- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books (February 15, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312852363
- ISBN-13: 978-0312852368
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 95 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Slan: A Novel Paperback – June 26, 2007
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Slan is legendary science fiction author A. E. Van Vogt's first and best-known novel, back in print from Tor Books's Orb imprint. The story is classic golden age science fiction: Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bred superhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by "normal" humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stop Jommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis, the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray. But on their latest trip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother is killed. Jommy, only 9 years old, unwittingly becomes caught up in a plot to undermine Gray, who may be more sympathetic to slans than the public suspects. The nonstop action and root-for-the-underdog plot has made Slan a science fiction favorite.
From Library Journal
One of the landmark novels of the genre, Van Vogt's 1940 tale follows the "Slan," a new breed of telepathic humans and their search for a society free from persecution. Essential for all libraries.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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There's another progression I noticed. I don't read crude or vile books. In the past year I've submitted Kindle reviews that Amazon rejected - because I quoted the vulgar language. In "Slan" I can see the beginnings if such changes that 'progressed' to what we read today - that I could not quote for you to know.
Vogt wrote appropriately to standards of our society of the '40s and '50s. Then, some people who lacked values and morals ridiculed such standards as prudish or Victorian. If we had been foresighted perhaps we could have been more agressive in protecting our culture of respect and dignity. We weren't. In 2017, from Hollywood to Congress you see what was allowed to happen.
Vogt gave us a classic I'm glad to have read.
Like most of van Vogt's fiction, Slan is characterized by madcap energy and a non-stop flow of ideas, unimpeded by lesser (to him) literary values such as coherence, characterization, stylish prose or scientific plausibility. Slan is not as wild and woolly as some of van Vogt's later novels, like the genuinely surreal The World of Null-A, but it does keep introducing new plot complications every few chapters.
The novel begins as a story of a young boy slan (a group of mutant humans with telepathic powers), living in a brutal dictatorship in which all slans are hunted down and killed. (I wonder how many readers of Astounding in 1940 saw the parallels to Hitler's Germany.) As the story goes on, van Vogt gradually turns this into a space opera, complete with an invasion of the Earth from Mars, and some of the emotional power of the early chapters is dissipated. When we are expecting a paroxysm of violence at the conclusion, van Vogt surprises us again with a talky final chapter in which all of the plot elements are explained and all conflicts resolved.
The science fiction field has matured quite a bit since Slan was written, but the novel is still worth reading for fans of the genre.
After further investigation, I've decided that the Kindle book is the original version of the book (pure space opera). This is not such a terrible thing, however, I must recommend reading the 1968 version over reading the Kindle version because IMHO it's a much better book. There are only a few changes in the newer version, mainly to the characters of Davy Dinsmore & Jem Lorry, but they definitely make the book a much better read!
Most recent customer reviews
Some likable, Shakespearean characters.
Hints of future X-men
Continuity is not always strong so suspend disbelief occasionally to enjoy van...Read more