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The War Against the Rull Paperback – July 30, 1999
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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
“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
This is a pretty good adventure story (or series of stories) with lots of classic SF elements: ravenous over-sized monsters, mysterious aliens, ray guns, an interstellar war between space empires, interstellar diplomacy, and an heroic scientist who has to talk sense into closed-minded politicians and military men. The War Against the Rull is a solid effort worth the time of classic SF fans.
I read the 1999 Tor edition of this 1959 fix up, based on short stories Van Vogt wrote in the 1940s. Sadly, the fine cover painting is misattributed; it is by Hubert Rogers, who did lots of work for the pulps.
A great claw-studded paw slid over the side of the raft, flicked down at one of the three slender cables that supported Jamieson's harness. There was a bright steely _ping_ as the cable parted from the slashing blow, and the force of it lifted Jamieson in his harness several feet. He dropped back heavily and began swinging from the remaining cables as from a trapeze. (1)
I would not for a million rubles dream of revealing what happens next. The action of the book as a whole involves a conflict between humans and the remorseless Rull. The Rull are wormlike, bellicose, ruthless aliens. By means of a shape changing ability, they can take on the appearance of most other creatures. They can impersonate the President of the Galactic Federation, Commander Kramer of the Space Patrol, or your kindly Uncle Abner. _Anybody_ could be a Rull!
There is a theme of paranoia that pervades the novel, much in the tradition of such 1950s films as _Invasion of the Body Snatchers_, _The Thing_, and _I Married a Monster From Outer Space_. The Rull themselves are highly paranoid. Any creature not a Rull is considered a deadly enemy. Because they are such masters of disguise, they force humans to adopt paranoid defenses. Various individual characters in the novel are paranoid (and thus overly rigid and unco-operative in the face of big problems that demand flexibility and teamwork). Jamieson is the voice of reason. But few people listen to him and many want to kill him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book by the author. I first read this as a teenager and still enjoy it. It is a collection of 4 stories with the same galactic conflict background. Well done.Published 5 months ago by Blayne Cannon
If I had read this when I was 12 I would have thought it was great. In my 30s it seems very dated and predictable. I thought that the ezwal was a good character though. Read morePublished 8 months ago by treid1982
A tag was glued on to the cover. When it was removed, it tore the cover and left a damaged area. Whoever put this tag on the book ruined the quality of the book.Published 10 months ago by Bennett Weinberg
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!
The War Against the RullI first read the start of this series in the late 50's and now for the first time i am looking forword to reading the three of them in sequence as they were... Read morePublished on March 31, 2008 by James W. Beck
I have read this book several times and have always thought it should be turned into a movie. The possibilities for special effects, the characters, the story, etc. Read morePublished on March 3, 2006 by Curtis Galper