A novel of the Gaean Reach, the widely populated region of space where the full diversity of human development is revealed. Rejoin the adventures of Myron Tany, rebellious scion of a wealthy family, as he tours the Galaxy on a very questionable interstellar freighter, in a crew of actors, musicians, thieves and other ne'er-do-wells. Against the backdrop of the Gaean Reach, first the story of Jaro Fath unfolds: from wildling orphan to spaceship captain, a tale of adventure and discovery wittily told. A boy haunted by memories of his dead mother's terror, Jaro's life is directed by an inner voice he can't account for! until he returns to Kammerwelt, described in The Handbook of the Planets as the fourth world in the entourage of Robert Palmer's Star, drifting in a far-flung sector of the galaxy known as the Dragon's Maw. Then Myron Tany, in thrall to his zany aunt Dame Hester Lajoie, sets off in her space yacht to find a faraway fountain of youth. The captain flatters Hester agreeably, but when Myron points out that the man is a swindler, he is marooned on an inhospitable planet with barely his passage home.
Thus he is given the perfect opportunity to live out his childhood fantasies of intergalactic adventure, alien encounters and exotic romance. Or starve to death. Luckily, the tramp cargo vessel Glicca is just then in need of a supercargo, and Myron is it.
Jack Vance was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California, first as a mining engineer, then majoring in physics and finally in journalism. He has since had a varied career: his first story was written while he was serving in the US Merchant Marine during the Second World War. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, he contributed a variety of short stories to the science fiction and fantasy magazines of the time. His first published book was 'The Dying Earth' (1950). Since then he has won the two most coveted trophies of the science fiction world, the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. He has also won the Edgar Award of the Mystery Writers of America for his novel 'The Man in the Cage' (1960). In addition, he has written scripts for television science fiction series. Jack Vance's non-literary interests include blue water sailing and early jazz. He lives in California in a house he designed and largely built himself.