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About the Author

The author was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California, first as a mining engineer, then majoring in physics and finally in journalism. During the 1940s and 1950s, he contributed widely to sf and fantasy magazines. His first novel, The Dying Earth, was published in 1950 to great acclaim. Since then he has won both of sf's most coveted trophies, the Hugo and Nebula awards; he has also won an Edgar Award for his mystery novel The Man in the Cage. He lives in California in a house he designed.

Reviews

The spacefaring adventures of Myron Tany and his shipmates aboard the starship Glicca provide a vehicle for a series of picaresque escapades across the galaxy. Sf Grand Master Vance demonstrates his talent for creating exotic and sometimes bizarre cultures that offer ironic commentary on the excesses and foibles of human society. The author's arch prose and dry humor have won him an avid following. A good, though not necessary, purchase for most libraries.

`Grand yarn-spinning'
Kirkus Reviews

`Vance at his most effortless and pleasant: a romp'
American Library Association
On Night Lamp:

`Buy it. It's cheaper and at least as exotic as two weeks in the sun'
Financial Times

`The quintessential Vance novel. Rush out and buy this glorious book'
Interzone

`Night Lamp yields rich rewards in its humorous complexities'
Publishers Weekly

Classic space opera is alive and kicking in this latest interstellar spree from Vance (Night Lamp), who turns 82 this year. In the far future, young Myron Tany seems destined to be a misty-eyed dreamer, pining away for interstellar intrigue, until his rich and eccentric great-aunt, Dame Hester, gains ownership of the space yacht Glodwyn and pushes Myron into the captain's chair. The stresses of family relationships prove too difficult, however, and Hester soon kicks Myron out on his own, forcing him to sign on as a majordomo for the cargo ship Glicca. As one of a hearty and fearless crew, Myron begins the education that makes him a sailor of the spaceways, learning how to placate difficult passengers, romance women of exotic worlds and make it back aboard ship with his purse intact. While his future is unclear at the novel's end, Myron has grown into a confident and capable fellow, if not exactly a swashbuckler. Readers who demand a complicated, hard-science milieu might find Vance's narrative occasionally too chauvinistic, or too simple, or just too plain silly, but this jaunty, politically incorrect tale provides first-rate escapist entertainment. (Apr.)

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