Ó Read ½ Ports of Call by Jack Vance Î pamyatnik.pro
Ó Read ½ Ports of Call by Jack Vance Î Another picaresque novel, but one that lacks direction.
Myron Tany meanders the Gaen Reach as a crew member on the Glicca, a tram ship that stops at a never ending series of small, strange and entertaining planets As is Vance s way the local customs on each are ridiculous and novel Unlike his other books, the other crew members get large amounts of focus Like a warm autumn breeze its is enjoyable but lacks concreteness This is a novel where really nothing happens Ports of Call leads directly into Lurulu, but ends not on a cliffhanger, rather like the author had taken a larger work, and selected a chapter at random, slicing it in half This book is a trifle, though an enjoyable one.
Ports of Call was first published in 1998 near the end of Vance s writing career It is still in print in paperback and Kindle through Spatterlight Press My out of print hardcover copy is 225 pages long, and this is the second time I ve read it in recent years I rated it a 3 both times It is a novel that will probably be of interest mostly to Vance fans Readers who are new to reading Vance are advised to begin elsewhere.
Ports of Call begins in the Gaean Reach on the planet Vermazen with our main character, Myron Tany.
As a boy Myron was obsessed with stories of space exploration while growing up in a country village where everything was tranquil and soporific His parents wanted him to become a financial anal Jack Vance, An Undisputed King Of Science Fiction, Outdoes Himself In This Space Exploration Novel Myron Tany Has Been Given Command Of A Space Yacht By His Crazy Aunt Hester, Giving Him The Perfect Chance To Live Out His Childhood Fantasies Of Intergalactic Adventure, Alien Encounters And Exotic Romance Set In Vance S Gaean Reach Universe, Ports of Call Is A Veritable Catalog Of Adventures, Replete With Richly Detailed Encounters And Characters Worthy Of The Series That Will No Doubt Follow This Book This Is A Light, Often Comedic Space Adventure That Suffers Only A Bit From A Meandering Plot Vance Fans Will Revel In A Terrific read I suspect that this book was intended to be funny However, I found it arch, pretentious and obvious Vance s vivid imagination shone through but it was a failure in all other respects.
If I d read this as my first Vance book I would probably not have enjoyed it As it is, I believe I ve read most of his output and so I know what he s about And reading Ports of Call andso Lurulu is like exactly what it is one last fond loving look back over the landscapes and vistas that had been carved out of fire and stone over the last five decades a leisurely piece of nostalgia and the last opportunity to read some of his most beautiful descriptions and inventions without the annoyance of plot and tension to get in the way.
For it is the descriptions of his inventions that are most memorable about his writing Any fool can set up a swashbuckling plot pirate captains and beauteous maidens are ten a penny hig For all of Vance s inventiveness in making strange planetary societies I can t help but feel like they re all some iteration of that joke New Yorker cartoon caption of Would you look at this asshole Recently an old friend I had not heard from in 20 years got in touch and we agreed that 40 years on we still enjoyed the books of Jack Vance What I had not realised was that Jack Vance had written a final book Lurulu He is now in his nineties so is unlikely to write another I duly bought a copy of Lurulu in fact due to a mistake I actually bought two copies but before reading it decided to re read Ports of Call which is the start of the story which concludes in Lurulu.
This is probably the fourth time I have read this and I enjoyed it as much as the other times There is not much of a plot butof a series of descriptions of events However this is at what Jack Vance excels It s certainly a book I will read again was what I wrote on 1 October 2009.
I am surprised that the last time I read it was so long ago This
Oggi vi presento Fuga nei Mondi Perduti, romanzo di fantascienza dello scrittore statunitense Jack Vance Sono andato a sbirciare a quando risalisse la prima pubblicazione dello stesso e con stupore ho scoperto fosse tutt altro che di un altra epoca data infatti 1998 Perch dico questo Per il semplice fatto che avrei potuto parzialmente giustificare il ritmo blando e mesto della storia, se fosse appartenuta a un autore del XIX secolo, senza recare offesa ai grandi dell epoca che non soffrivano certo di questo peccato Insomma, il romanzo di Vance non mi per nulla piaciuto, non mai realmente decollato Non sapevo peraltro che non fosse autoconclusivo e di certo non andr a impegolarmi con il seguito, questo mi bastato Una storia insulsa, che doveva fondare i suoi cardini in viaggi mirabolanti per lo spazio alla scoperta di mo Half a century after he started publishing, Vance showed in this story that he still had his gift For Vance fans, the characters are familiar types, but the writing flows just as smoothly as ever Ports of Call is a travelogue, somewhat in the mode of Big Planet but broader or Space Opera but less farcical In brief, a young man is forced to make his way as a member of a spaceship crew, visiting all manner of planets As always, the worlds are strange, the customs bizarre, the decisions whimsical.
The book has a broader range of well developed characters than usual Where Vance often relies on a fairly normal narrator and weird, barely human companions or foils, here the crew of the spaceship are interesting and reasonable individuals in their own right.
Some of the decoration is familiar For example, Vance expands slightly on one of his favorite risks that innocent
What s odd here is that the description is deceptive Myron immediately falls in with the crew of the starship Glicca, who for once in a Vance story at least appear completely trustworthy and competent This development drains the tension and feeling of menace out of the narrative from the moment Myron gets picked up, the reader never doubts that he would survive and likely prosper The dangers are relatively slight and the events mundane.
Instead, the reader is treated to a slower,relaxed narrative of low key adventures and interesting encounters with odd personalities, an episodic story with no central theme While it s enjoyable to bask in Vance s mastery of languag