CHARACTERS The Dragon Masters · PDF DOC TXT or eBook

FREE READ ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ó Jack Vance

Man has warred for centuries with the reptilian race called Basics The winner of each bloody encounter has made slaves of the loser but in this. New introduction by Norman SpinradFrontispiece by Richard PowersThe Dragon Masters first appeared in Galaxy magazine in 1962A curious race of people called sacerdotes inhabit caves in the tiny world of Aerlith Every adult to become a full member of the group must complete a tand Once the tand is completed it is examined by a group of elders Every curve and angle has a relationship to every other It presages the ability of the young person to follow the Rationale the strict code of conduct of the sacerdotes 'Tand' A metal sculpture made in contemplation which has great meaning for the initiates

SUMMARY The Dragon Masters

The Dragon MastersFar future conflict each side improves its slaves with genetic engineering On Aerlith men have bred Basics into fearsome troops on Coralyne Basic. What is particularly astounding about this short novel is how much Vance manages to pack into a small number of pages; and he does so without the result seeming cluttered or contrivedSo we are given a galaxy where men once had an empire but no longer do; a few scattered worlds where humans cling to life in unusual societies something Vance is very good at creating; the power politics of those societies; a religious cult unfathomable to ordinary men; the conflict between these passive mystics and the active will of Joaz Banbeck the main protagonist; philosophy and the problems of inter species communication and a dozen other themes Within just thirty pages Vance somehow manages to conjure up a hugely complete and satisfying vision And the remainder of the book develops this vision as an integral part of the exciting plotThere is a wonderful symmetry in the central conceit of men and their genetically engineered dragon slaves at war with dragons and their genetically engineered human slavesThis book is an extraordinary achievement in the fantasy genre and Vance was an amazing writer

Jack Vance ó 0 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS The Dragon Masters · PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ï [PDF / Epub] ✅ The Dragon Masters Author Jack Vance – Man has warred for centuries with the reptilian race called Basics The winner of each bloody encounter has made slaves of the loser—but in this far future conflict each side improves its S have developed grotesue mutant human warriors The mysterious Sacerdotes watch and wait for Aerlith and Coralyne's final contestHugo Award winne. I've been eager to read The Dragon Masters for a long long time Back when I was a teenager I spent a lot of time reading coffee table books about science fiction and something about the description Men and reptiles wage war on one another using warriors genetically engineered from the captured enemy stuck with me for years after I'd read the two sentence blurb underneath the cover photo In my mind I built up a fairly comprehensive idea of what such a book would be like a thought provoking exploration of the contradictions inherent in being revolted at the debasement of ones own species for the purpose of warfare even as one set about transforming sentient creatures into mindless combat drones It seemed like a cool idea to me at time time and a logical thematic thrust given the story's Cold War vintage It was also completely and utterly wrongInstead The Dragon Masters is yet another irritating example of something seemingly endemic to science fiction stories of a certain vintage it takes an absolutely brilliant central conceit and then proceeds to do absolutely nothing with it Yes this is a story in which men and reptiles genetically engineer each other into hideous mutants bred for combat but this thematically rich material is little than a background detail used to justify having the humans ride around on dragons and fight one another In a book where people could be spending their time warring with a race of space faring reptiles we instead get a land dispute between one arrogant human prick and another arrogant human this one slightly less prickish Yes Jack Vance has treated us to yet another story about how people need to put aside their differences and stop being bloodthirsty jerks so that they can band together against a common threat I suppose Vance has chosen this as the thematic thrust of his novel he compares man's violent nature to that of the reptiloid Basics who are literally incapable of conceiving of anything being otherwise than destiny declares it but in the end he doesn't develop this idea beyond a half baked notion He tries a similar tact by creating a universe in which whole species are reduced to mindless killing machines but it doesn't ever really come across as anything than a colorful backdrop even though Vance obviously meant it to be the central thrust of his novel It pains me to say it but a book like Shade's Children does the exact same thing far effectivelyPutting aside reservations I have about the book I should say that I actually enjoyed it uite a bit It's slight having only the ghost of a plot but it's readable and the central premise is certainly cool enough to carry such a short book although my copy is a stand alone one this is actually just a novella I wish the battle scenes had been handled with a little detail instead of bland passages describing how one of the types of dragon ran in one direction and attacked another type of dragon but we can't have everything and in any case I'm going to give Vance the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's trying to play the suggestion over explicitness card Things pick up at the end when the human conflict is eclipsed by an invasion of the reptiles but we're unfortunately never given any sort of access to the thoughts of the alien creatures For that matter the relationship between the humans and their dragon slaves is pretty poorly fleshed out too despite the fact that there's a wealth of material there worth exploitingIn the end this is a good book and an obviously influential one At the same time however it never feels like anything than a brief sketch for a much richer work that Vance never got around to writing