Read pianeta d acqua by Jack Vance Maurizio Gavioli Ferruccio Alessandri Online


Sul “pianeta d’acqua” la morte è sempre in agguato. La sua insolita popolazione, costituita dagli scampati al naufragio di un’astronave terrestre, si è ormai adattata alla durezza dell’ambiente. Resta però il pericolo principale: i Kragen, mostruosi abitatori degli abissi. Di uno di loro, adorato come un dio, la colonia è schiava. Per liberarsi dalla servitù nei confrontiSul “pianeta d’acqua” la morte è sempre in agguato. La sua insolita popolazione, costituita dagli scampati al naufragio di un’astronave terrestre, si è ormai adattata alla durezza dell’ambiente. Resta però il pericolo principale: i Kragen, mostruosi abitatori degli abissi. Di uno di loro, adorato come un dio, la colonia è schiava. Per liberarsi dalla servitù nei confronti della bestia saranno necessari sofferenza, coraggio e armi costate sudore e sangue. Ma ne varrà la pena: la meta finale è la conquista di un mondo.In appendice a questa edizione è incluso il racconto Il Kragen (1964), sulla base del quale Vance ha costruito Pianeta d’acqua.Copertina di Franco Brambilla...

Title : pianeta d acqua
Author :
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ISBN : 10363371
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 347 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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pianeta d acqua Reviews

  • mark monday
    2019-04-05 20:52

    by the numbers Jack Vance novel. and by by the numbers I mean:☑ excellent world-building that creates a complex society, a compelling history for that society, and a richly imagined alien planet complete with fascinating plants and animals, all done with a typically impressive Vancean economy of words;☑ a brisk narrative that still feels calm and careful, one that slowly builds towards a vaguely libertarian rejection of all forms of coercive authority, whether from idiot humans or the idiot squid-monster known as King Kragen;☑ a sardonic and taciturn protagonist who chafes and burns at the arrogance and small-mindedness of others while making sure his temper doesn't get the best of him;☑ dryly ironic humor at the expense of human nature:☞ the colonists of The Blue World are descended from escaped convicts who fled the Earth; the names within their caste/professional system are based on a complete misunderstanding of their ancestors' various crimes (e.g. "Smugglers" boil varnish, "Malpractors" pull teeth, and our hero is from the "Hoodwink" caste which is responsible for communication between villages);☛ the highly chauvinist dating/mating/marrying rituals of this society involve men "testing" various women who are interested in them before finally settling on the one who "tests" the best. you can probably guess what "testing" actually means. our hero is surprised to find himself attracted to an independent young miss who refuses to be tested, despite his polite suggestion that he would be quite willing to test her (well, as soon as the lady he is testing later that evening leaves in the morning). the rebellious young miss demands a marriage proposal with no testing taking place beforehand! he finds this both outlandish and oddly fascinating. and she also has some strange ideas about the supposed nobility of their society's ancestors...all in all: a good job by Vance, per usual.

  • Rhys
    2019-04-01 20:55

    An astounding Jack Vance novel that isn't part of a series. His best 'standalone' book is generally reckoned to be *Emphyrio* but I think *The Blue World* is just as good, maybe even better... For one thing the setting is more compelling and original: a planet entirely covered by an ocean where the survivors of a spaceship crash live on gigantic lilypads and communicate with each other via semaphore towers.It is clear from the outset that the settlers who have evolved a simple but pleasant society on this world are the descendants of criminals who were on their way to a penal colony before they took over the spaceship that was transporting them and made a forced landing on a new world. This fact has been forgotten after twelve generations and 'Hooligan', 'Bezzler' and 'Hoodwink' etc have become official caste titles.The main impediment to the enjoyment of a relative utopia on the peaceful lilypads is the presence of a voracious sea creature that lives in the ocean and regularly raids the 'sponge arbours' of the individual floats. These beasts are called kragen and one is larger and more vicious than the others: King Kragen has somehow become a god who can be appeased with offerings, much to the disgust of a certain Sklar Hast, assistant hoodwink master, who slowly develops a plan to kill King Kragen and liberate his people... But he is opposed by the reactionary intercessors who have a vested interest in preserving the status quo...*The Blue World* is Vance at his best -- libertarian, adventurous, charming, funny, original, beautifully written science fantasy (as opposed to SF or plain fantasy) taken to the ultimate.

  • TJ
    2019-04-04 02:58

    The Blue World, first published in 1966, is the 46th Vance novel I've read recently, and I thought it was one of his better ones even though it does not seem as interesting and thought provoking as some of his truly great novels. The Blue World should appeal to many general readers and not merely to Vance fans. It appears to be a very popular Vance novel, and there are plenty of detailed reviews already written, so I will keep discussion of the plot itself relatively brief. Vance is often at his very best when he creates new worlds, sometimes futuristic ones, often on other planets. They might involve a traveler who visits various planets or different cultures on the same planet. Sometimes, as in the case of The Blue World, it involves people who came from a technologically advanced society who are now marooned, abandoned or simply out of contact with previous knowledge. Usually these tales are infused with wit, irony, social psychological insights and many cultural anthropological issues. Frequently they involve philosophy, religions, manners, customs and various unusual or even bizarre cognitions, behaviors and environments. Sometimes our laws of physics are changed or telepathic or other unusual forces are introduced. Vance invariably constructs these worlds with a masterly use of language and amazing imagination and creativity. In The Blue World we have one such fascinating world.In this stand alone novel Vance introduces a water world society of people whose ancestors, from a highly scientifically advanced society, crash landed on the planet twelve generations ago. There is no land in this water world, only small island like pads of plants where simple homes are built. Each pad uses a communication tower to send signals to other pads. For 150 years the residents have provided food for and even worshipped an intelligent, giant sea monster like creature called a kragen, naming this one "King Kragen." There are different castes of people who have various jobs and status. These include "Hooligans," "Bezlers," "Hoodwinks," "Advertisermen," and "Intercessors." The "Intercessors" are a priestly caste who coordinate the worship, feeding and activities surrounding King Kragen. They communicate with the creature through underwater sound waves and other secret means which might include telepathy. This kragen is now huge and protects the people from smaller kragens who try to steal their food source, mainly cultivated sponges surrounded by netting. In addition to eating much of their food supply, King Kragen also will not allow people to make sea voyages and will attack the person or property of those who speak ill of him or otherwise anger him. Most of the citizens are content with things as they are, although there is resentment that the Intercessors do not do much work, live in comparative luxury and consider themselves superior.Mril Rohan is a very independent, resourceful and irreligious citizen who objects to the tyranny of King Kragen and decides to act on his on behalf when King Kragen fails to protect his sponge garden from an invading smaller kragen. His attempts at protecting his property bring him into direct conflict with tradition, the Intercessors who see their authority challenged and with King Kragen himself. Thus begins a very enjoyable, easy to read novel that should have widespread appeal. It might not be up there with some of Vance's really great novels, but it is certainly well worth reading. My rating 4

  • Evan Leach
    2019-03-28 22:50

    Do not be fooled by the cheesiness of this book’s cover, friends. I am ashamed to admit that, in the hubris of youth, I used to walk past Jack Vance’s novels at the used bookstore, smirking at the dated little novels with the goofy cover art. And my copy is apparently not even the cheesiest version of this book…check out this number:Fortunately, I eventually saw the light and learned that I was oh so wrong. Behind these campy covers is some of the best prose you will find in sci-fi/fantasy (or indeed anywhere). Vance is in my personal holy trinity of sci-fi/fantasy prose writers along with Tolkien and T.H. White, which should come to no surprise to anybody who’s ever read his crisp, flawless writing. Vance’s books tend to be short, often under 200 pages, but that’s just because they don’t have an ounce of fat on them and Vance rarely wastes so much as a single word. This is my sixth Vance book (although my first stand alone novel) and he hasn’t let me down yet.The Blue World is set on an aquatic planet where the human population live on giant floating “pads” of vegetation. Twelve generations ago, a starship crashed on this nameless world and the survivors’ descendants have been eking out a low-tech existence ever since. Making matters more difficult is that the humans live at the mercy of a giant sea-monster called a Kragen. This monster eats a lot of the humans’ food, and in exchange it doesn’t eat them. It’s not the greatest arrangement from the humans’ perspective, and Sklar Hast decides to finally do something about it. Unfortunately for Sklar, a significant portion of the human population has grown to worship the Kragen as a god, so Sklar’s efforts to rid humanity of the Kragen threatens to tear apart society itself.Release the Kragen!!!The plot is great and I’ve already made clear how much I enjoy Vance’s style. This book is probably not the easiest to find, but if you see it hanging around at your local bookstore I recommend you take the plunge.* 4 stars.*And if you can’t find it, I highly recommend checking out The Demon Prince series or Dying Earth series, which are currently in print and can be found anywhere. If you enjoy science fiction you’ll be glad you did.

  • Simon
    2019-03-28 19:39

    One is immediately immersered in this strange world and somewhat degenerate human society and then the story of a revolution quickly begins.These people are the descendents of those who fled to this planet escaping from oppression to begin a new life. On this planet devoid of land the world over, only deep blue seas and sporadic floating pads of vegetation that they inhabit, they have revereted to a state of primitiveness, partly due to their lack of metals and other resources, but also due to the ease at which they may subsist on the floats, their thirst for knowledge has disappeared. Their only problems are the sentient yet monsterous sea creatures that roam the seas helping themselves to the people's farmed food whenever they feel like it. Powerless to oppose them, one in particular makes the vicinity it's permanent residence, and grows large and powerful and becomes known as King Kragen. I loved the way that they so venerated their ancestors for having the gumption to escape tyranny and leave for a new home while at the same time clinging so devoutly to the tyranny of the King Kragen.This story is an allogory for every subjegated peoples ever. There will always be those who simply want a peaceful life, those who want freedom no matter what the cost and those who benefit from the subjegation, who's positions of power rely on the tyranny itself. A fascinating exploration of the moral dilemas laid bare when one strives for freedom. Does the end justify the means? Is it best to live on subjegated but in peace? How many lives are worth sacricing before the price of freedom is too high.All done with Vance's usual eloquence and superb turn of phrase. Reading this has re-invogarated my enthusiasm for his writing. My only criticism is that perhaps it was just a trifle too short; it didn't develop enough upon the protagonist's relationships with his closest companions, nor explore the dreams of his beloved Meron to create a new centre of learning and reinvigorate the people's thirst for knowledge. But this is only minor criticism really, not enough to detract from my verdict that this is a five star classic.

  • Morgan
    2019-04-21 21:38

    (4.5) Jack Vance's punchy style drives you through this hyper-masculine look at control, belief, and social interpretation in society. Despite the trappings of being set on another world with strange alien creatures, this book has more in common with 20th century adventure books than it does with what I expect from the sci-fi genre. It is good fun.

  • Jaro
    2019-04-02 22:43

    Review to come

  • Karl
    2019-04-15 22:05

    This is 81 of 111 signed and numbered copies.

  • Andrew Hamblin
    2019-03-26 18:57

    Twelve generations after a "Ship of Space" bound for a penal planet was overthrown by the prisoners and crashed on an entirely ocean planet, the descendants have established a caste society on floats of essentially giant lily pads. They pay a danegeld of delicious sponges to a giant sea monster, King Kragen, who in return protects them from smaller specimens of his kind. But one man, Sklar Hast, rejects the status quo and polarizes the small population of the planet.This was a great little book. The castes are cute: Hoodwinks communicate between floats using a semaphore of lamps "winked" by removable "hoods"; Swindlers catch ("swindle") fish; Advertisermen (being in advertising is a crime in the future?) handle freediving activities, etc. People make do with limited resources in ingenious ways, although Sklar Hast's group of iconoclasts eventually make technological gains.In typical Vance fashion, the plot is driven by clever characters scheming against each other. Also in typical Vance fashion: the climax is short with no denouement to speak of (you can see the end of the book fast approaching and wonder how things could possibly resolve). But when the "happily ever after" ending arrives, it almost lends the book a fairy tale quality.One of my favorite standalone Vance novels so far.

  • Matthew
    2019-04-12 21:51

    The Blue World by Jack Vanceaka The KragenThe Blue World is a science fiction novel with an interesting setting of a vast, open ocean world without any landmass. The story behind the idea for the book is that, apparently, Frank Herbet discussed his idea for the novel Dune—which is set in a harsh desert world—with Jack Vance prior to its release, and Vance responded by writing the novella, The Kragen, which was then later expanded into this novel.The people of the Blue World live in small colonies on a string of large, lilly-pad like floats, and their lives are terrorised by the giant sea creatures known as kragen, who they worship and respect in an almost god-like way. Life for the people of the floats has remained largely the same since their ancestors first arrived on the Blue World, and—whilst never explicitly stated—Vance continually hints that the people came to the planet when a prison ship crash landed, leaving the survivors stranded. The interesting nomenclature of the various peoples who inhabit the floats is testament to this, with groups of people know as the smugglers, swindlers, malpractors and hoodwinkers, which give a clue as to what their ancestors were on that prison ship for.The story itself focuses on the life of Sklar Hast, a protagonist who, in some ways, is similar to Cugel the Clever, in so much as he shows little emotion and is quite brutal with his actions and words. It becomes apparent early on that he is not happy with the way his fellow people submit to the kragens, and the story revolves around his struggles to convince them to instead stand-up to them. Sklar Hast is first introduced by Vance in the sample below.A relatively young man, Sklar Hast had achieved his status by the simplest and most uncomplicated policy imaginable: with great tenacity he strived for excellence, and sought to instil the same standards into the apprentices. He was a positive and direct man, without any great affability, knowing nothing of malice of guile and little of tact or patience. The apprentices resented his brusqueness but respected him; Zander Rohan considered him overpragmatic and deficient in reverence for his betters – which was to say, himself.The real strong point of The Blue World is the witty and amusing dialogue, particularly between the protagonist, Sklar Hast, and those who oppose his point of view, such as Zandar Rohan in the sample below. People who enjoyed Cugel the Clever, Cugel: The Skybreak Spatterlight or Rhialto the Marvellous, will surely enjoy The Blue World in this regard. Sklar Hast gave Zander Rohan a long slow inspection, as before. He sighed and made his decision. ‘There’s also a passage to the effect that a man shall be Guild-Master only so long as he maintains a paramount proficiency. I challenge not only your right to pass judgment but your rank as Guild-Master as well.’ Silence held the inn. Zander Rohan spoke in a choked voice. ‘You think you can outwink me?’ ‘At any hour of the day or night.’The Blue World is a very entertaining and intriguing novel, and it demonstrates many of Vance's best traits as a writer. It features an intriguing, yet believable fictional world, some very enjoyable dialogue and underneath it all, there is a good science fiction idea there, which is executed very well. This would be a good place to start for those new to Jack Vance's works since it is a short, stand-alone read, and it is a nice blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

  • Roddy Williams
    2019-04-13 03:06

    Vance’s heroes tend to be dour, practical realists, who don’t suffer fools gladly and are often cynical opponents of the hypocrisy of dogma, particularly in relation to politics or religion.Sklar Hast is no exception. Sklar is a hoodwink, i.e., one who winks the hoods of semaphore-esque lamps which are the means of communication between the communities who exist on archipelagos of giant lily pads on a water-covered world. The inhabitants of this world are the descendants of survivors of a prison ship which (the reader is led to believe) was taken over by the prisoners whilst on its way to a penal planet and crash-landed in this watery paradise. Though the descendants carry their ancestor’s felonies as caste names - the hoodwinks, the larceners, the hoodlums, the incendiarists etc - the people of the Blue World have no idea as to the collective nature of their ancestral roots. Vance loves these small details of society, and is one of the few authors who goes to great lengths to create functioning societies, in that hierarchies are defined, customs, trade, industry, professions etc., sometimes, it has to be said, to the detriment of character. Vance’s dialogue is often a little mannered, but somehow it generally melds in with the exotic backgrounds and the richness of detail. Vance makes important points, though. He’s an author very aware of the human capacity for religious need and the human capacity for exploiting that need. In many of his novels the hero sets out to expose a religious leader or figure, who is manipulating or controlling an all too gullible populace for political or financial gain. In this novel, interestingly, Vance looks at a religion-in-the-making. The populace are being encouraged to think of King Kragen - a large semi-intelligent tentacled crustacean - as a form of benign god. They are thus encouraged by the Intercessors - a group of men who have set themselves up as middle-men between the populace and the sea-beast who keeps their settlement free of lesser Kragen in return for tributes of food. It’s a short, but clever novel, funny and intriguing, and yet masks a serious examination of society, hypocrisy, religion and the fallibility of tradition and our deepest beliefs.

  • Daniel
    2019-04-12 22:53

    "The Blue World" was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me, the last important science fiction novel by Jack Vance I had yet to read.It sits among "The Dragon Masters", "The Last Castle" and "The Miracle Workers" as one of the tales of societies in turmoil that Vance wrote during the sixties (perhaps reflecting on his own society in turmoil). It should have stayed a short novel like the other three, because the story loses steam towards the end.By a fortunate chance, I happened to attend an ethnoarchaeology lecture while reading the novel. This put Vance's detailed descriptions of the "material culture" of the floats under a new light! In fact, much of Vance's work could be understood as science-fictional anthropology. The novel displays Vance's penchant for low-tech mechanical contraptions. Derricks! Pulleys! Signal towers! Vance worked in mining as a youth during the Great Depression, maybe he got the taste for them there.The signal towers in particular seem to be inspired by a real world technology, the "semaphore line" or "optical telegraph" (which was used in my country, Spain, during the Carlist Wars).One doesn't close the covers of a Jack Vance novel without having learnt a few words. This time, they were epiphyte and coracle.

  • Metaphorosis
    2019-04-20 03:07

    CVIE editionThe Blue World is an longer version of Vance's novella "The Kragen". They're very similar, though the novel tells the story with a little more finesse. Essentially, Sklar Hast, one among the descendants of a crashed human ship, becomes dissatisfied and runs into trouble with the authorities. So far, standard Vance. Sklar, however, is one of the most appealing and sympathetic of Vance's characters. Not only that, but his love interest, Meril Rohan, is unusually independent. The story itself covers how Sklar and others deal with King Kragen - a giant among the native sea life. King Kragen is clearly intelligent, and it's disappointing that Vance spends virtually no time exploring that aspect of the world - not even the history of how humans and kragen first communicated.The story is in many ways not one of Vance's best, but it is among the most optimistic. Good things consistently happen to good people, and that's unusual in itself in a Vance story.As always, there's great fun with language. In this case, for example, society is stratified by caste, including Hoodwinks (who, naturally, wink hoods), Advertisermen, and Swindlers.Worth a read by anyone, and not a bad place to start with Vance. Non-serious fans won't need to read both this and the novella.

  • Raymond
    2019-04-08 18:50

    What would happen if a group of human beings were stranded on a planet whose surface is almost entirely water? How would they survive and what kind of society would they develop? And what if the water held huge, destructive beasts that need to be mollified with food? That's basically the premise of The Blue World and Jack Vance has created a fascinating setting that's largely believable as well, down to little details such as how the meaning of certain words have changed over time. The book is however somewhat short and unambitious; none of the characters stick out as particularly memorable and it ends exactly as you expect it to. In sum it's one of those books where the setting and premise are far more interesting than the narrative itself.

  • Mohammed
    2019-03-28 18:42

    Another show of quality world building detail,ideas,story,characters by Vance.Not his best written book but themes wise,story wise one of his best ones.The people of the floats,their history,culture and King Kragen was a vivid,fascinating story. The scenery he painted was great too.

  • Alice
    2019-04-23 23:00

    4.5. Hard to put down. It has both hard science fiction elements and a sort of meditative, myth-like quality to the language, which is really nice, and unlike anything else I've read that I can think of. Good story. A great read.

  • Callicles
    2019-03-27 00:00

    Enjoyable enough. Interesting world with a satisfying general plot, yet parts feel cursory and undeveloped.

  • Oscar
    2019-04-19 03:01

    Jack Vance tiene el don de contar historias en las que no sobra ni falta ninguna frase. Sabe lo que quiere contar y cómo contarlo, sin enredarse en descripciones superfluas. Por eso la lectura de sus libros es tan amena.En 'Mundo azul' nos presenta un planeta completamente formado de océanos, sin nada de tierra. Los habitantes de este planeta, antiguos colonos humanos, están divididos en castas: los Embacaudores, los Estafadores, los Publicistas... Viven en enormes hojas flotantes y se comunican mediante señales luminosas entre flotador y flotador.Se dedican a la pesca y a estudiar las antiguas Memorias de su pasado. Todo parece idílico, pero no es así, ya que están sometidos a los continuos ataques de unas bestias, los kragen, que les roban su sustento. Antiguamente, se llegó a un pacto con una de estas bestias, el rey Kragen: a cambio de acabar con otros kragen, se le dejaría pastar a voluntad. Este es el planteamiento de la historia, que recuerda a los relatos de Verne y Melville.'Mundo azul' es una novela con aventuras, muy entretenida y que deja un buen sabor de boca.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-18 19:50

    I totally loved this book. It was a Sci-Fi/Sea Life lovers dream. Also this cover is much cooler than the cover I got. I would love to know more about this author, if anyone knows other books by him let me know.

  • Eggp
    2019-04-24 00:08

    Big fat King Kragenchubby terror of the seafear his mighty girth!

  • Rog Harrison
    2019-04-23 23:56

    I must have read this at least ten times and I always enjoy it.

  • Bevan Audstone
    2019-04-16 18:47

    It's a beauty, now must of read it 10 time, old sci fi theme, independence, get to it ness, Heinlein like personal responsbility. And all in a fantastic Jack Vance world.

  • Tom Uytterhoeven
    2019-04-19 20:03

    Één van de meest teleurstellende Vance verhalenHet verhaal volgt een bekend stramien voor wie al meer las van Jack Vance: een afgezonderde samenleving wordt overheerst door een religieuze kaste, een held bevrijdt zijn (altijd een man) volk hiervan. Maar waar in een aantal andere gevallen Jack Vance dit basisidee met humor en een barok gevoel voor detail uitwerkt, blijft het hier bij een routineus en slechts schetsmatig uitgewerkt geschreven opstel. Jack Vance blijft één van mijn lievelingsauteurs, maar dit werk van hem had ik liever niet gelezen en kan ik alleen maar afraden.

  • Tex-49
    2019-04-23 19:51

    Romanzo interessante sia per l'ambientazione (un pianeta completamente ricoperto d'acqua dove vivono degli esuli terresti, che abitano in villaggi costruiti su megapiante acquatiche di cui utilizzano le varie parti per ogni tipo di utensile) sia per la lotta per la propria libertà contro la dittatura, in questo caso del Re Kragen, ed i suoi lacché.Avventuroso, molto scorrevole e godibile!

  • Almielag
    2019-04-18 22:07

    Fizzled a bit at the end but overall very enjoyable if you like Vance.

  • Massimo Marino
    2019-03-27 02:01

    Blue World has a basic but intriguing theme: a planet populated by the survivors of a space shipwreck, which have to fight for survival, cut off from civilization, and forced to regress to the level of pure survival.Of course, the novel by Jack Vance is not original, countless are the worlds that have had this fate: the forgotten planet of Murray Leinster, Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley and last colonies of Raymond Chandler are just a few of these.But Vance has complicated the lives of his shipwrecked criminals fleeing from their world of origin, making them fall on a planet entirely covered by water, where only the presence of huge floating vegetable (or maybe it’s just a colossal body) allows survival.The plants have their trunks submerged in water, but huge leaves float like water lilies, hosting different forms of life and providing shelter and resources to the humans; the only dangers come from large crustaceans called Kragen, marine predators at the top of the food chain.After several generations, the archipelago where the survivors found shelter is now home to about fifty thousand people, the islands bustle, society is divided into castes that reflect the crimes of the original settlers: embezzlers, arsonists, forgers, thieves, and other categories gave rise to a peaceful society, almost a water Eden.Like any self-respecting Eden, even this one has its Snake, a huge Kragen, twenty meters long, claims to be nourished by the population of the islands in exchange for the protection provided against smaller specimens.Of course, someone found a way to take advantage of the situation, the Intercessors: well situated in the social fabric and live in luxury, whose sole task is to talk to King Kragen and invoke his benevolence, nothing strange that it is in their interest to maintain the status quo.Skalr Hast, a young forger, officer is the communication towers that allow the exchange of messages between the islands, makes the first act of rebellion: he kills a small Kragen who was robbing his cultivation of sponges.This gesture sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of the inhabitants of the islands, divided between obedience to the old master and the desire for freedom.The Blue World is one of the few novels from Vance that is not part of a series. It is a fairly conventional history, whose greatest value lies in the description of the strange society that thrives because of what offers the ocean.The theme of the exploitation of man by an alien race, that Vance uses quite frequently (sometimes reversing the situation), and the action scenes are in the background, prominent is the description of a group of humans who have completely wrong ideas about their ancestors. Fascinating is the way in which the author describes a non-violent society, whose only contact with their origins are books that are difficult to interpret, and yet find the strength to rediscover the pride of being free.We are not bored with endless descriptions of customs and bizarre and unusual social dynamics, or philosophical disputes, Vance does not get lost in too many descriptions, but sweep the portrait of this world with a few clever touches, while the story moves forward with a good pace.We are not, however, in front of one of the masterpieces of the Californian writer, the novel is far too linear and well away from the complexity shown in his other creations.Having said that, Blue World remains a story that is more than enjoyable, that can be read in a couple of sessions, and with pleasure. For fans of Vance a chance not to be missed to read a novel that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten.

  • Michael
    2019-03-26 21:00

    THE BLUE WORLD is an engrossing, exciting and intelligent science-fantasy novel, set on an ocean planet with no landmass. Twelve generations ago, we are told, the Firsts came to the planet as a refuge, and set up home on a series of floating islands, made from reef, coral and other natural substances. Over the years the people have multiplied, and developed their society. Great hoodwink towers on each Float are used to communicate across stretches of sea, and to warn of the proximity of terrible sea-beasts called the Kragen. Over the years the People of the Floats have created religious Intercessors among their number, who have effectively deified one such large beast, King Kragen, and now live in a static society where King Kragen is kept fed and happy, in return for not destroying their floats, and keeping other lesser sea-monsters at bay. The novel tells the story of one man, Sklar Hast, who has tired of feeding King Kragen and is doubting the talents of the Intercessors; he makes an attempt on King Kragen’s life and this results in huge waves of discontent running through the entire society. What follows is a compelling, well-told story of rebellion within a closed society; ostensibly an adventure story about giant sea creatures, the book deals heavily with religion and the veracity thereof, and many of the long meetings of the townspeople are told with zeal and with flawless logic.This is a great little book, with a colourful and exciting world, well-established [if perhaps two-dimensional] characters, great monsters and action, and an intelligent theme throughout. The character names, at first alien, are truly creative to behold; Sklar Hast, Semm Voidervegg, Barquan Blasdel, Emacho Feroxibus, and their slightly archaic style of speech and logical thinking is contagious. The book conjures up some great visual images, and Vance’s writing shines out without being pretentious; the action rolls along, and my only slight criticism is the ending is handled a bit quickly, and leaves a couple of ends dangling. I could have read a whole series set in this world; indeed, I wish I had read this when I was much younger, for it is the sort of story that lights up your imagination.Jack Vance died recently [May 2013], but has left behind a huge shelf-load of imaginative books. If they are all as good as this one, I will be reviewing more soon.8/10

  • David DeMar
    2019-04-26 00:42

    Sometime in the distant past a prison ship crash landed on a planet completely covered in ocean. Their descendants have developed a small but thriving society on floats, akin to gargantuan lily pads growing in the ocean. Unfortunately their society is harassed by a ferocious sea monster with a voracious appetite who is mostly kept at bay through a policy of appeasement.Our hero is Sklar Hast, a hoodwink (communications tower operator), and he has something of a rebellious streak. He has grown tired of being subjected to the demands of the sea monster and makes plans to kill it, much to the chagrin of the powers-that-be who benefit from the status quo.The Blue World has a straightforward plot (no deep or philosophical questions raised here) and likable characters but what really sucked me in was Jack Vance's incredible worldbuilding. Jack Vance has a way with prose and the way he describes life on the floats makes you want to learn more about this alien world. He's even more enticing when a group of rebels leaves their ancestral floats and discovers more floats as they journey across the ocean. The straightforward plot is something of a double edged sword. The characters don't make any huge discoveries about their world and there's no big reveal. Parts of the story also seemed rushed, including the ending. When I was about 5 pages from the end of the book I wondered how everything was going to get wrapped up in such a short stretch.The flaws keep this from being a five star book but it's easily a solid four stars and a fun read.

  • Gardy (Elisa G)
    2019-04-02 00:46

    Pianeta d'Acqua non è certo il libro che ha regalato a Jack Vance la sua notevole fama, ma contiene tutti i suoi pregi e difetti, due facce della medesima scrittura; scorrevole, massiccia, proattiva. Perciò in alcuni passaggi poco riflessiva, poco incisiva, senza introspezione. Ma questi lati negativi si perdonano presto a questo scrittore, uno dei pochi grandi nomi della Fantascienza in grado di valicare i confini del genere, creando qualcosa di molto vicino alla scrittura mainstream, senza snaturare il concetto di "planet story" e della natura votata alla scienza del genere (mi fa sempre sorridere come le parti più "tecniche", che vengono sorvolate dal 90% dei libri di narrativa, costituiscano i passaggi più concitati e avvincenti di questo genere). E se l'idea di un Pianeta d'Acqua non era di certo nuova neppure nel 1966, l'angoscia che procura al lettore moderno la totale mancanza di materiali più duri e pesanti delle ossa umane per gli utensili e le armi rimane a 50 anni di distanza ancora intatta. Un bel romanzo, gradevole senza essere esaltante, che forse pecca un po' di fretta nei confronti del Kragen, il mostro marino da sconfiggere, la cui psiche rimane in un'ombra causata dal cono di luce puntato alla contrapposizione tra la società dogmatica e il protagonista ribelle che riesce a sovverchiarla.

  • Simone Scardapane
    2019-04-07 22:00

    Nel 1965, Vance scrive il racconto "Il Kragen", che neanche un anno dopo verrà ampliato nel ben più celebre romanzo "Pianeta d'Acqua". Con una buffa scelta editoriale, Urania decide di ripubblicarli qui insieme in un unico volume. Ora, se nessuno l'aveva mai fatto prima (come accuratamente esplicitato nell'introduzione al racconto), un motivo ci sarà: a nessuno interessa leggere un romanzo e poi subito dopo la versione alleggerita stile diploma di maturità. Posso capire se fra una scrittura e l'altra fossero passati diversi anni, per osservare la crescita dell'autore: ma con cosi' poco tempo? Sembra che qualcuno abbia tagliato alcune parti per accorciarlo entro un numero minimo di pagine. Mah. Passando al romanzo vero e proprio, è una solida avventura fantascientifica nel classico stile dell'autore. Su un mondo senza nome, seguiamo le avventure dei discendenti di un gruppo di criminali fuggiti diverse generazioni prima dalla Terra (anche se essi credono che i fuggitivi fossero i "puri" del pianeta natio). Su questo mondo la vita fila liscia e tranquilla, se non fosse per un gigantesco mostro marino che minaccia le coltivazioni ed intorno a cui si sta creando una sorta di culto. A tutto questo si opporrà improvvisamente Sklar Hast, deciso ad uccidere il mostro ed a dare al suo mondo la libertà che merita.