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City of the Chasch (1968)

af Jack Vance

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Serier: Tschai, Planet of Adventure (1)

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4911337,937 (3.8)11
When someone sent distress signals to outer space from the planet Tschai, it was Adam Reith's misfortune to be sent from Earth to investigate. Because when his ship came close to Tschai, it was torpedoed-and Adam escaped to the surface with his life and nothing else. On Tschai, a vast, previously unexplored planet, Adam is taken as a slave by humans and learns that there are four other intelligent but nonhuman races dominant on this strange world. To solve the mystery of the distress call and the vicious attack on his ship, he must first gain his freedom, then find safe passage by the city and the alien Chasch and their treacherous cousins, the Blue Chasch. Jack Vance's Tschai novels are considered his masterwork, a constantly changing epic canvas of weird peoples, exotic lands, and surprising extraterrestrial adventures.… (mere)
  1. 00
    Le Temps du voyage af Roland C. Wagner (greuh)
    greuh: Le Temps du Voyage de Wagner m'a toujours paru comme un très bel hommage au cycle de Tschaï de Vance. Une similarité de thèmes, d'ambiance, peut être ? Ce sont en tout cas tout deux de bons livres, et l'un me rappelle toujours l'autre à la lecture.
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In response to a signal from a planet over 200 light years from Earth, a ship is sent to investigate. Upon reaching the planet, two astronauts named Adam Reith and Paul Waunder are dispatched in a small scout ship. Soon after, missiles fired from the planet destroy the mothership and damage the scout ship, forcing it to crash land.

Injured, Reith and Waunder are soon captured by a band of primitive warriors. Waunder is immediately beheaded by one of the soldiers. Their teenage leader, later introduced as Traz Onmale, rages against the man and strips him of his rank and status by removing the man’s Emblem.

The scout ship’s crash also attracts the attention of rival clans known as the Blue Chasch and the Dirdir. Each newly arriving group drives away the next until Onmale’s soldiers finally chase the Dirdir away before transporting the injured Reith back to their village. Unfortunately, during the chaos, the Blue Chasch manage to depart with the wreckage of Reith’s scout ship.

Once healed, Reith manages to do exactly what you would expect in any “fish out of water” story—he violates the customs, and questions the beliefs, of Onmale’s people, resulting in a series of misunderstandings, some of which spark violent confrontations.

Eventually, Reith convinces Traz to join him on a quest to recover his scout ship from the Blue Chasch and together, they embark on a daring expedition across the planet. Along the way, they befriend a Dirdirman named Anacho, engage in battle against an insane beast known as the Phung, join a traveling clan of traders and rescue a young woman from a misandrist clan of sadistic priestesses, encounter a clan of sadistic pranksters known as the Green Chasch, overthrow the corrupt chief of a ruined town, and much more…

City of the Chasch is evocative of the Mars novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs with Adam Reith and Chasch taking the place of John Carter and Barsoom (as Mars is known to its inhabitants). Jack Vance does an exemplary job of revealing the complex cultures, conflicts, and characteristics of his world as the story unfolds. There are no significant infodumps here, allowing for a reasonably fast-paced tale. While there is nothing spectacular about the story, City of the Chasch holds up as a sturdy SF yarn and is the first in a tetralogy in Vance’s Planet of Adventure series. ( )
  pgiunta | Jul 4, 2020 |
Een onderzoeker van het Aarde ruimteschip Explorer 4 komt na een noodlanding op de planeet Tschai. Daar wordt hij eerst de slaaf van de Embleem-mensen, een volk waar bij de mannen geleidt worden door de emblemen die zij aannemen. Na hersteld te zijn van zijn verwondingen dood Reith een tegenstander, en vlucht later samen met de leider van de stam. Zij sluiten zich aan bij een karavaan waarin ook een meisje meereist. Zij is de gevangene van een groep Priesteressen. Het lukt Reith om haar te bevrijden, maar dan raakt hij haar weer kwijt aan de priesteressen.


( )
  EdwinKort | Oct 18, 2019 |
This was cool, very retro in a Burroughs-esque sci-fi/fantasy mashup kind of way. Pretty light on characterization, heavy on world building and about medium on action. I guess there are more books in the series, but I probably won't get to them, just too many other books out there that I might love. ( )
  ragwaine | Jul 22, 2018 |
This is a tough one. Not having read Jack Vance I did not know what to expect. It's pure space opera and a bit adolescent. At first I couldn't get excited and almost put it down. Then the story picked up and became interesting.

I liked it once I realized was reading a more modern Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter of Mars. If you like the John Carter stories you may like Jack Vance stories. Similar style and similar hero.

As I read the rating went from 3 stars to 4. ( )
  ikeman100 | Jan 29, 2018 |
I first read this about 30 years ago, but after recently coming across The Pnume (Tschai, 4), I decided to read the whole series through.

I love Vance's compressed, ironic, decorative prose, his "lapidary style" as one friend put it.

Aside from that, this is pure escapist fun: Meet quirkly alien, have funny dialogue. Meet dangerous alien, bash and run.

Can't wait to read the next installment. ( )
1 stem JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
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When someone sent distress signals to outer space from the planet Tschai, it was Adam Reith's misfortune to be sent from Earth to investigate. Because when his ship came close to Tschai, it was torpedoed-and Adam escaped to the surface with his life and nothing else. On Tschai, a vast, previously unexplored planet, Adam is taken as a slave by humans and learns that there are four other intelligent but nonhuman races dominant on this strange world. To solve the mystery of the distress call and the vicious attack on his ship, he must first gain his freedom, then find safe passage by the city and the alien Chasch and their treacherous cousins, the Blue Chasch. Jack Vance's Tschai novels are considered his masterwork, a constantly changing epic canvas of weird peoples, exotic lands, and surprising extraterrestrial adventures.

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