A. E. van Vogt (1912-2000) was a Canadian-born, prolific science fiction author regarded as one of the most influential science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century, the Golden Age of Science Fiction. His first book, Slan, adapted from the serial Astounding, is one of his most well-known works.
Slanby A. E. van Vogt
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From its first publication as a serial in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in 1940, Slan was acclaimed by readers as one of, if not THE, novel of Golden Age science fiction. Telling the story of Jommy Cross, a young slan, and his quest to discover his father's legacy as well as to find others like him, while fleeing from a repressive dictatorship, Slan was both a ground-breaking SF novel, and perhaps the first Young Adult paranormal adventure.
At the opening of the novel, Jommy is just a kid, but, like all slans, can read minds, which helps Jommy survive when slans are hunted and killed by the government. A novel of racial conflict set in a disrupted culture that delivers relentless action, super science, and high adventure.
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Jommy Cross¿s mom Patricia knew the danger to both of them if they were discovered as Slans whenever she brought her son to the world capital of Centropolis, home to Earth dictator Kier Gray. The ¿normals¿ hate the super human genetically engineered Slans whose telepathic powers and other skills make them a superior race. Still this does not prevent the single mom from taking her Jommy periodically to the city.----------------- Their latest trip turns tragic. Sensing the others were coming for them, Patricia informs her beloved son to find the catacombs of his late father if they catch up to her. She knows her time on earth is over as the law allows instant killing of Slans. While his mom is legally murdered nine year old Jommy escapes by leaping on to the bumper of a moving vehicle, but overhears an odd conversation that makes no sense to him as the killing of Slan female Kathleen Lawton could not undermine the Great Dictator, or could it somehow?. Jommy knows he must find this woman, but is not sure why or how she will receive a visit from an orphaned nine year old Slan.------------------ This is a reprint of a WW II classic that many insist changed science fiction from pure action to pure action with a social message that in the 1970s remained required reading in college level Sci Fi literary classes. The story line has obvious links to the Holocaust, but also holds true today with genocides in Darfur, Rwanda, Cambodia, etc as the late great A.E. Vogt condemns racism in any form and not just the extreme final solution, but does so inside a great youth on the run thriller. The story line is fast-paced and will excite a horde of new fans to this landmark thriller that easily passes the test of time. Readers will also rejoice that Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote the Introduction to this edition, shortly will finish a Mr. Vogt¿s manuscript, SLAN HUNTER.-------- Harriet Klausner
Real classic SF from the golden era. Written in a time of exploration of possibilities before SF became trite and cynical. This writer was a pioneer and a must read both for pleasure and understanding of the history of SF.
I started reading sci-fi in the 1940's and then slowed in recent times as the quality of the writing descended into a level of all of the other junk writing. The days of Astounding SF, Galaxy, and others brought intellegent writing by people who, like the top detective story writers, knew their field and how to write.