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Clarges Tapa blanda – 23 marzo 2016
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In the far-future city of Clarges, you can live forever–if you can make the grade. In Clarges, everyone competes for the ultimate prize of immortality. Gavin Waylock lost the live-forever rank of Amaranth when he was accused of murder; now, after seven years in hiding, he begins again the struggle to reach the top. But a strong-willed woman, The Jacynth Martin, is determined to see him fail–and failure means death. SF Grandmaster Jack Vance crafts a classic tale of man against dystopia, rich in intrigue, suspense and dark humor. – Matt Hughes
Clarges, published originally as "To LiveForever", is Volume 10 of the Spatterlight Press Signature Series.Released in the centenary of the author's birth, this handsome new collectionis based upon the prestigious Vance Integral Edition. Select volumes enjoyup-to-date maps, and many are graced with freshly-written forewords contributed by a distinguished group of authors. Each book bears a facsimile of the author's signature and a previously-unpublished photograph, chosen from family archives for the period the book was written. These uniquefeatures will be appreciated by all, from seasoned Vance collector to new reader sampling the spectrum of this author's influential work forthe first time. – John Vance II
Detalles del producto
- Editorial : Spatterlight Press (23 marzo 2016)
- Idioma : Inglés
- Tapa blanda : 218 páginas
- ISBN-10 : 1619470993
- ISBN-13 : 978-1619470996
- Peso del producto : 327 g
- Dimensiones : 15.24 x 1.4 x 22.86 cm
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº31,615 en Ciencia ficción (Libros)
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Set in a far future Earth, the society of Clarges live in a walled city, sheltered from the so called barbarians of the outside world. The novel tackles the issue of what would happen if biology advanced in such a way as to allow immortality among the human race. How could these advancements be used without the world becoming overpopulated? The society of Clarges have developed a system to overcome the horrors of Malthusian overpopulation by providing a Fair-Play Act which rewards hard work and contribution to society with the promise of eternal life for a select few.
Citizens who partake in the Fair-Play Act are divided into five categories referred to as phyles: Brood, Wedge, Third, Verge and Amaranth. When people register as Brood, they essential enter a contract whereby they have a fixed life span. When their time expires they are terminated by assassins. Each successful contribution in their career allows them to progress upward through the various phyles, each of which extends the amount of life they are entitled to. A select few who are very successful reach Amaranth, which grants them immortality and five relicts--essentially clones which can be used in substitute in case death befalls them. The citizens of Clarges do not have to participate in the Fair-Play Act, if they want they can live a normal life and live to the average age. The people who choose this way of life are referred to as Glarks.
It's an interesting idea which Vance develops well to create a unusual atmosphere in Clarges. The citizens are so concerned with their so called slope that they do not have time to live a proper life; always thinking about their ticking lifespan and how they can break into the next phyle. This is summarised nicely by one of the minor characters, Jacob Nile:
"Slope! Slope! Slope!-that's all to be heard in Clarges."
The protagonist of the story is Gavin Waylock, a very typical Vance character; a completely amoral person who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Nevertheless, he is a likeable character who you find yourself wanting to see succeed. Gavin meets an Amaranth women called The Jacynth Martin at Carnervalle--a place were the citizens of Clarges come to blow off steam and forget all about their slope, they come masked as to be equal for a short time. However The Jacynth learns a secret about Gavin's past and thus begins a turn of events which begin to question the very foundations of the society of Clarges.
Clarges is quite a serious novel with very little humour in the dialogue, the following quote is a delightful exception and a glimpse of Vance's later attitude toward character dialogue:
Caddigan looked sidewise at Waylock. "Pladge has become a Whitherer, and now it's all I hear."
"A person who ask 'Whither?'" said Pladge. "It's as simple as that. We've formed an association and we ask 'Whither?' together. You must come to one of our meetings."
In summary, I found Clarges to be a thoroughly enjoyable read, highly recommended to Vance fans
For those new to Vance, I would recommend you begin elsewhere. Perhaps with The Tschai series or The Dying Earth books. This was Vance's first actual novel as The Dying Earth was a fix-up. It is SF of the fantastical variety, not hard SF. It takes place at some indefinite point in the distant future (of Earth? Vance is never explicit about this fact) when the citizens of a city called Clarges have long since discovered a method for immortality. But how to decide who lives and who dies? Well, in typical Vancean fashion this question is explored and answered. The main character is one Gavin Waylock whose past is mysterious and who seems to be new to the intricacies of Clarges. What he sees is a culture of competitive striving, those who wish to add years to their lives never getting a moment's respite. It is ironic as so much of Vance's work is. Since I don't go into plot details in my reviews, I will leave the rest to your imagination. Needless to say, Waylock's story is quite an adventure, as is the world Vance created.
While some reviewers of this book say that Vance's style is muted here, I disagree. I think Vance wrote this book in the style the story required. And don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Vance's style is not apparent here because it most certainly is. If you are curious, give Clarges a try. If nothing else you will find beautiful writing that is so rare in the SF of the 50's. Enjoy!