Belated sequel or, better, the missing last section of Ports of Call (1998), a picaresque travel-adventure from the master storyteller and stylist.
We rejoin the battered old tramp cargo ship Glicca and its colorful crew: ex-policeman Captain Maloof, Chief Engineer Schwatzendale, Chief Steward Wingo, and supercargo Myron Tany, as they continue their erratic course from planet to planet, acquiring and discharging peculiar cargoes, dealing with the equally bizarre inhabitants. Each of the four pursues an individual quest, philosophically and without great urgency. On a planet of spectacular natural beauty and prudish social climate, Maloof searches for his mother, who’s beguiled by an infernally handsome rogue who merely wants the old woman's money. Wingo ponders joining a band of pilgrims as they face appalling hardships while seeking enlightenment. Gambler Schwatzendale sets about relieving the passengers of their valuables, while Myron hopes for news of his great-aunt Hester (and her marvelous space-yacht), who has gone to look for the fountain of youth—again accompanied by a despicable rogue. On some worlds the four friends merely require a glass of good beer, being sometimes gratified, sometimes frustrated.
Languorous, occasionally repetitive—but this is quintessential Vance: rich, eccentric, nourished from roots deep in the human psyche.