Thursday, July 4, 2013

#12 out of 40 — Productive

Finished reading Vance's The Five Gold Bands today. I found this online review by Rich Horton, which I think does a nice job of summarizing the novel's strengths and weaknesses:

"The Five Gold Bands is basically a pure potboiler, with very little classical Vancian charm. It's still quite entertaining, though, and it does have some nice Vance aliens (or modified humans). The hero is Earth-born thief Paddy Blackthorn, who tries to steal some space drives. The secret of the drives is known only to the five Sons of Langtry, each a much-altered human from a different planet, and space drives are doled out very sparingly, especially to the detested Earthmen. Sentenced to death, Paddy manages to escape and kill the Sons, and to steal the title objects which include, treasure hunt fashion, clues to the location of the space drive plans. Paddy becomes the object of an interstellar manhunt, while, with the help of a beautiful Earth agent who gets to him first, he tracks down the space drive plans based on the clues in the bands. It's good fun, if totally unbelievable, and riddled with plot and world-building holes.

While in prose style this book is uncharacteristic of classic Vance, the cultural setup at least hints at later Vance. More interestingly, in this context, the much-altered human types -- different enough to be aliens -- strongly foreshadow the altered humans in The Dragon Masters."
(Rich Horton --

I would add that Paddy's treatment of Fay (the Earth agent) is pretty deplorable.

Fitness goals for the day achieved, including a brainstorming conversation with my girlfriend about my next writing project while we went for a jog.

Day 27 of writing streak. Today's writing was more productive than that of the last few days. 1,000 words and some editing on the current short WIP, as well as completing the fifth pass on the story I've been editing during the last couple of weeks.

Oh, and I got a haircut :-)

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