New galaxy-hopping, picaresque adventure from a master storyteller. Sf grand master Vance's latest is a tongue-in-cheek swashbuckler about a young man, Myron Tany, who has taken a degree in space studies but has much to learn when he first boards a ship. Myron is in thrall to his zany aunt, who has heard of a faraway fountain of youth and sets ...Read MoreNew galaxy-hopping, picaresque adventure from a master storyteller. Sf grand master Vance's latest is a tongue-in-cheek swashbuckler about a young man, Myron Tany, who has taken a degree in space studies but has much to learn when he first boards a ship. Myron is in thrall to his zany aunt, who has heard of a faraway fountain of youth and sets off in her space yacht to find it. Her captain flatters her agreeably, and when Myron points out that the man is a swindler, she won't hear of it and maroons poor Myron on an inhospitable planet with barely his passage home. Luckily, the tramp cargo vessel Glicca is just then in need of a supercargo, and Myron signs on with cool, competent Captain Maloof, Chief Engineer/gambler Schwatzendale, and Chief Steward/photographer Wingo. The four enjoy a string of rare adventures on a spectacular series of planets. They acquire as passengers a group of pilgrims (and their mysterious luggage), or rather, pirates masquerading as religious pilgrims, and engage in to-the-death struggles with the pirates' pursuers; on Terce, Myron narrowly avoids being skinned (there is a flourishing trade in human skins) and eaten. Finally, they encounter a Swiftian, legalistic planet on which one may be punished or betrothed for the slightest whimsical offense. Myron is bound to commit one...Read Less
New. This item is printed on demand. Myron's family insisted that he set himself on a course of sober education, the study of economics, and Myron dutifully applied himself. But Myron had an aunt-his great-aunt Hester Lajoie, a woman of great wealth and eve.
Ports of Call is Jack Vance at his best, as he eloquently relates the mishaps and faux pas that Myron Tany and the crew of the Glicca become entangled with as they journey from planet to planet, dealing with various strange, almost alien human cultures. Like other works by Jack Vance, Ports of Call is filled with incredibly colorful characters who speak in the unique yet addicting "Vancean" style - occasionally letting out quips that you would expect in a Shakespearean play rather than a novel set in the distant future, yet somehow Vance makes it work. Ports of Call does not build up to a climactic ending, but rather whisks along at a steady pace until it abruptly ends, leaving the reader thirsting for more, which Vance attempts to satisfy in the sequel novel, Lurulu.
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