|1958; artwork by Richard Powers|
|Secret Formula QX47R|
In the case of E. E. Smith, the key technological advance was made by the brilliant scientist, Dick Seaton. In Asimov's story, hyper-drive is invented by a brilliant artificial intelligence called "The Brain".
|original cover art by Christopher Moore|
In Vance's imagination, an inexpensive spaceship such as the Model 9B was within the reach of people such as Kirth Gersen. Gersen had a small inheritance from his grandfather, so it was natural that he buy a Model 9B and head out among the stars in search of the Demon Princes who had killed his parents.
Of course, for a boy like me who grew up during the space race and the Apollo missions to the Moon, the idea of cheap and easy space travel seemed absurd.
|Mirky Porod on the shore of Lake Jerest|
During her days at Mirky Porod, Wayness must sponge up an ocean of dog urine, avoid provoking low blows from the cane of Countess Ottilie, and also avoid the
|The Girl From Cadwal (source)|
Although Vance seasons the tale with rustic settings and endless humor, he also continually subjects readers to a rising tension of dangers, anxiety and fear.
With the story set several thousand years in our future, we readers might marvel at how little Earth has changed in Vance's imagined future.
What about our past? Being subjected to my persistent questioning, Gohrlay has revealed a few facts about Earth's past in Deep Time. Previously, I was allowed to believe that Gohrlay's first life was lived out some 20,000 years in our past.
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