I ordered this back in January and it has finally made its way to the shores of Barbados. I’ll probably drive to the shipping agents to get it later today.

Of the three works included I’ve read two: ‘Emphyrio’ and ‘The Domains of Koryphon’ (aka ‘The Gray Prince’). Both are superb, particularly the former, which in my view is a masterpiece of literature. ‘The Gray Prince’ has an interesting take on colonialism which I keep considering but find difficult to decide about.

In fact, Vance’s politics (assuming you can discern them from his books) are somewhat slippery and hard to grasp. One minute he seems a libertarian, then a conservative (even reactionary), then something else altogether. Despite the fantastic elements, his work is complex and strange and so captures something of reality, just as convincingly as any non-genre fiction can, and often more so.

I can’t wait to read ‘The Languages of Pao’ which I have wanted to get my hands on for years, it being one of Vance’s most celebrated novels and famous for exploring the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that words make the world.

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