Trullion : Alastor 2262 Mass Market Paperback – 1973
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1st edition 1st printing paperback, vg+ In stock shipped from our UK warehouse
Top customer reviews
Vance lovingly details the complex niceties of the "hussade" game, providing such depth and cover (and yet in his entertaining style) that one can only wonder when we shall see the first "hussade" event at the Olympics !!
The plot and characters are in turns steeped and swirled in intrigue, guile and trepidation.
A very good read -- Vance's stories are rarely dull, and this is no exception. Fans of the author may notice a few loose ends here and there (which is uncommon for this master of elegant of plot lines) -- I can only assume that this was deliberate.
For readers new to the "Alastor" Cluster books (which are at best only loosely connected), this should be read first.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Vance's genius and what set him apart from all other science fiction writers was that he could create some of the most fantastic and alien settings possible but then personalize them so that you could relate to the characters. Sometimes the various planets could almost feel familiar but then Vance would show you a side of it that was so alien you were shocked and perplexed.
In Trullion, Vance created a water world full of twisting waterways that wound between islands surrounded by marsh. The familiar was that I grew up in Louisiana and had gone fishing in huge swamps that shared some of the same characteristics.
But as I was absorbed into the story, the familiar was soon left behind. Another characteristic of Vance's stories was that calm, sleepy, even boring, societies would suddenly explode with violence and complex mysteries would appear. There would be treachery, betrayal of the basest sort. Every page brought a new insight and nothing was as it seemed. This kept me turning those pages totally immersed in his universe and reluctant to return to my everyday one.
A modern day Shakespeare that could spin a "tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing" as well as the master. Read this book and be prepared to be hooked. Once you let Vance into your life, you will want more.
Vance is unparalleled. There was never another writer like him, and there never will be again.
In book after book, dozens of them, Vance created a science fiction universe that is a pure joy to enter with your mind and heart.
Vance takes us away to what he often called the "Oikumene" - a loose confederation of planets scattered across the galaxy -- planets explored, settled and populated by humanity over thousands of years of human history.
At other times Vance called this same vastly diverse, human-inhabited universe "The Gaean Reach."
In this book, Trullion, he narrows the focus a bit to a particular corner of the Gaean Reach called the Alastor Cluster, which Vance describes as:
"A whorl of thirty thousand live stars in an irregular volume twenty to thirty light-years in diameter."
Among the cluster is one planet called Trullion - the lone companion to a small white star which Vance says is:
"One spark in a spray curling out toward the cluster's edge."
Trullion is mostly a water world with a "single narrow continent," and an array of small islands and archipelagos. It's populated by people who live a peaceful kind of island-paradise existence. Food is so abundant and growing everywhere, few people have to work if they don't really want to. The weather is so balmy and pleasant, all one needs is crude shelter, tent or houseboat. You can while away your existence just boating from island to island, or setting down roots in a traditional home - even a mansion if you happen to be rich.
Yes, there is also ambition among the people of Trullion. Some people seek fame, money and position -- including social prestige. Others get involved in politics and experimental social engineering projects. They have a government and a police force. They get military protection from an interplanetary police force called the "Whelm."
The Whelm is necessary because the planets of Alastor Cluster are prowled by a dangerous class of space pirates called starmenters. They operate much like the traditional sea pirates of Earth's history, or perhaps Vikings. They flit from planet to planet, land briefly to raid and plunder, and get out fast with their loot.
The hero of Trullion is a young man, Glinnes Hulden. He served a stint off-planet with the Whelm. He returned to Trullion from his military hitch to settle among the islands of his watery home. Here he planned to spend the rest of his life in relative ease, and perusing his only passion - the marvelous game of Hussad -- which is also the obsession of just about everyone else on Trullion.
Of course, things don't go as planned. Glinnes returns from his military stint to find a significant part of his family's ancestral home has been sold off illegally by his trouble-making brother. His father is dead, and the circumstances of his passing are suspicious. His mother has taken up with a shady character. The ancient holdings and history of the life Glinnes once knew is now in question.
There's trouble in paradise!
And so, the adventure begins - I won't go into any further details because I want readers to discover this book for themselves - but suffice it to say you are in for a read of extreme, satisfying pleasure.
If you have never read Jack Vance before, Trullion is as good a book as any to discover his strange literary power.
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