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Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
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Slan Paperback – 15 Feb 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; An Orb Ed edition (15 Feb. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312852363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312852368
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"A recognized giant of Campbell's golden age." --David G. Hartwell
"Over fifty years on from when it first saw print, van Vogt's "Slan" is still one of the quintessential classics of the field that other SF novels will inevitably be measured against." --Charles de Lint
"Van Vogt was creating the mythology of science, writing stories of science as magic or magic as science." --James Gunn
"Along with Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein--and to a lesser extent L. Sprague de Camp and L. Ron Hubbard--he seemed nearly to create, by writing what Campbell wanted to publish, the first genuinely successful period of U.S. SF; only in this 'Golden Age' did it begin to achieve Ýsuccess¨, in literary terms...." --"The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction"


"Over fifty years on from when it first saw print, van Vogt's "Slan" is still one of the quintessential classics of the field that other SF novels will inevitably be measured against." --Charles de Lint

"Van Vogt was creating the mythology of science, writing stories of science as magic or magic as science." --James Gunn

"Along with Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein--and to a lesser extent L. Sprague de Camp and L. Ron Hubbard--he seemed nearly to create, by writing what Campbell wanted to publish, the first genuinely successful period of U.S. SF; only in this 'Golden Age' did it begin to achieve [success], in literary terms...." --"The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction"

Over fifty years on from when it first saw print, van Vogt's "Slan" is still one of the quintessential classics of the field that other SF novels will inevitably be measured against. "Charles de Lint"

Van Vogt was creating the mythology of science, writing stories of science as magic or magic as science. "James Gunn"

Along with Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein--and to a lesser extent L. Sprague de Camp and L. Ron Hubbard--he seemed nearly to create, by writing what Campbell wanted to publish, the first genuinely successful period of U.S. SF; only in this 'Golden Age' did it begin to achieve [success], in literary terms.... "The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction""

About the Author

A. E. Van Vogt was a SFWA Grand Master. He was born in Canada and moved to the U.S. in 1944, by which time he was well-established as one of John W. Campbell's stable of writers for "Astounding Science-Fiction." He lived in Los Angeles, California and died in 2000.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to give this five stars because it is a book I was really taken with as a very young reader. It is an adult book though and it has a really good description of how we treat minorities in society even though we think we are civilised wrapped up in a futuristic story. It is a good example of how science fiction has picked up social issues and reflected them back to us. I read it again after managing to buy it in kindle format and still enjoyed the story and the ideas in it. Now it seems a little old fashioned as sci fi styles have moved on to reflect our changing society. I think it is still very relevant today, and it is a good story. Quite short and can be read in one or two evenings. Enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Highly recommended science fiction with an evolution theme. Still as good today and thought provoking as when I read it as a child.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was 20. It's as good to read now as it was then. The style is not old school but it is a little terse.Bearing in mind that this was actually published as a serial in a magazine it's pretty good.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very strange book this one by van Vogt. It starts well and intrigues you, despite the taste of teen novel, then it gets stuck. While the plot runs too fast, the narrative becomes boring and it's awfully easy to get distracted and then lose the thread, given the rapid pace of events. While the characters and their actions at the beginning seemed absolutely credible, then they tend to become too "easy" in the central part of the book, losing all their plausibility and touching absurdity.
The touch of a great author, however, is seen in the way he tells the story: the style, the words capture you. But the story itself seems naive, like those of young adult novels, but unsuitable for the latter given the complex issues dealt in it.
Maybe the 60 years passed since its publication are the cause of this apparent naivety. Moreover, the combination of spaceships with telephone booths is a bit funny. But since the beginning it is not so difficult to accept this retro vibe in the scope of science fiction, the problems are others.
I will not go into the details of the plot, not to spoil the reading of the book. I will just say that there is a certain approximation in the concatenation of the facts, which at times are simply summarized by giving improbable and forced excuses to justify the action going to a certain direction.
What really saves the novel and inspired me to give it at least 3 stars is the ending. I'm not talking about the final chapter (which is terribly far-fetched), but just the last page, even the last sentences, outlining a plot twist that allows closing the story with a bang.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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Format: Paperback
Van Vogt is a fairly rated writer among SF officianados, and at the time of its release, this novel was well received. Philip Dick picked him as the model for his early writing and says repeatedly in his autobiographs that Vogt is one of his favourite SF writers, and this book, one of his favourite SF novels: high praise in deed from one of the finest writers of the 20th century. If that isnt reason enough to check it out, then i dont know what might convince. Personally, i prefer PKD's work, however, you can feel many of the elements of his style in this little novel, from the tongue-in-cheek naming, to the twists and turns of the plot.

Overall, the writing is action orientated, fast paced, and because of that, pretty damn exciting. I finished the book in a handful of hours and was a bit disappointed that the ending felt premature. In Van Vogts defense, few SF books of the time (40s) ran to more than 300 pages, and some publishers even used to cut a book at 200 or so pages, irrelevant of how it was setup, or where the end should lay. One reviewer here claims that the characters are one dimensional, and im not sure i could totally disagree with them, but they over state themselves by comparing the character quality to X-men, of all things, it is far better than that.

Give it a chance, and if you can pick it up secondhand, i would do so, save you moaning about it when you realize it isnt Stross, or god forbid, Banks. No, this is definitely a forgotten classic, influentially, interesting, relevant, well written, and certainly as good as Wells et al.
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By G. Hardy VINE VOICE on 4 April 2002
Format: Paperback
I generally seem to find that sci-fi from the 40's, 50's and 60's to be more rewrading than those which are more recent. Slan reinforced that view.
There's little doubt that this novel shows some sign of age, but the quality of the ideas presented still shine through. So much of what lies between these covers has influenced much of what came later. There are plenty of other novels and short stories which explore the possibility of the next evolutionaty step that humans may take, which doubtless explore it more deeply. However, this was amongst the first.
Additionally it explores racism, and the dangers of mob-intolerance. On top of that, it's actually a good story.
Charming, and a rewarding read.
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Format: Paperback
Slan is excellent, especially when you consider it was written over 50 years ago. When you read it, you will think "Hey, I have seen these ideas and plot devices before." That's how much influence Slan had on the formation of SF. If you want to understand where SF came from, the book that sets all the conventions is Slan.
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