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The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - August 1998. Single Issue Magazine – 1998
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The original inhabitants undertook a long, long migration in the general direction of Galactic inward. They sought to isolate themselves from humanity and dwell on a virgin world in peace, so they scuttled their starships. Flash forward 9000 years. Usual Vance quirkiness and strange societies, including widespread reversion to tribalism.
But the story line is one of the few times Vance treats the implications of an alien civilization whose own perimeter is about to collide with humanity's. He doesn't deal with it head on, but even in the context of his rather baroque and sideways story telling, it's quite intriguing.
Etzwane leaves the colorful country of Shant to travel to the massive landmass of Caraz upon learning about more Roguskhoi sightings. But things aren't as simple now because, as we learned in "The Brave Free Men," the Roguskhoi are the product of space faring aliens far superior to Etzwane.
Characters in "The Asutra" often find themselves in desperate circumstances, sometimes doing the only thing they can to get by, and sometimes cracking. In all cases, I found myself emotionally moved, but toward a downbeat somber mood. I much prefer the optimistic tone of "The Brave Free Men." In any case, if you read the first two books, "The Asutra" is worth your time.
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"The Asutra" (1974) by Jack Vance (1916-2013) is the last of the three book series "World of...Read more