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(The Mutant Mage #1-2)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn: Global war smashed civilisation, or so the legends said, but not all of its machines. A caste of scientists arose who knew how to repair and operate the ancient machines, but not how they worked, and worshipped at the altars of the atomic gods who were said to make the machines run. Society was a strange mix of the modern and the ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Baen (first published September 26th 2006)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  140 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Wonderful collection of four van Vogt fix-up novels from sci-fi grandmaster A.E. van Vogt. Highly recommend for Golden Age sci-fi fans!

1) Empire of the Atom - 3 stars -

2) The Wizard of Linn - 3.5 stars -

3) The Ezwal - 3 stars - This consists of two loosely connected stories (Co-Operate - Or Else! and The Second Solution), which I'm not sure actually comprise a true fix-up novel or not. An
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Over all I "Liked" this book, though in patches it was between 2 and 4 stars.

It has to be reviewed in 4 parts as it represents 4 quite different stages of Van Vogt's pulp writing career; not surprisingly the more recent material was the best.

"Empire of the Atom" - Derivative / retelling of the decline of the Roman empire. To be honest it is a bit stupid (space ships and bows and arrows????) and only starts to come the goods in the final story when Czinczar the barbarian and the external threat o
Dec 30, 2012 rated it did not like it

Flunked the hundred page test. Generally, I enjoy the older SF stories better than the newer. Not in this case. Reads like a cheap knock off of the McMaster's Miles Vorkosigan stories, except it was written several decades earlier.

Too easy, too obvious, too simple-minded.

Don't waste your time.
John Tetteroo
Dit is het eerste SF boek dat ik ooit kocht. Op een camping in Luxemburg las ik het in een zomervakantie uit. Als 12 jarige werd ik overspoeld door Sense of Wonder en een SF fan voor het leven. Met dank aan Van Vogt, van wie ik in de maanden daarna elk boek las waar ik mijn handen op kon leggen. Gelukkig waren ze in die dagen ook nog in de bibliotheek te vinden want veel geld had ik niet, en wat ik in de bibliotheek niet vond schuimde ik bij elkaar in antiquariaten en vlooienmarkten. Zo was deze ...more
David Hermann
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
I picked this up to read some Van Vogt as I've been mixing in some golden age sci fi into my reading list. I thought this was a collection of short stories, but the first 70% is a complete novel. I had to really force myself to finish this, as it just wasn't clicking with me. The second story is the best, probably a 3-star short story. I was hoping the best was saved for last, but I barely made it through the last story (1-star). From this, I really don't want to read anymore Van Vogt. I really ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Three complete novels from a Golden Age master of science fiction in one volume: Empire of the Atom, The Wizard of Linn, and Mission to the Stars.

Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn: Global war smashed civilization—or so the legends told—but not all of its machines. A caste of “scientists” arose who knew how to repair and operate the ancient machines, but not how they worked, and worshipped at the altars of the atomic gods who were said to make the machines run. Society was a strange

Paul Harbord
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good old fashion scifi from the 30's ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Old sci-fi is always a bit tricky. Most of it is pretty dated, and many of the classic texts of the Golden Age science fiction are lacking in areas like style, character development and consistency, even the big names like Asimov, Heinlein or Sprague de Camp, just to name a few, have written passages or entire stories which today might earn them more than a few odd looks and feel a bit "icky" to our modern political and social sensibilities.

A.E. van Vogt's story cycle was first serialized in the
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A.E. Van Vogt was a prolific mid-20th century sci-fi writer. Stylistically he leaves a lot to be desired, but the great thing about him is the way he manages to convey the utter vastness of the universe and the possible permutations. One story has a remote post waiting eons for contact with civilization; it is its job to wait that long. In another novella written in the late 40s, it's hilarious to read that a character who time-transports to sometime in the 2500-3000 range turns on the radio and ...more
David Johnston
Dec 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Mission to the Stars and the Ezwal books are Van Vogt's best stuff. The Wizard of Linn books are his worst, making it hard to rate this collection fairly. The "wizard" is an annoying Van Vogt superman/Mary Sue with plans that have no reason to succeed but do anyway. But I really enjoyed the aristocratic lady commander and her gigantic intergalactic ship in Mission to the Stars, and the ezwals are a pretty good take on the Van Vogt superman. ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp-sci-fi
Some of the four stars is nostalgia, I grew up reading this kind of Sci first. The kind more about the big idea than petty things like character development.
The book is more a collection of related short stories than a novel so you get to see a civilization grow in a kind of literary stop motion. That is the best part of the book, getting to see the what next
Johan Duinkerken
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
becoming a bit old fashioned. Not talking about technology, because SF from the 50's is always fun (in my opinion), but talking about character and story development. All heroes in this book seem to be superheroes, which was OK in the 50's, but grows a bit old now.

But for old times sake, it's still a great read!
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

Must read. Masterclass work by Vogt . Amazing to see that after so many years the story is fresh and relevant.
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Standards for pulp SF in those days were pretty low, which is why not too much of it has been reprinted. This does not rise above those standards, except in a few spots here and there.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
heb er heel erg van genoten, gewoon een lekker tussendoortje
Wijnand Rombouts
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Dave Wells
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Jeff Crosby
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Matthew Petersen
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Alfred Elton van Vogt was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded by some as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century—the "Golden Age" of the genre.

van Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family. Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home.

He began his writing career with 'true story' ro

Other books in the series

The Mutant Mage (2 books)
  • Empire of the Atom
  • The Wizard of Linn

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