Jack Vance - Space Opera - 10

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Jack Vance - Space Opera - 10

Postby clong » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:31 pm

Space Opera

Cannot. Stop. Laughing. This book is so funny on so many levels I cannot begin to do it justice in a short review.

Vance was told to write a book called Space Opera, and a book about space opera is what he produced, telling the adventures of a company that sets out to bring Wagner and Rossini et. al. to the great unwashed alien masses, with rather mixed results. As our slacker hero and his stereotyped companions speed their way around the galaxy (traveling faster than “the speed of thought,” we are repeatedly reminded) they encounter plot complications every bit as ridiculous as those found in the librettos they present, in a tongue and cheek send up of the entire sub-genre.

The ending feels rather tacked on, in an “Oh, I reached the contractually required word count, let’s get this in the mail so I can get my paycheck” kind of way that is unfortunately not unique in Vance’s output. But who am I to quibble with shortcomings in a work of comedic genius that sadly I, as a Jack Vance fan who happens to manage a professional symphony orchestra, may be uniquely able to appreciate.

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clong
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Re: Jack Vance - Space Opera - 10

Postby Omphalos » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:26 pm

I think that this is one of the novels that Vance worked out with Herbert when their families moved to Mexico for a year or two. Ill have to look in my books about Herbert, but I'm pretty sure that's right.

Either that or it's one of the stories he, Herbert and Anderson worked out while they were building Herbert's yacht in Hawai'i.
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Re: Jack Vance - Space Opera - 10

Postby MidasKnight » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:49 am

Interesting that this is not a 9 based on the truncation you disliked.
In the 60’s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
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Re: Jack Vance - Space Opera - 10

Postby clong » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:30 pm

I guess that I apply different standards to a parody than I would a more serious effort... :mrgreen:
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