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Slan | [A. E. van Vogt]

Slan

Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bred superhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by normal humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stop Jommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis, the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray. But on their latest trip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother is killed.
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Publisher's Summary

Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bred superhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by normal humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stop Jommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis, the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray. But on their latest trip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother is killed. Jommy, only 9 years old, unwittingly becomes caught up in a plot to undermine Gray, who may be more sympathetic to slans than the public suspects. The nonstop action and root-for-the-underdog plot has made Slan a science-fiction favorite.

©1940, 1945, 1951, 1968 A. E. van Vogt. Introduction ©2007 Kevin J. Anderson; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"One of the landmark novels of the genre." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (48 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (28 )
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2 star
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Story
4.2 (27 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jon Sebastopol, CA, USA 05-24-08
    Jon Sebastopol, CA, USA 05-24-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    161
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "An Old Friend"

    When I started this audio book, I really wondered if the reader was up to it. And, you know what? He is. It's a classic of old science fiction. I remember it from when I was young. And it still holds up. So often, with science fiction, even the big authors of today, the characters seem shallow, even whiney. I'm sorry to say that. But, that's not the case here. Van Vogt was writing much more than just a fiction of ideas. He had something he was trying to say. This was his first novel. And what a grand debut! Some reviewers, elsewhere, complain of how this novel slows down in places, of how it's not all about sustained action. In truth, that is precisely why this novel is as great as it is. It's an odd story. Slightly structured on formula, with serialized climaxes. But, van Vogt truly believed in intuition. Not just pure reason. And these things clash in this novel. Wonderfully so. So, if you like the older stuff, this is definitely one of the better ones. And the audio version carries it well. Recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trent Anselmo, NE, United States 06-30-11
    Trent Anselmo, NE, United States 06-30-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    "Classic from the Golden Age"

    Van Vogt was once the most popular SF writer of his day. Today he's not as popular as tastes in style have changed. Some readers will rate this as a two star story--for stylistic infelicities (largely masked in an audio reading), comparative descriptive dearth, and basic characterizations. On the other hand, a large contingent of SF readers enjoy a break-neck pace, surprises in character and SF ideas, and a focus on its unraveling SF aspects. Since novels should be rated on what they are aiming for versus what a reader expects, I gave this four stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta Iowa City, IA, United States 02-21-08
    Roberta Iowa City, IA, United States 02-21-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "maybe for its era...."

    This may be a fine book if you consider when it was written, but overall it was a very disappointing book, and the narration was flat and boring.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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