ha pretese di profondità ma è una lettura assai gradevole, rocambolesca e delle più classiche ( )
  Zeruhur | May 26, 2012 |
I purchased this, and several other science fiction novels following review of a list purporting to be “The Greatest Science Fiction Works of All Time”. There were a number of works with which I was not familiar, and being a fan of science fiction, thought it best to upgrade my library. I became somewhat concerned after reading their #1 selection, Litany of the Long Sun, and finding it not to my taste.

Luckily, I had better luck with this Jack Vance offering, which I found to be very well crafted and highly entertaining. The book is in the form of four novellas, and begins with the arrival of an earth vessel to a planet (Tschai) from which a radio beacon was received 212 light years previously. Immediately following dispatch of an advanced scout team, the mother ship is destroyed, the scout ship crashes and the lone survivor, Adam Reith, is captured by one of the local tribes.

The world on which Reith finds himself is inhabited by a number of different alien species and classes of humanoid figures. Each alien species has an underclass of humanoid beings who are kept in thralldom, raising the question of “When and how did this ‘human Diaspora’ occur?”. The novel tracks our Earth born hero through contact with the various inhabitants of Tschai, as he searches for those with the technology to return him to Earth.

The author does an outstanding job of creating and forming different cultures and mores among both the alien species and their human counterparts. He does so without resort to hackneyed or trite stereotypes. This work is very similar to the sociological/anthropological style of fantasy/science fiction that I’ve enjoyed from Ursula LeGuin. In that respect, it is somewhat short on “hard” science fiction and perhaps more accurately classified as fantasy.

My only quibble with the story lies in the virtual omnipotence and indestructibility of our intrepid hero. Who would guess that in addition to mixed martial arts training, astronauts of the future will be proficient in knife and sword fighting, to the extent that they will be able to best multitudes of attackers who have fought in those styles their entire lives? In instances too numerous to count, Reith overcomes insurmountable odds with barely a scratch.

In any event, I can highly recommend this work and endorse its inclusion on the aforementioned list of science fiction/fantasy greats. ( )
1 vote santhony | Jun 23, 2010 |
A Haunting Novel: It's hard for me to describe Planet of Adventure. The book is in many ways amateurish and below the standards I'm used to from Jack Vance; the editing was poor (there were numerous errors), the names were often cheesy (the "Dirdir" figure prominently), and the plot seemed almost formulaic. His main character, Adam Reith, is the same taciturn hero we saw in Night Lamp, The Demon Princes, or any of his other novels, who for some reason can never be defeated in single combat. These shortcomings nearly moved me to put it down for good after about 40 pages.But despite this, in many ways the mixture of science fiction and fantasy in Planet of Adventure lets Vance shine brighter than in any other book of his which I have read. Planet of Adventure is peppered with ingenious situations and highly entertaining side plots. I found his alien cultures incredibly well conceived - the Emblem men, who pass their personalities intergenerationally via emblems they wear, the Khor, who each own "two souls which come and go with dawn and sunset," and the enigmatic Pnume, who lurk beneath the surface of Tschai. Although Vance always finds some way to mark his supporting characters as unique, if only through their physical description, Vance's characters in Planet of Adventure are even more memorable than usual because they all have a great deal of emotional depth which is further enhanced through Vance's minimalist style. In most of his other books Vance uses sentimental understatement and sparse emotional language to project a sense of melancholy wistfulness onto the reader, but never does it come across more powerfully than in Planet of Adventure. In short, while not perfect, Planet of Adventure is phenomenally imaginative, poignantly dramatic, and altogether a haunting novel.
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Vanceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Archer, DaveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruynel, C.G.A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carpentier Alting, MarkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flamen, WarnerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Houten, MickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodroffe, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwierd, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312854889, Paperback)

Stranded on the distant planet Tschai, young Adam Reith is the sole survivor of a space mission who discovers the world is inhabited--not only by warring alien cultures, but human slaves as well, taken early in Earth's history. Reith must find a way off planet to warn the Earth of Tschai's deadly existence.

Against a backdrop of baroque cities and haunted wastelands, sumptuous palaces and riotous inns, Reith will encounter deadly wastrels and murderous aliens, dastardly villains and conniving scoundrels.

And always the random beauty in need of rescue...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Stranded on the distant planet Tschai, young Adam Reith is the sole survivor of a space mission who discovers the world is inhabited--not only by warring alien cultures, but human slaves as well, taken early in Earth's history. Reith must find a way off planet to warn the Earth of Tschai's deadly existence. Against a backdrop of baroque cities and haunted wastelands, sumptuous palaces and riotous inns, Reith will encounter deadly wastrels and murderous aliens, dastardly villains and conniving scoundrels. And always the random beauty in need of rescue...… (more)

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