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Marune: Alastor 933

(Alastor #2)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A mysterious amnesiac is found at a distant spaceport. The science of the Alastor Cluster is unable to do anything but determine his home planet and culture: he is a Rhune from the planet Marune - Alastor 933.
When he returns home, he learns that he is a powerful landowner whose household is faced with an important alliance. But which of these scheming nobles destroyed his
Paperback, 188 pages
Published January 6th 1981 by DAW (first published 1975)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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mark monday
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
"By an axiom of cultural anthropology, the more isolated a community, the more idiosyncratic become its customs and conventions. This of course is not necessarily disadvantageous."
The Rhune are an aloof and eccentric culture. Lords of a beautiful, mountainous realm on the planet Marune of the Alastor Cluster, their extreme elegance and insistence on formality belie a nature so prone to aggression and martial conflict that they have been banned ownership of energy weapons and flying vehicles.
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am always awed, among other things, by Vance's incredibly rich vocabulary. Not just his use of arcane words, but his inventive and slightly unorthodox usage of terms in contexts that convey nuance and uniqueness, with minimal affectation. This is most evident in his delightfully crisp portrayals of alien worlds and landscapes, and also his pithy descriptions of strange races and individuals.

So we come to Marune: Alastor 933, the second of Vance's loosely connected Alastor series. I started wit
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
En Francais:

J’ai reçu cette petite édition française de “J’ai Lu” dans la poste d'un ami très cher. Le titre est le même en français qu’il est and anglais, alors méfiez-vous, mes amis anglophones, si on fait la commande en ligne.

La mise en place: un amnésique perdu est transmise aux autorités. Son n’aide est pas au mieux minime. -Comment se débarrasser de lui, est la seule motivation pour eux qui se douane s’en mêlé dû lui (aucun n’est prêt à payer son transport, une fois que son origine est dét
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A lot of my friends are great admirers of Jack Vance. To this point, I have merely read his work piecemeal. This is in spite of the fact that his writing inspired numerous game designers over the years and he has often been recommended by friends I respect. This year, I hope to read at least five or six of his Planet of Adventure series. I own several of them (in the “to read” pile), but I haven’t found a copy of the first one. Meanwhile, I discovered one of the Alastor novels, Marune: Alastor 9 ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2014-rev

5 stars

Marune was one of the first Jack Vance books I ever bought. In fact, one of the first books of any kind I bought with my own money. I had no idea who Vance was, or what I was getting into. I don't remember what drew me to the book. It may have been the Coronet cover, which had virtually nothing to do with the contents of the book. Whatever it was that made me pick the book, I've never regretted it. It was the start of a lifelong fascination with Vance's writing.

Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Vance seems to use the Alastor series to explore societies and social systems. Here the fantastic is not in bizarre lifeforms or otherworldly technology but the endlessly ornate and outlandish cultures that humans could concievably invent.

As such, the plot is almost secondary--this isn't a gripping thriller but a travelogue through a thought experiment. The Rhunes are a deeply contradictory people, warlike and yet fastidious in fashion and personal grooming (where the consumption of food is trea
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of Vance's finest novels. Given what an exceptionally creative, interesting and talented writer Vance was, that is very high praise. This is a wonderful novel that I highly recommend to anybody who appreciates very good writing, interesting plots, wry humor, and an entertaining and fascinating anthropological like view of other worlds, beings and cultures.

Marune is 188 pages long, was first published in 1975 and is the second of the three novels that comprise the excellent Alastor se
Evan Hill
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Marune starts off like an "I've got amnesia, who am I?" mystery and evolves into palatial political intrigue. All in a different galaxy than ours, of course. Technically, it's science fiction, but really it's more like social-science fiction. Vance is thinking about culture here: where it comes from, how it can at as a barrier between peoples, the amount which it becomes ingrained in us, the seriousness and artifice of it all. This philosophizing shows up more so in his world-building descriptio ...more
Florin Pitea
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This one was pretty nice, actually.
This one was an improvement and much more fascinating read than Trullion that was the first book in Alastor series.

Its unique setting,culture of The Rhunes, the mystery behind the lack of memories for the hero makes it one of the best Vance SF novels. I just wish the ending wasnt so neat, abrupt. I wanted more climax, more Demon Princes ending. Its a book that improves on Trullion on every level. I could have read 400 pages about The Rhunes aversion to eating in public, their different long day
Erik Graff
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vance fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
After seminary graduation I moved back to Chicago from NYC, acquiring a studio apartment on the corner of Ashland and Morse Avenues in the East Rogers Park neighborhood on the north side. Having been away from the midwest for almost a decade, I was pretty much out of contact, alone and lonely. Other than a clock radio I had no entertainment--no phonograph, no tape player, no television. What I did was look for work and read. Fortunately, there was a resale shop just down the block that had paper ...more
Rog Harrison
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Another book I must have read at least ten times. Jack Vance conjures up yet another fascinating world." was what I wrote on 9 December 2012. I suspect that ten times was a bit of an exaggeration! This was first published in the UK in 1978 so I probably bought my copy in the early 1980s. The story begins with a man with no memory who struggles to find from whence he came and to assume his rightful position in society. Having achieved this aim he still does not know who his enemies are and why t ...more
Apr 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nach der Mondmotte habe ich richtig wieder Lust auf Jack Vance bekommen. Die Alastor Trilogie läutet zusammen mit Heinleins Das neue Buch Hiob meine ganz persönliche SF Phase ein.

"Marune" ist der zweite Teil der Trilogie. Ein Mann wird ohne Gedächtnis auf einem Raumhafen aufgegriffen. Mit etwas Hilfe findet er zumindest seine Heimatwelt heraus. Dort angekommen sticht er mitten ins Wespennest und muss aufpassen, das sein unbekannter Feind nicht doch noch gewinnt...

Jack Vance zeigt viel Fantasie
Emmanuel Gustin
I do not know in what order Vance wrote his books. The Alastor series leaves me with the impression that they are the works of an inexperienced author. The main symptom of this is the abrupt wrapping up of the plot, which in Marune is even more contrived than in Wyst. It is a sleight of hand, really, in its context not entirely unreasonable, but a bit desperate. At the height of his powers, Jack Vance could certainly do better: Each book of the Demon Princes has a rather more satisfactory, if me ...more
Robert Hepple
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Published in 1975, Marune is one of a number of Vance novels set around the Alastor star cluster near the Gaean Reach. In this, the main character is found by the authorities with complete amnesia, eventually discovering that he has been dumped hundreds of light years from home, where he is the ruling nobleman. A familiar plot pretext, also used in such grand epics as Silverberg's 'Lord Valentine's Castle' of a few years later amongst others. It also has the bubious distinction that the 1978 Cor ...more
Joachim Boaz
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full review:

"Even though I’ve previously read only three of Jack Vance’s lesser known works, The Showboat World (1975), The Blue World (1966) and City of the Chasch (1968) I’ve come to appreciate his world building and solid story telling abilities. Marune: Alastor 933 (1975), although not the best of his Alastor trilogy, is no exception. I recommend the work for all fans of space opera, “fantasy in space,” and fans of Vance’s more famous works who [...]"
Apr 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The second in the Gaean Reach set, I couldn't put Marune: Alastor 933 down. The combination of its science/fantasy elements was propulsively interesting, with Vance using a classic "lost memory" trope to investigate inheritance, secrecy, and violence. Absolutely compelling. I didn't want this one to end! ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
7/10 en 2010

Segunda parte de la saga de Alastor. NO cuento nada, leed la primera novela (se llevó la misma nota) y ya decidís si os engancha o no.

Reitero que Vance no fallaba.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avrei dato 4 stelle fino alla il finale è stato deludente, sembra scritto a tirar via, come se Vance si fosse stufato del romanzo.
Ondřej Šefčík
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jack Vance is a marvel!!!
Katie Weiss
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The Purge in space? OK, and so far my favorite of his books.
Andrew Hamblin
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The second book of the Alastor series (which explicitly ties it into the larger Gaean Reach universe) begins with our protagonist wandering a spaceport with no recollection of his name or former life. This inconvenience quickly resolved, he returns to his home planet of Marune to find that, following the recent murder of his father, he is now the Kaiark (ruler) of a small kingdom in a feudal society.
His land forever, his land never; and what was he to do? In all the Realm was but a single man h
Hans van der Veeke
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
De werken van mijn favoriete schrijver Jack Vance worden opnieuw uitgegeven door Spatterlight Press. Daarvoor moeten ze ter controle gelezen worden. Een klusje waar ik graag aan meewerk en ik heb de Trullion serie op mijn bordje gekregen. Marune is de laatste van de drie.

Ik blijf me verbazen over de fantasie die Jack Vance had. Zo ook dit boek. Iemand wordt gevonden op een vreemde ruimtehaven. Hij herinnert zich niets maar blijkt te komen van Marune. Een planeet waar, in een ingewikkeld patroon,
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Op een ruimtehaven werd een jonge man gevonden, die aan geheugenverlies blijkt te lijden. Er was maar een mogelijkheid om hem te genezen van zijn geheugenverlies, en dat is op de hoofdplaneet van het Alastor-stelsel. Een reis die echter erg duur is. Om de reis te bekostigen wordt hij tijdelijk te werk gesteld in een werkkamp, waarhij ongeschoold arbeid krijgt te verrichten. De jongen, die de naam Pardero kreeg, probeert te ontdekken wie hij was en wie zijn vijand is, de man die zijn geheugen ges ...more
David Meiklejohn
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Our man wakes up in a spaceport with amnesia. With some help from the authorities, and a trip to the capital planet of Alastor, he works out where he's from and heads back home to try and work out what happened.

It turns out he's a wealthy land owner, but it looks like people are manoeuvring to work things out to their own liking. He seems to have a few enemies, but who drugged him, and who can he trust when he remembers no one.

Another good mystery novel from Vance, full of character.
Emmett Hoops
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A true space opera, Marune: Alastor 933 originally appeared in two issues of Amazing Magazine in the early '70s. As is typical of any story by Jack Vance, there are things that separate this, the wheat, from the chaff (nearly every other science fiction writer of the time and magazine.) I won't spoil the story by revealing these, but suffice it to say this is a quick and enjoyable read. ...more
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book many years ago, but I still remember the sense of wonder about the civilizations present in the story.
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the world of Efraim aha Pardero.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-ff-sf
This book was recommended by my husband as Jack Vance is one of his favourite authors. I enjoyed it and found the author's imaginative vocabulary quite comprehensive. ...more
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Aka John Holbrook 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 g

Other books in the series

Alastor (3 books)
  • Trullion: Alastor 2262
  • Wyst: Alastor 1716

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