King Jorian was rather attached to his head. Hence, he felt his promise to seal the Kist of Avlen, a treasure trove of ancient manuscripts on magic, was little enough a price to pay for a chance to escape his own beheading. But when the quest pitted him against one peril after another – a murderous wizard and his giant squirrel, a castle full of executioners, a marauding troop of ape men, and a voluptuous 500-year-old princess who was also a serpent – Jorian wondered if he’d made a good bargain!
Come to Majipoor, the magnificent, exotic planet of LORD VALENTINE’S CASTLE. Come with Hissune, favourite of Lord Valentine, as he probes the deepest secrets of Majipoor’s long past in the depths of the great Labyrinth. Join Hissune as he becomes one with its many peoples – dukes and generals, thieves and murderers, Ghayrogs and Metamorphs – and discovers wonder, terror, longing and love, and learns the wisdom that will shape his destiny. (First published 1982)
This volume includes Vance’s first published story (“The World-Thinker”) and a selection of other stories including the novella “Telek”. Contents: The World-Thinker, Dream Castle (“I’ll Build Your Dream Castle”), Seven Exits from Bocz, The God and the Temple Robber (“The Temple of Han”), Telek, Men of The Ten Books, D.P., Noise (“Music of the Spheres”), The Absent Minded Professor (“First Star I See Tonight”; “Murder Observed”), The Devil On Salvation Bluff, Where Hesperus Falls, The Phantom Milkman, A Practical Man’s Guide, The House Lords, The Secret All Jack Vance titles in the SFGateway use the author’s preferred texts, as restored for the Vance Integral Edition (VIE), an extensive project masterminded by an international online community of Vance’s admirers. In general, we also use the VIE titles, and have adopted the arrangement of short story collections to eliminate overlaps.
Castle Banat: a stronghold of insane enormity, created by a monstrous architectural genius. The size of Banat is such that it even has its own weather. Inside, room after room is filled with fantastical horrors: Banat holds an infinity of mystery and terrible wonder. The castle is home to the Family, the clans that make up the vampires of the world. One of their greatest rites is the Golden, the sacrifice of a victim whose blood is the sweetest and most powerful there is. But in 186-, at a gathering three centuries in the planning, the Golden is murdered, brutally devoured by person or persons unknown. The Parisian vampire Beheim, new to the game, is charged with finding the culprit. So begins a journey through the vastness of Banat and into the very core of the vampire mind; a personal odyssey of sublime terror. Set against a backdrop that is one of the greatest imaginative feats since Gormenghast, and full of the passionate games and sheer sexual force of the vampire, The Golden is fabulous gothic mystery and exceptionally powerful storytelling.