May 8, 2011

Jack Vance - Planet of adventure - Tschai series

Jack Vance was born John Holbrook Vance in August 28, 1916 in San Francisco and was a genius as a sci-fi writer. Perhaps his writing style was not cultured and subtle, but that was more than compensated with a prodigious and fertile imagination, from which emerged complex , dangerous, exciting and varied worlds, full of adventures and challenges and of heroes willing to overcome obstacles and enjoy surprises. Books that will make you dream with open eyes fixed on its pages, refusing to sleep: ten more minutes, ten more pages, only until the end of this chapter, it's still not to late, I can read a bit more...


Planet of Adventure is the name given to a series of four science fiction novels by Jack Vance, which relate the adventures of Adam Reith, the sole survivor of an Earth ship investigating a signal from the distant planet Tschai.


 In order, the books are:

Adam Reith is sent with another scout in a small ship to investigate a distress signal sent centuries before from the previously unknown planet. The mother ship is destroyed and the rest of the crew killed in a surprise missile attack. The two survivors are forced to set down on Tschai and soon enough, Reith is alone. The four books describe the attempts of a man of singularly strong will and resource to return to Earth. He overcomes the obstacles of dealing with four different alien races and various human groups in his efforts. In the process, he profoundly disrupts several of the societies, human and alien, with which he is forced to deal.

"Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials

Reith acquires two faithful human companions in the course of his travels: Traz Onmale, the dour, proud boy-chieftain of a nomad race obsessed with emblems, and the renegade Dirdirman, Ankhe at Afram Anacho, loquacious, fastidious and flamboyant. (Vance has said that the novels were commissioned as a juvenile series, which was why he included Traz; but the action is no less ‘adult’ than in his other works.) The third novel also introduces a villain in the enormously fat, petulant, pedophilic, shamelessly avaricious contractor Aila Woudiver.
The vast teeming planet with its clashing civilizations and multifarious cultures affects Reith to the point that he realizes that if he succeeds in returning to Earth, his life will seem dull and colourless in comparison.

Jack and Norma Vance
If you want to read a great article about Jack Vance, visit this one in More Red Ink


  1. This is the first time I see a picture of his wife Norma. I'm a great fan of Jack Vance. He almost made me laugh my head off.

  2. I'm a big fan myself. I really like his sense of humour. It seems he's not considered as one-of-those-writers-girls-use-to-like but, for me, he's one of the best.

  3. Happy birthday Mister Vance ( 96 years ! )

    Great article ! thanks for sharing this


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