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Araminta Station is a long book, and it is very "Jack Vance. Permanent population is strictly limited to the descendents of 6 original administrators -- 20 males and 20 females in each of the 6 "Agency" families. Over the years some allowances have been made for permanent staff, servants, tourists and tourist facilities, "compatible" economic development like small-scale win Araminta Station is a long book, and it is very "Jack Vance. Over the years some allowances have been made for permanent staff, servants, tourists and tourist facilities, "compatible" economic development like small-scale wineries, etc.

The society itself is rigidly divided into classes -- a Jack Vance specialty. Class interaction follows strict social rules. If you can get "into it," this is part of the fun. The book plots and sub-plots involve murder, class struggle, family rivalries and betrayal, a brewing inter-species revolt, etc. The book itself is more than pages long. I first read it about 10 years ago.


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At the time I remarked to my wife that the beginning of the book was interesting, but it didn't really draw me in until I got past the first hundred pages. One of the benefits of re-reading it was being able to appreciate the way that those first hundred pages were setting the scene for later conflicts. This book is the first of a three book series -- the Cadwal Chronicles.

The second book is much shorter, and the third book is even shorter. My only real complaint is that this first book, Araminta Station, ends on a new cliff-hanger not really set up in the book. It could easily have been saved for the beginning of the second book, and the first book would have been a more satisfying read. I don't think I'd recommend this to a person who had not read anything else by jack Vance -- start with The Last Castle or the Dragon Masters -- but if you like Jack Vance, you will probably really like Araminta Station.

Araminta Station has less of the wordplay that makes so many Vance books great fun to read. That's not to say it's not classic Vance - there are strict societies, dispassionate characters, and alien landscapes galore. But the verbiage is somewhat tamer than in other books. At the same time, Vance focuses more on the detective aspect than usual.


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In short, this is an excellent SF crime mystery handled with Jack Vance style and panache. The hero, Glawen Clattuc, is more approachable and 'normal' th Araminta Station has less of the wordplay that makes so many Vance books great fun to read. The hero, Glawen Clattuc, is more approachable and 'normal' than many Vance protagonists, but true normality is reserved for Eustace Chilke, a supporting character.

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This book establishes the setting of the Cadwal Conservancy a protected planet and the pressures it faces. However, the scale of the story is mostly focused on Glawen and his struggles with rivals, love, and society. It's probably more of a 3. CVIE edition View 2 comments. Jul 04, TJ rated it it was amazing. Araminta Station is a page novel by Jack Vance that was first published in It is much longer than most of his novels and is a later works written when he was at the peak of his talents. It is also the first novel of three that comprise the Cadwal Chronicles.

This the second time I've carefully read this novel and have found it to be the best of the three in the series and one of Vance's finest.

ISBN 13: 9780312930448

It is fascinating, intriguing and one of Vance's better novels. I look forward to reading ag Araminta Station is a page novel by Jack Vance that was first published in I look forward to reading again in a year or two. The setting is the distant future, mostly on the planet Cadwal. Old Earth continues to exist and can be readily visited. Cadwal is a planet in the Gaean Reach that was discovered by the Naturalist Society of Earth years previously. Now it is managed by the Naturalist Society under a Charter that has maintained the planet as somewhat of a natural preserve, mostly undeveloped.

It is managed by a Conservator plus six bureaus or families of 40 persons each total who reside at Araminta Station on the continent of Deucas. Each bureau or house is composed of the descendents of families that are descendents of the original six administrators hundreds of years ago.

A rigorous social rating or caste system has been established so that only those who score the best low scores or "index numbers" are better are considered for possible appointment to one of the bureaus. Once a person turns 21 he or she may be granted "Agency status" as a member of one of the six bureaus if they have a good enough rating, if there is an opening and if they pass an exam. There is a person limit men and women so most persons at the age of 21 end up becoming "collateral" with almost no authority, minimal prestige and much less opportunity for employment or advancement.

Persons who become collateral remain members of the Naturalist Society. Many of them move to a colony called Stroma on the continent of Throy or leave the planet entirely. Persons accepted into the bureau remain in the house of their birth and are considered Cadwal Agents. The Conservationists want to adhere strictly to the Charter and keep Cadwal as a preserve.

The LPFers many who are collaterals and reside on Stroma do not want to follow the Charter and advocate reform by which they mean additional settlements or estates for themselves and allowing the Yips to move to Deucas on a permanent basis. Laborers are not included in this limit of people, and most of the labor is done by Yips. Yips are described as being tall, blonde haired, and biologically very similar to other people but appear unable to interbreed with other humans. Yips were brought to Cadwal as workers and most of them live on Lutwin Atoll in a city called Yipton.

They can sign up to temporary work at Araminta Station for six month periods but are not allowed to live anywhere else on the planet. Yiptown has now become a tourist attraction and is ruled by the leader of the Yips called the "Oomphaw. There are rumors that the Yips want to take over Araminta Station and the continent of Deucas, the most habitable of three continents on the planet because of its temperate climate. Conservationists want to send most or all of the Yips to another planet for resettlement. LPFers want to allow the Yips to expand and settle on the Deucas and elsewhere even though this would probably mean an end to the natural preserve, with Cadwal eventually becoming like any other planet.

Bureau B. The Bureau also tries to insure that Yips do not have advanced weapons or airships, but there is evidence that Yips have been stealing weapons and parts to assemble a combat airship. The assumption is that they are attempting to arm themselves in order to invade Araminta Station and all of the Deucas continent. Much of the initial story involves Glawen's growing up as a teenager in this culture, striving and competing to obtain Agency status while being infatuated with several girls and dealing with a few adversaries.

He joins Bureau B and is involved in an elaborate on and off world investigation after his girlfriend suddenly disappears during a festival and is thought to have been kidnapped and murdered. This leads to his becoming a captive of a bizarre religious cult on another planet where he is kept in an ancient tomb and expected to help repopulate the religious cult by breeding with the women there, all of the cult men having become infertile.

Araminta Station by Jack Vance - Books - Hachette Australia

Glawen escapes after six months of confinement only to find that his father is either dead or imprisoned. This promises to lead to another adventure in the sequel novel Ecce and Old Earth. In Araminta Station and the other Cadwal Chronicles technological and scientific explanations are very minimal so they are science fiction mostly because they involve different planets and is in the distant future. They are among the few Vance novels where a woman Wayness Tamm plays a very important role both in her romance Glawen and in the action and plot.

In the next two novels in the series she even takes the lead role at times and her character continues to be developed portraying her as intelligent, tenacious, competent and independent. Araminta Station is an action packed novel, brimming with police investigations, detective work, mystery, social satire, and creative descriptions of different people, cultures and planets world building along with many characters and much more character development than we usually find in shorter Vance novels.

Although I found it very engaging, the novel is dense with details so that for full appreciation careful reading is necessary and repeated readings continue to unveil interesting complexities. This adds depth to the sociological, psychological and anthropological aspects of the novel while making the investigative and detective aspects of the story even more fascinating.

Araminta Station is an excellent novel by one of our great science fiction writers. It can be read as a stand alone novel, but the saga continues in two more volumes that are worth reading, although not up to the same level. Araminta Station is long, complex and detailed so would probably not be a good choice for a person new to the writings of Vance. Sep 12, Andrew Hamblin rated it it was amazing Shelves: jack-vance-books-i-ve-read.

Araminta Station is the quiet administrative center of the Cadwal Conservancy, which encompasses the entire planet of Cadwal. A small number of families provide the human resources to staff the various bureaus established by the Cadwal Charter, an ancient document prepared by the Naturalist Society of Old Earth, that functions as their Constitution. People are chosen for this relatively small number of positions according to their Status Index; this is affected by lineage, academic achievement a Araminta Station is the quiet administrative center of the Cadwal Conservancy, which encompasses the entire planet of Cadwal.

People are chosen for this relatively small number of positions according to their Status Index; this is affected by lineage, academic achievement and other circumstances. Those who fail to qualify become "collaterals", who work at less prestigious jobs, sometimes off-planet. These extended families live together in sprawling ancestral homes, and each family more or less adheres to their specific familial stereotype.

At some point in the past, the possibly-human race of Yips were introduced for menial labor. Yips that are not working for the conservationists are relegated to Yipton, an overcrowded tropical island. Their aim is to settle on the mainland, which is counter to the Charter, though a faction of Naturalists resident on the planet are sympathetic to their plight.

Our hero is the young Glawen Clattuc, who begins the book as a teenager. He's smart, hardworking and resourceful, morally upstanding and often lovestruck. In other words, a Vance protagonist. Vance takes this peaceful setting and plops in a tale of murder, intrigue, and revenge. As with most Vance SF, technology is downplayed right out of existence. People come and go from the spaceport on space yachts, but they still telephone each other from land lines. Keep in mind this book was written in , when cellular phones were already a reality: Vance must have ignored this development as it didn't fit into his bucolic vision.

This book has a satisfying ending but still plants the seeds for the rest of the series. Favorite quotes: "This is a likely beast! It may be a good and proper act; still I am a careful man and I desist, because I would forfeit your assistance out here among these strange people and strange noises. How large would she seem at such a distance? The size of an atom? The problem became interesting. Glawen went below and calculated. Wayness, standing a hundred light-years away, would appear as large as a neutron at a distance of twelve hundred and fifty yards.

The book takes an unexpected turn about halfway through, when the action inexplicably moves away from the intrigues, infighting, and politics of planet Cadwal. The protagonist, Glawen Clattuc, travels with a reluctant subordinate on a long investigation into various criminal activities. The bulk of this excursion, from the departure at the spaceport until Glawen's inevitable discovery of the criminals, is extraneous to the story and not terribly interesting to read, and during this hundred page The book takes an unexpected turn about halfway through, when the action inexplicably moves away from the intrigues, infighting, and politics of planet Cadwal.

The bulk of this excursion, from the departure at the spaceport until Glawen's inevitable discovery of the criminals, is extraneous to the story and not terribly interesting to read, and during this hundred page expanse the book's energy dwindles to a standstill. Vance frequently engages in digressions of story and various wandering journeys of the characters, usually very enjoyably, but in this case it doesn't work.

The problem appears to be that the otherwise-engaging Glawen is saddled with this reluctant subordinate, who does nothing but resist his actions and thinking, and so is only a burden for Glawen, the story, and the reading. In every other single way this is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Glawen manages to combine mildly sardonic wit with an earnestness of character, unusual problem-solving, and competence at his trade, which is a melding of the best parts of Vance's usual protagonists. The verbal sparring is delightful to read, as always. The plot wanders a bit but fills the book, and the resolution to all the mysteries are satisfying. Finally, the society of Araminta Station itself, the derivation of the ancient Naturalist Society Charter, is an intriguing exploration of the results of a constrained law of the settlement, and the intrigues for the right for permanent residence is an interesting undercurrent to the book.

I always enjoy reading it and I think it is certainly in my top ten of favourite Jack Vance books. On reading it again I think it deserves five stars. The author creates interesting worlds and Glawen Clattuc is one of the author's more sympathetic main characters. Jan 12, Roddy Williams rated it it was amazing Shelves: murder-mystery , science-fiction. The first in another trilogy by Vance The Cadwal Chronicles , this one set on the planet Cadwal, orbiting a star in what is known as the Wisp. As is common with Vance, we follow the fortunes of a young man in this case Glawen Clattuc growing up in a society with both advantages and injustices.

Cadwal is, because of its natural beauties, its diverse landscapes and complex biosphere, a kind of planet-sized nature reserve and is held in trust by a society of Conservators, whose charter promises p The first in another trilogy by Vance The Cadwal Chronicles , this one set on the planet Cadwal, orbiting a star in what is known as the Wisp. Cadwal is, because of its natural beauties, its diverse landscapes and complex biosphere, a kind of planet-sized nature reserve and is held in trust by a society of Conservators, whose charter promises preservation of the planet's natural resources, along with its pre-sentient races.

The conservators therefore restrict the number of humans living on the planet and employ temporary immigrant labour in the form of Yips, inscrutable blonde-haired humans who appear to have diverged slightly on the evolutionary route. The Yips, however, appear to have settled in, and are expanding their settlements. Vance is at his most Dickensian in this novel, where grotesques abound.

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Apart from his father, who appears to be relatively well-balanced and sane, his family is a little monstrous; particularly his scheming social climber of an aunt, Spanchetta, and her loathsome son, Arles. Glawen joins his father in 'Bureau B' which is, to all intents and purposes, a local police unit and is given various missions to accomplish. Arles is part of a club of young men who style themselves 'The Bold Lions' and are limited to a membership of eight. They dress in ceremonial lion costumes and are required to conform to the Bold Lions Manifesto and to learn a series of esoteric roars and growls.

To add further to this baroque atmosphere Floreste's Mummers, a travelling theatrical troupe, are based on Cadwal but take their performances on tour throughout the planets of the Gaean Wisp. This is no idyllic paradise, however, and when Glawen's girlfriend herself a performer with the Mummers is murdered, tendrils of corruption begin to emerge.

Vance's history as a crime writer serves him well here, since there is a sense of baroque noir surrounding Bureau B and Glawen's clandestine assignments. Plots strands are left open for the next two books in the trilogy. So this is what happened when Jack Vance took the opportunity to stretch out a little Most of his novels are short, their strengths are obvious but they tended to leave me wanting a little more.

Nearly five hundred pages in length, Araminta Station was certainly that. Regrettably I can't say it was all the better for it. Cadwal is a conservatory planet run by an incestuous cadre of families of ancient lineage. Vance never admits it outright but centuries of inbreeding has hardly done much to be So this is what happened when Jack Vance took the opportunity to stretch out a little Vance never admits it outright but centuries of inbreeding has hardly done much to benefit the gene pool. Pretty much everybody has a screw loose. What starts out as a family feud morphed into an offbeat murder mystery before something altogether more sordid takes place.

The characters appear too flippant and perverse to be considered dangerous. Just the same they are. As perverse as anyone are the Yips, a golden-skinned subspecies of humanity who mostly perform the role of servants, albeit untrustworthy ones. Shameless thieves and inveterate liars, I met trying to pretend that Vance hadn't racially modelled them after the Chinese, despite the obvious hints. Also central to the rambling plot are the Bold Lions, a fraternity drinking club "a driving hell-for-breakfast bunch who always come out on top, and devil take the hindmost!

The novel is full of incredibly wild and wonderful cultural detail, including footnotes on all manner of subjects, such as the symbology of "wait times. Up until the length of the usual Jack Vance novel that is. The longer it went on the less entertaining it became, the endless succession of oddball encounters and conversations and began to grate, particularly the extended episode spent in the company of the Monomantic religious cult.

By the end I was convinced that Vance had spent a little bit too much time out on his sailing boat and developed a touch of sunstroke. Mar 10, Rjyan rated it really liked it. Oh man this is an outrageous book. Those aren't actual quotes, btw, just a sloppy characterization. The story here is a total page-turner of a thrilling political space epic-slash-comedy of interplanetary manners, full of Oh man this is an outrageous book.

The story here is a total page-turner of a thrilling political space epic-slash-comedy of interplanetary manners, full of subtle twists and laced throughout with dry, dark humor. Vance is a treasure.

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The human culture depicted in this book is bleak af. Of course, this was published 30 years ago, and like my boy Francis I says, our personal guilt is the large part of our eagerness to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Very odd in fact. I've read a few Jack Vance books in the distant past, and I don't remember them being this odd! The society of conservators is highly stratified and very formal, and this leads to the people in the book also being very formal. The dialogue reads Odd. The dialogue reads like something out of an F Scott Fitzgerald novel, it's incredibly stilted and people converse in full rather than talk to each other in the way that conversation is normally written e.

This dialogue gives a really archaic feeling despite the fact it's set far in the future. They are either idealised Wayness, Sessily or demonised Spanchetta, leader of the Monomantic cult , and really there are no women in the book who are as completely drawn as Glawen, Kirdy or Arles.

Shelves: science-fiction-fantasy. Shows its age. The good: the characters are members of families who are guardians of a planet that has been declared the equivalent of a wilderness area. No immigration, no commercial enterprises except in restricted places: airport, visitor's lodge.

An interesting read for these reasons. The bad: It read like the dialogue sounded in 70's Kung-Fu Movies. Inappropriate use of exclamation in the middle of a paragraph of dialogue. The frequent statements I am an X! Even off planet in areas that have never heard of the families the expectation is that you have heard of his family.

Modern communications have certainly passed it by--they us telephones and radios. Not a lot of science. He basically took a nepotistic, family-based governing system and plopped it in outer space. I followed the central character through the book but never felt I knew him. Jan 13, Samantha rated it really liked it. I really expected to struggle with this book but I didn't. It isn't like other sci fi aka laid full of jargon and background world building that has nothing to do with the plot. Instead there were likable characters, a gripping interplanetary murder mystery and a believable location.

A very entertaining piece of sci fi. Apr 30, Ted rated it really liked it. Based upon the cover illustration alone, I did not expect to travel to a distant world and find myself in an extended homage to Jane Austen. Still, as an Austen fan, I found the discourse either engaging and delightfully frothy, or truly representative of an author without interpersonal social skills.

And the plot -- for the story was but some of a life -- was suitably interesting. Apr 22, Bob rated it it was ok Shelves: fantasy. This is my first Jack Vance book, and I was really expecting to like it, but was disappointed. It's okay, and comes to a satisfactory conclusion, but I almost gave up a couple times at the dry, boring storyline and the odd, ponderous dialogue.

Near Fine in Fine dust jacket. First Edition Thus. First UK edition.

The first volume of the Cadwal Chronicles. Fine copy [but cheap text paper tanning] in Fine Dust Wrapper. Portland, Oregon, U. First Edition. Fine in fine dust jacket.. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. First Printing. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed. Slightly bruised upper rear corner else a fine copy in fine dustjacket.

Cover art by Boris Vallejo. Tor Books. New English Library, Hardcover Original Cloth. This is the first UK edition. Size: Octavo standard book size. Text body is clean, and free from previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting. Binding is tight, covers and spine fully intact. All edges clean, neat and free of foxing. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilogram. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request.

Inventory No: Hard Back. Mild shelf wear to unclipped DJ. Book has light rubbing to edges, inside is pristine - looks unread. Collectible condition.. Hard Cover. First Edition; First Printing. Spatterlight Press. First Edition First Printing. Very Good in Near Fine dust jacket.


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First trade edition. New York: TOR , First printing. Small abrasion from sticker removal on free front endpaper, slight concavity to spine; traces of toning to jacket. First edition. Fine in a fine dustwrapper. New york: Tor Books. Fine in Fine dust jacket.

Cover Art; This book is in Fine condition and has a Fine dust jacket. The cover art illustration is by Boris Vallejo.