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I write this as the second volume of the adventures of Anthony Villiers nears completion. Looking for an analogue to this roman fleuve in the mainstream, I come up with A Dance to the Music of Time, perhaps Men of Good Will, definitely NOT Jalna. Twenty-eight-year-old Mr. Panshin's credentials for the undertaking are impressive. He is the author of one fine and solidly classical sf novel, Rite of Passage; he was the recipient of a "Hugo" award from the World Science Fiction Convention in 1967 for his critical writing over the previous year; he recently published the first full-length study of Robert Heinlein, Heinlein in Dimension; his short stories have appeared in Analog, If, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Galaxy.
What follows is a gallery of gamblers, duels and double-crosses, a minuet of manners and manners mangled; the machinery of the universe is speculated upon; inspector generals arrive to inspect it. And Anthony Villiers, gentleman par excellence, dashes through it all, buckling a swash or two, bungling a couple of others.
If you consider it impolite to strike up an acquaintance with someone you have notbeen formally introduced to, well--consider the introduction made.
New York, April 1968