Book Review – “The Kragen” by Jack Vance

I love reading science fiction but tend to stick to a few authors. Fortunately I have an older brother who not only spreads me to further fields but reminds me of old pastures that still hold great value.

The Kragen certainly did that. I’ve read and enjoyed Jack Vance before but had read neither this novella or the novel “Blue World” that it was later expanded into. Thank you, Graeme, for reminding me of Vance’s quality. I’ll now have to ferret out some further gems.

The Kragen was out of print for many years until this recent (2007) edition from the small Subterranean Press, who seem to produce some quality volumes.

The Kragen is set on a world entirely without land, where the people feed King Kragen to keep him happy and content to shield them from the smaller Kragen. From there Vance explores a number of interesting themes. The world is certainly a believable one.

I found it well written, readable, well paced and enjoyable. A marvelous, light read, everything I want from a novella.


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