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Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 20:51:34 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) Nitpick re: Vance and prehistoric star travel

Yves Meynard wrote:

>It was recently mentioned on this list that Jack Vance has prehistoric
>humans traveling to the stars in three of his novels. While this is
>correct, I'd like to point out that only in "Space Opera" is there a claim
>of an ancient starfaring civilization on Earth (from Wales, iirc). In both
>_Star King_ and the _Tschai_ novels, prehistoric humans were taken from
>Earth by an alien starfaring civilization and dropped off on another
>planet, which neatly sidesteps the entire "then where are the remains of
>their industrial infrastructure?" issue.

I wrote something along those lines for "Vance Space" (my chapbook on
Vancean sf) and David Langford took me to task on some of my sloppy details
regarding SPACE OPERA.

First, the ancient humans from Earth developed ftl and went to planet Yan
something like 27,500 years ago.  We don't really know where they were on
Earth, as I understand it.  (I had written of them as being "proto-Welsh.")

When their dissident descendants came back to Earth, they crash-landed on
the Isle of Man, then they fled to Wales to escape persecution.  (There is
the Wales connection.)  This happened about 200 years prior to the main
action in SPACE OPERA.

I hereby admit my errors and apologize.

On to STAR KING: in addition to what Yves wrote, the aliens picked up
Neanderthals, and 50,000 years later dropped off on Earth their altered (by
alien influence, if not direct genetic tinkering) descendants, which we
call Cro-Magnon (thus explaining the Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon transition
puzzle).  This plays well with the 5HC situation, or so it seems to me--the
sameness/alien-ness of humanoids on this planet, like (but not limited to)
Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon.

Further Vance/Wolfe mania:

The situation on planet Blue, where invading aliens come periodically from
a mysterious star/planet in the sky, and both(? several) sides are trying
to use modified versions of aliens/humans for/against each other, and a
third group of mysterious aboriginal humanoids are invisible yet
omnipresent, seemingly primitive yet possessing magical technology . . .
this bears some resemblence to the award-winning THE DRAGON MASTERS by Jack


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
PEACE: a timeline WITH dates! Come see!


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