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Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 08:52:50 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) World-building in short stories

Nick Gevers wrote:

>strikes that me that one quite famous novelette--Jack
>Vance's "The New Prime"--builds not one world but six,
>each in a dense vignette. That story dates from the
>Fifties. Vance had the cheek to make contemporary
>Earth one of the six, a place no less exotic and
>bizarre than the rest.

Yes, I did think of "The New Prime," which is an interesting story for a
number of reasons.  But as you say, the worlds are very sketchy -- this is
not detrimental to the story at all . . . in a way, this is a Vancean
approach to Le Guin's technique in "Semley's Necklace" in that Vance
presents several all at once, but he is making them from Vance-scratch
rather than using sf and fairy tale stock.  (Granted that "Vance-scratch"
involves a patented blend of sf and fairy tale stock!)

I do like the story.  It has some unusual twists, even for Vance.  It would
seem to follow what I said about "Moon Moth": every social detail/world has
a direct crucial bearing on the story and the conclusion; it is longer than
a short story.


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