WHEN THE FIVE MOONS RISE by Jack Vance

WHEN THE FIVE MOONS RISE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twelve tales, most from the early/mid 1950's, previously uncollected in hardback, though all but two have appeared in paperback collections. Beware, also, of familiar tales wearing unfamiliar headgear: the marvelous space cadet test-of-character, factitiously retried ""Dust of Far Suns"" (aka ""Sail 25""); ""The New Prime,"" a selection teat for a new galactic ruler (aka ""Brain of the Galaxy""); ""Men of the Ten Books"" (aka ""The Ten Books""); and the unnecessarily retitled ""Ecological Onslaught"" (aka ""The World Between""), which describes ecological warfare and was written long before ecology became fashionable. Elsewhere, the brilliantly fanciful alien evocation ""Noise,"" and the eerie science-fiction/horror title piece, illustrate why the genre had to invent the odd-sounding but curiously apt term ""science fantasy"" to describe much of Vance's work. Also on display: a definitive eternal triangle yarn in an alien setting; two classics (""Ullward's Retreat,"" a pointed commentary on human perversity, and ""Dodkin's Job,"" a humorous and elegant satire on bureaucracy); an immortal man's dilemma; ""Telek,"" a long out-of-print telekinesis yarn and savagely funny deconstruction of rigid mentalities. Dazzling inventiveness, barbed wit, the renowned prose style combining spareness of detail with extraordinary visual richness: that Vance does not top popularity polls and win critical acclaim is the most intractable and perplexing of all science-fiction mysteries.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1992
Page count: 252pp
Publisher: Underwood-Miller