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The Chasch (Planet of Adventure #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  887 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
The starship Explorator IV is destroyed after entering orbit around the planet Tschai. Adam Reith's scout ship is en route to the surface when the attack occurs, and is damaged in the explosion; Reith crash-lands and is separated from his ship. He finds a world full of violence, where four non-human races rule: the Chasch, the Dirdir, the Wannek, and the Pnume. Humans are ...more
ebook, Vance Digital Edition, 156 pages
Published March 15th 2012 by Spatterlight Press (first published 1968)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Jan 15, 2015 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
After having read his ‘Tales of the Dying Earth’ featuring the scoundrel Cugel (The Dying Earth) this shouldn’t have come as such a great surprise, but I loved this book. They certainly don’t make them like this anymore. The City of the Chasch is the marvellously bizarre first book in a series that is called, in some cases, ‘The Planet of Adventure’, and in other cases, the ‘Tschai’ series. It owes a lot to the pulps and in particular to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter / Mars / Barsoom series ...more
Apr 19, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The City of the Chasch is Jack Vance’s 1968 first book in his ‘Tschai’ series. Reminiscent of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Barsoom books, the Tschai is Vance’s magnum opus of alien life and man’s adventures on a planet colonized by several races. This also reminded me of Robert Silverberg’s magnificent Majipoor series with its inventive combination of science fiction and fantasy. The four books were published together in 1993 as the Planet of Adventure.

As in much of Vance’s writing, his detailed world
Aug 02, 2012 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
_The Chasch_ (originally published as _City of the Chasch_) is sort of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars as envisioned by Jack Vance. It is an entertaining Planetary Romance tale (or Sword & Planet if you prefer that designation) that describes the adventures of Adam Reith, Earthman and sole survivor of the Explorator IV a starship that is destroyed by unknown forces while in orbit above the planet Tschai. Reith is a Scout, meaning that he is a Jack-of-all-Trades uniquely equipped for ...more
May 23, 2012 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Jack Vance, whom I'd heard of but never read. It was quite an enjoyable book. I would imagine that to enjoy this story you have to know to take it lightly & be up to having a light, fun read. Nothing too serious, nothing that tugs the heartstrings, nothing overly complicated or so beautifully written you have to re-read certain passages. This was just a plain, but fantastic, adventure featuring a most unlikely hero named Reith. Vance wrote this long ago & it read ...more
K.T. Katzmann
In his inimitable style, Vance narrates the eventful tale of Adam Reith, a stranded Earth astronaut, marooned on Tschai, a world where all humans are slaves to aliens and the societies are ridiculous.

I had hoped to like this a lot more.

The strange people and places Reith encounter are wonderful; I'm particularly fond of the society that basically runs like a message board, with everyone inheriting an avatar. The methods of speaking are distinct;y Vancian, with his sardonic, devil-may-care pessim
Feb 15, 2014 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I've been meaning to get around to re-reading some of my Jack Vance ever since I heard he died last fall.

This is fairly standard fair for the 60's—an interesting story, but with an Earthman stranded on an alien planet who is, of course, a match for anything that planet can throw at him. All the women he meets need to be rescued (not that he has a good record at that…) and all the aliens are evil.

Still the world-building is better than most of his contemporaries' and other than their
Aug 27, 2009 Martinxo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, 2009
City of the Chasch is pure pulp, the characterisation paper-thin, as is the general story line. Having said that, it is a great read, I was not disappointed at all, quite the opposite. The novel grips from the opening and I’m now waiting impatiently for my next fill of the series.

I’m now looking forward to reading the next instalment in the adventure, the excellently titled ‘Servants of the Wankh’ (apparently, Vance was advised to change the title to ‘Servants of the Wannek‘ after the publishers
Jul 10, 2009 Jmassa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this about 30 years ago, but after recently coming across The Pnume (Tschai, 4), I decided to read the whole series through.

I love Vance's compressed, ironic, decorative prose, his "lapidary style" as one friend put it.

Aside from that, this is pure escapist fun: Meet quirkly alien, have funny dialogue. Meet dangerous alien, bash and run.

Can't wait to read the next installment.
Baal Of
This is probably the weakest of the Vance books I've ever read. The world is less developed than in a lot of his other books, and the story is rather straight-forward. It still fun, but definitely on the light fluffy side.
The fun of the book is that Reith is adaptable, moral, and willing to become entangled in local problems, all of which is a recipe for adventure in the Vance mode. And as a bonus, he's pleasant to travel with, and not some grim antihero.

And of course there are all sorts of nice Vance tidbits, from the culture of the Emblem Men (where the person is merely the spiritual vehicle for the medallions they wear), to the sandblast guns (firing particulates at relativistic speeds), to the ways that the a
Agustín Fest
Uno de los pulp más elaborados que he leído. Claro... Tenía que ser Jack Vance cuya capacidad para crear héroes y montarlos en mundos total entes ajenos es incuestionable.

El libro tiene propuestas muy interesantes, como el grupo de humanos barbáricos cuya personalidad es dictada a través de unos emblemas que usan en el sombrero. El emblema es quien dicta su destino, así como personalidad y los enemigos que tendrán en el mismo clan. Es como el apellido pero un poco más severo. Los juegos crueles
Guillaume Jay
Aug 25, 2013 Guillaume Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: en-carton, _gr-11
Un vaisseau d'exploration terrien arrive en orbite d'un planète inconnue, d’où a été émis un message de détresse il y a plusieurs décennies. Il est abattu et seul Adam Reith, un spécialiste de la survie, s'en sort. Il se retrouve sur une planète du nom de Tschaï ou il va connaître de nombreuses aventures, découvrir des races non-humaines étranges, et aura besoin de toute son ingéniosité et ruse pour revenir sur Terre..
Cette quadrilogie est l'une des œuvres les plus connues de Vance, a juste titr
Oct 14, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only Jack Vance could have pulled this off - vintage 60s Sci Fi (that means solitary male heroes who can fight aliens, plan daring escapes, lead armies, drink without embarrassing themselves, get on with the ladies), set in a planet that has - I don't know - maybe about six different alien races co-existing in the same landscape, with multiple societies, histories, sub-species.... The whole shebang and its all easy to digest, urbane, generally not too offensive politically.

He makes it all look
-Aventuras pulp en otro planeta.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Una nave espacial terrestre se acerca un planeta desconocido y muy lejos de la Tierra siguiendo una extraña señal. Cuando se preparan para lanzar hacia la superficie a dos exploradores, la nave es atacada y destruida, alcanzando los exploradores el planeta con mucha dificultad y mediante un aterrizaje de emergencia. Adan Reith sobrevive y comienza a ver hombres en ese planeta, lo cual debería ser imposible, junto a otras
Jan 17, 2015 Whitney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Campy pulp fiction relying heavily on tropes of the genre. Very little character development, abysmal portrayals of women (well, one woman, there is only really 1 female character). The main character strides forward as only a white man in retro sci-fi can, completely certain that his way of life is the correct one and that he must liberate the poor savages of Tschai. If you can set all that aside, a fun light read.
The thing about Jack Vance books is they never lag, he doesn't get bogged down in the minutia of 'world building'. He gives you just enough to suspend belief and hold onto your seats, coz it's always going to be a ride. This was a very impressive book, well paced, colourful characters and poignant in it's simple accessibility. A great adventure.
Matteo Pellegrini
Jan 22, 2014 Matteo Pellegrini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza

«Da un lato dell'Explorator IV brillava una vecchia stella, dall'altro era sospeso un unico pianeta». Il pianeta Tschai, pullulante di razze e civiltà d'ogni concepibile e inconcepibile genere. E Adam Reith il terrestre che vi naufraga solo, ferito, disarmato... Primo: sopravvivere. Seconda: cercare con ogni mezzo di procurarsi un'astronave per far ritorno sulla Terra. Sono questi, all'inizio, i due soli problemi del terrestre. Ma la sua lunga marcia nel formicolante labirinto segue poi un filo

Edwin Kort
Een onderzoeker van het Aarde ruimteschip Explorer 4 komt na een noodlanding op de planeet Tschai. Daar wordt hij eerst de slaaf van de Embleem-mensen, een volk waar bij de mannen geleidt worden door de emblemen die zij aannemen. Na hersteld te zijn van zijn verwondingen dood Reith een tegenstander, en vlucht later samen met de leider van de stam. Zij sluiten zich aan bij een karavaan waarin ook meisje meereist. Zij is de gevangene van een groep Priesteressen. Het lukt Reith om haar te bevrijden ...more
Molly Ison
Sexist, colonialist D&D wish fulfillment.
Perry Whitford
Oct 07, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two hundred and twelve light years from Earth, the Explorator IV spaceship enters the orbit of a planet which has the appearance of sustaining life. Immediately it is shot down, all the crew killed except for the two scouts, who had left the ship in a smaller vessel.

The scouts effect an emergency landing and the site of their crash is instantly attended by three very different life forms, one human, the other two alien. One scout is brutally beheaded, the other, Adam Reith, survives more by luck
This is the Sci-Fi version of Swords and Sorcery. Call it "Blasters and Technology". It's adventure, with a plot that stitches together narrow escape to narrow escape. Adam Reith is stranded on the planet Tschai, where humans are enslaved by several alien races, and dammit, he just wants to go back home to Earth. But he's gotta enlist the help of primitively tribal and pathetically enslaved humans to help him do it. Not that they'll help him much. Reith is constantly annoyed that he has to convi ...more
May 29, 2012 Kevin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space-opera
Here there be spoilers, or whatever.

I am not far into the Planet of Adventure saga, but I think it will be richly entertaining to read. Not since the Lensman books have I found a series so gleefully sincere in it's campiness. I hope other books by Vance are better, like, you know, legitimately well-written, but for the moment I am all but screaming with delight at the cartoonish antics of naive swashbuckler Adam Reith. Reith is without political correctness or, for that matter, regard for any o
Jun 19, 2012 Aeo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Había leído en general buenas críticas para los 4 libros que componen esta saga y debí haberlas leído por encima porque la verdad es que cuando arranqué con la historia no sabía muy bien qué me iba a encontrar. Esta se puede resumir en pocas palabras: aventuras imaginativas.

Aviso a navegantes: antes de empezar con estos libros debemos saber qué nos depara entre sus lineas. No podemos comenzar a leer esperando mucha profundidad en la historia, ni un gran desarrollo de los personajes, ya que nos
Matt Sears
Sep 27, 2010 Matt Sears rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, pulp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2013 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in 1968, City of the Chasch is the first book of four that comprises Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure series. This definitely has the feel of pulp-action orientated Sf, often cited resembling that of the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom. Myself, I often kept imagining the origial Star Trek series, but with a much more humble Capt. Kirk. The story situates around the tale of Adam Reith, a planetary scout and survivor of a doomed spaceship, The Explorator IV. For unexplainable reas ...more
They don't make science-fiction like this any more. City of the Chasch, the first novel in Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure tetralogy, introduces us to the earthman Adam Reith, stranded on the planet Tschai after he heads down to explore the surface and his mothership is blown up by an unknown adversary.

Tschai is inhabited by four distinct alien races, of whom the Didir, the Wankh (ridiculed by Brits, Vance would change this to the Wannek in a later reprinting) and the Chasch have colonized Tsch
Oct 19, 2015 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I read "City of the Chasch" in the 1960's. It is one of four novels in the 'Planet of Adventure' series.
Adam Reith is the main character. He travels from Earth and survives the crash of his space ship on the planet Tschai. The planet has alien and humans who do not get along.
The original inhabitants are called the Pnume.
The humans are from Earth.
The other alien species is the reptilian Chasch.
The four novels deal with Reith's adventures with each.
Jesse Benjamin
Apr 05, 2015 Jesse Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As light escapist science fiction / fantasy it was great. I found it easy to drop my guard and let this book do its thing, to take me away. Strange, given that it is a simple read littered with (unintentional? published 1968, a sign of the times?) sexism, but somehow it was great.

Highly recommend if you want some light escapism in a sci-fi/fantasy setting.
Jul 18, 2012 Plucino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Colori, tessuti, profumi, lingue"

Quanti bei ricordi. Comprato (dalla mamma) e letto di nascosto nel 1971, "solo" 41 anni fa.

Il primo libro letto in assoluto, con un mese di sforzi (ma non riuscivo a terminare i libri per bambini).

Venendo alle informazioni utili per gli altri anobiani, questo libro, primo di una serie di 4 (che penso ora potete trovare comodamente rilegati in un tomo unico), contiene:
-la solita stupenda copertina di Karel Thole
-l'inizio dell'odissea di Adam Reith sul pianeta Ts
Feb 09, 2015 Damien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, scifi
I loved this book.

A scifi tale of high adventure. The planet of Tschai feels lived in, and what a cruel and unforgiving world it is. I couldn't get enough of the cultures and there is foreshadowing of further cultures in the next book.

Jack Vance was a busy man, with four books published in three years. Now I'm going to get busy reading the next one.

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Beyond Jack Vance: Tchai 8 33 Dec 09, 2012 08:19AM  
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  • Dune I
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  • A Quest for Simbilis (The Dying Earth, #2.5)
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  • Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honour of Jack Vance
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Aka John Holbrooke Vance, Peter Held, John Holbrook, Ellery Queen, John van See, Alan Wade.

The author was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California, first as a mining engineer, then majoring in physics and finally in journalism. During the 1940s and 1950s, he contributed widely to science fiction and fantasy magazines. His first novel, The Dying Earth, was published in 1950 to grea
More about Jack Vance...

Other Books in the Series

Planet of Adventure (4 books)
  • Servants of the Wankh (Planet of Adventure, #2)
  • The Dirdir (Planet of Adventure, #3)
  • The Pnume (Planet of Adventure, #4)

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