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Big Planet (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 20 Jul 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, 20 Jul 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (20 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575071176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575071179
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 16.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,046,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jack Vance was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California in mining engineering, physics and journalism. During the Second World War he served in the Merchant Navy and was torpedoed twice. He started contributing stories to the pulp magazines in the late 1940s and published his first book, The Dying Earth, in 1950. Among his many books are To Live Forever, The Dragon Masters, for which he won his first Hugo, The Blue World, Emphyrio, The Anome and the Lyonesse sequence.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 4 May 2002
Format: Paperback
Not his strongest ever, but a great example. Have you noticed Vance's ability to create a world that is credible but nothing like Earth? This was probably his first, as this text dates back to 1952, but it hasn't aged too badly. Big Planet with its disparate societies, lack of metal and immense distances, is a definitely alien world. It's well worth a visit.
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By A Customer on 2 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a typical Vance space adventure, if you like Vance, you'll love it. Join Claude Glystra as he and his party are stranded on the aptly named Big Planet. The heros must travel 40,000 miles across a hostile planet filled with misfits exiled from Earth, to the safety of the Earth compound. Along the way they beat a variety of challenges using only their wits and determination. Vance's imagination packs this with high adventure whilst Vance's description of characters, places, smells, sights and sounds give a real feeling of being along with the survivors in their attempts to reach safety. Along the way, you'll encounter combat, romance, desparate escapes, odd technology (in a world with virtually no metal) and trickery. Great stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Big Planet is a lawless and fragmented world many times larger than Earth, which is largely self-governed, save for a small administrative safe area known as Earth Enclave. The story begins as a spaceship arrives at the planet carrying a commission of people from Earth who have been sent to keep up good relations with the inhabitants and to investigate Earth's growing concern with the Bajarnum of Beaujolais, Charley Lysidder, who is trying to unify the various peoples of Big Planet and take control of it. However, the ship is sabotaged by one of the crew members and crash landed into a remote village of Big Planet called Jubilith and thus begins a quest to travel 40,000 miles across the planet to the safety of Earth Enclave, with the Bajarnum on their tales at every step.

The plot is quite straight forward and primarily serves as a means for Vance to do what he does best--that is, take the reader on a grand tour of an exotic, alien world. This was Vance's typical brand of science fiction which he so fondly used throughout his career--the so called planetary romance--and whilst this book was quite unique in it's day and helped establish the genre, in retrospect it suffers from being a little uneven at times due to it being an early work, showing evidence of a young Jack Vance still perfecting his craft.

The book begins a little clumsily and descends into a 'whodunit', with the main protagonist Claude Glystra taking charge of the impossible mission and trying to establish who has betrayed the commission and crash landed the ship. But as the novel progresses and the quest goes on, Vance hits his stride and begins to paint an interesting travelogue which becomes very enjoyable.
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