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The War Against the Rull Paperback – August 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312852398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312852399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,131,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You might easily mistake a list of A.E. van Vogt's classic stories for the names of bygone rides in Disney's Tomorrowland: Empire of the Atom, Mission to the Stars, Two-hundred Million A.D., Project: Spaceship. This Nebula Grand Master, while still writing well into the 1980s, was a pioneer of sci-fi's golden age, an author that the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction credits with creating--along with Heinlein and Asimov--"the first genuinely successful period of U.S. SF." A prolific contributor to such early mags as Thrilling Wonder, Startling Stories, and Astounding, van Vogt distinguished himself with his expert pacing, his mind-bending ideas, and--surprising in the starched-lab-coat 1940s--his serious access to weird. (Check out 1945's cult hit The World of Null-A as a prime example.)

The War Against the Rull, assembled from five stories written for Astounding between 1940 and 1950, is classic, keep-you-guessing van Vogt, even if it doesn't quite qualify for must-read status like Null-A and Slan. Our hero is Trevor Jamieson, chief scientist of the Interstellar Military Commission, on the front lines of humanity's war with a shape-shifting race of insectoid aliens known as the Rull. Jamieson may have found the key to victory, but first he must simply survive--marooned on a wild, hostile planet with a 6,000-pound, blue-furred, six-legged, human-hating telepathic bear, Jamieson escapes only to find himself trapped days later in a meteor-carved cave with a woman who wants him dead, armed with only a knife and his wits against a blood-thirsty giant weasel that can claw through solid rock. --Paul Hughes

Review

"A.E. van Vogt is truly a grand master of science fiction. He is to Canadian SF what H.G. Wells is to the British variety or Jules Verne to the French. We all stand on his broad shoulders." --Robert J. Sawyer

"Nobody, possibly with the exception of the Bester of The Stars My Destination, ever came close to matching van Vogt for headlong, breakneck pacing, or for the electric, crackling paranoid tension with which he was capable of suffusing his work." --Gardner Dozois

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This is the book which got me hooked on to sci-fi.
Fesal Toosy
The possibilities for special effects, the characters, the story, etc. are about endless, and it IS a highly entertaining story too.
Curtis Galper
Now if only we could see this wonderful creature - the Ezwal - come alive in the movies................
SLigustinus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SLigustinus on September 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
In "The War Against the Rull", A.E. Van Vogt did for me in Sci Fi what Nathaniel Hawthorne did in his "Last of the Mohicans". The central character in each story is a man of courage who goes against societal norms to reach out to members of completely alien cultures, to save those he loves from a common enemy. Here, Trevor Jamieson encounters blind and unyielding hatred from fellow humans for the Ezwal, a creature whom only he knows may hold the secret to humanity's life-or-death struggle with the insectoid Rull, a struggle which until now they were losing. In dealing with this hatred, he teaches those humans with whom he works the necessity of overcoming their fears and prejudices, to build the kind of alliances that would save them. Van Vogt's book begins with Jamieson's efforts to link up with an extremely hostile and dangerous Ezwal, to survive being stranded on Eristan II, a planet inhabited by the most intensely feral life forms in the galaxy. His survival there, his close brush with asassination on Carson's Planet, and his enlistment of his young son in the struggle were all wonderfully enjoyable reading. Make no mistake, the technology in the story may be dated, but so what........ The courage, empathy, fierce determination, and vision are all character traits that are timeless. Now if only we could see this wonderful creature - the Ezwal - come alive in the movies................
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book, or parts of it over 30 (!) years ago when I wanted blasters and spaceships and lots of BEMs. It is one of the items in my 'keeper' library. The Rull enemy has a fantasy element (shapechanger) that will appeal, and a cold-blooded ability to eradicate the humans it opposes. Read it as an adventure yarn, and not as a comment on civilization.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "phyed-rautha" on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Again and again , Alfred Elton Van-Vogt shows the rest of the world the richness of his imagination.
This time we enter an empire of humans at war with the Rull race- insects with the ability to control the light pattern of their exso-skeleton , thus they are able to create the illusion of any apearence- even human.
To say the truth , like one of the previous reviewers , I also have the feeling that the whole story is just a part of a much bigger one.
It's just that Van Vogt does'nt let you know and understand all that you want to. And that creates this feeling of something missing.
The book as a whole is a great adventure , with a great backround story , and the end is remarkeble , a truely Van Vogtian ending. It's a book I recommend to pre-campbellian readers.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Earth is at war with a hive-mind, chameleon skinned, human-sized race of insects, the Rull.
That's pretty much it as far as the story is concerned... but on a space opera/adventure point of view, there's just a little bit of everything for everyone.
Space faring, giant six-legged telepathic blue crocodiles (the Ezwals) that may hold the key to victory, amazonia-like planets expeditions, and the ever-present threat of the invisible enemy, the Rull...
This was my first sci-fi read over 15 years ago, and the wonder of it still lingers around from time to time. That's the main reason for those 4 stars up there. I guess many people wouldn't be so generous with it, though. Don't expect a masterpiece, but be ready for something like a cross between Doc Savage and Forbidden Planet (I know, *EEEW* what a terrible mix, but that's the most accurate I can think of)
Sometimes it even feels like reading E. R. Burrough's Tarzan: you get a course on how to get rid of a giant vampire-like creature that has trapped you inside a cave. (I won't spoil this one, but now I think I'd survive such an encounter - sci-fi pulp can be very educating)
The opening set of chapters summarizes it all: a rescue anti-grav platform is slowly going down towards the deadly surface of a swamp planet. The hero is strapped to the underside of it. An Ezwal that has been captured and taken off his homeworld sits on top of it. The Ezwal, who caused the ship they both were in to explode, promises his human hunter that he'll become the prey once the platform touches down. And anyway the predators down there will take care of him when night falls...
Now THAT is adventure !!!
Overall a very enjoyable summer read. Go for it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read this about 30-odd years ago, and have re-read it many times. My original copy has been lost in the mists of time, but my son (now 24) had read snatches of it and insists I buy a new copy. My only regret about the story is that it seems like it's the middle bit of a much bigger tale. If only somebody with van vogt's imagination and story-telling skills could pick it up.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great novel; again lots of ideas from Van Vogt. Really enjoy re-reading it and would hope they would release it as an E-Book. I'm a buyer!

Thanks,
HP
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