Apr 9, 2016

Vance +100

cover art by Vincent Di Fate
To celebrate the life of Jack Vance (he was born in 1916) I'm dedicating this blog post to his Cadwal trilogy. The planet Cadwal is so rich in life that it was set aside as a nature conservancy upon its discovery.

Sessily and Glawen
cover art by Boris Vallejo
When we first meet Glawen, he is 16 years old and living at Araminta Station, the small administrative enclave of the planet Cadwal. His first love, Sessily, is murdered by Glawen's "friend," Kirdy, but not before her innocent request for butterfly wings leads to discovery of a deadly plot against the residents of Araminta Station.

World of the Nineteen Moons
While Glawen is still recovering from the shocking loss of Sessily, he meets Wayness, a girl from the naturalist settlement at Stroma Fiord. Glawen and Wayness travel far across space to Nion, the "Planet of the 19 Moons". They  search for the lost Charter, an ancient legal document that confers ownership of Cadwal. While on Nion, they fail to find the Charter, but they finally consummate their long, slowly-growing love for each other.

Traveling next to Old Earth, Glawen and Wayness discover that their friend, Chilke, had inherited the Charter from his grandfather Swaner. Long ago stolen from the Naturalist Society, the Charter had come into the possession of Grandpa Swaner when he purchased an odd lot of old documents being sold at auction. Recognizing the value of the Charter and the reality of his own impending death, but fearing that the Naturalist Society was defunct, Grandpa Swaner left the Charter to Chilke. However, at that time, Chilke was off across space and he never knew that he had inherited such a valuable piece of paper from his grandfather.

cover art: Michael Van Houten 
After returning to Cadwal, Glawen is teamed with Chilke for a mission to nearby worlds. They must investigate a conspiracy that is threatening Cadwal and try to find help to remove the Yips from Cadwal. The Yips are a large but illegal population living at Lutwen Atoll on Cadwal in violation of the terms of the Charter that restricts human habitation on Cadwal.

While on their mission to the planet Rosalia, Chilke meets Flitz, a young woman of many charms. Her guardian (Barduys) becomes the man who can save Cadwal from traitorous insurrection and provide transport ships for resettlement of the Yips. Further, Barduys plans to provide employment for the Yips at the tourist resorts he is building on Rosalia.

in the Ekcolir Reality
original cover art by Edmund Emshwiller
At the end of the Cadwal trilogy, Glawen and Wayness are ready to settle down together in their newly constructed house at Araminta Station (see the image above, right). Chilke and Flitz go off to roam through the far stars of the galaxy in search of mythical planets of adventure, such as the distant world where strange alien creatures inhabit Lake Mar. The Cadwal Conservancy seems safe: the traitors who sought its demise have been defeated and the Yips removed from their illegal residence on Cadwal.

The Search for Sessily
The Search for Sessily is a fanfiction sequel to Vance's Cadwal trilogy. What exciting adventures might Chilke and Flitz have had while exploring the far end of the galaxy? Glawen and Wayness, who are on their way to Rosalia to attend the grand opening of the Bainsey Castle Resort, are about to find out.....

Bainsey Castle Resort, Rosalia.
click image to enlarge
Upon landing their spaceship on Rosalia, Glawen and Wayness learn that Chilke and Flitz had arrived at the Castle about two months previously. Barduys tells them that Flitz had to depart from Bainsey Castle more than a month ago for "medical reasons". According to Barduys, Flitz is very pregnant and her mysterious four-month-long pregnancy has altered her from a slim girl to a bulging bedridden mass of tissue now twice her former size. Informed by Barduys of the arrival of Glawen and Wayness at Bainsey Castle, Chilke invites them to come back up into orbit where Chilke and Flitz have been living under low gravity conditions.

alien DNA
Barduys reports to Glawen that he called in a team of scientists and medical experts to study the biological mystery of Flitz's bizarre pregnancy. That investigation quickly reveled that Flitz does not seem to be human: no human DNA could be detected in her body or that of the new lifeform growing inside her.

After docking the two spaceships in orbit, Glawen and Wayness are met by Chilke who explains that Flitz does not want to be seen in her present condition. Glawen and Wayness speak to Flitz and she tells them that her "daughter" will soon be born.

original cover art by Robert Sherry
That night, Chilke watches in amazement when Flitz splits open and her "daughter" emerges from Flitz's body. Flitz immediately names her "daughter" Clonia. Clonia is a fully-grown young adult. The enlarged abdomen of Flitz melts away with the excess tissue suddenly forming a strange yellow cloud that envelops first Flitz then Chilke, rendering them unconscious.

In the morning, Wayness awakens early with a strange sense that something has happened to Flitz. She returns to Chilke's ship and discovers Clonia, who is terrified and confused. Wayness calls Glawen and awakens him. When Glawen sees Clonia for the first time, he is astounded to find that she looks just like the long-dead Sessily.

The World of the Nineteen Moons.
Wayness, Flitz and Clonia travel to Old Earth in order to consult with scientists who might be able to explain the miracle of Clonia's "birth". Glawen and Chilke travel to Lake Mar, where Chilke thinks that Flitz was impregnated by aliens. Returning to the beach where Chilke and Flitz previously lived for a week while investigating the odd creatures inhabiting Lake Mar, they encounter a Hierion Tube that is linked to the World of the Nineteen Moons. They obtain a "potion" that can amplify human access to the Sedronic Domain.

Taking a dose of the potion, Glawen is able to access the Sedronic Domain. He learns that our galaxy was long ago "invaded" by an alien force arriving from the Andromeda Galaxy.
Sister galaxies - click image to enlarge

Glawen and Chilke return to Earth. They collect Wayness, Flitz and Clonia and set off towards the Andromeda Galaxy. Along the way (it is a long trip) they experiment with the "potion". When given some of the "potion", Clonia attains the ability to morph her physical features. Knowing that her appearance bothers Glawen, she abandons the "Sessily form" and creates a new body structure for herself and new facial features.

Upon arriving in the Andromeda galaxy, Clonia guides them to an artificial planet where they discover the original Sessily Veder, who explains that although she was born as a human and lived her early life on Cadwal, she is actually another artificial lifeform like Clonia. While growing up on Cadwal and not knowing her alien origins, Sessily had played her role in saving Cadwal by helping Glawen reveal the scheme by which Smonny and the Yips had planed to capture Araminta Station.

in the Ekcolir Reality
Each of them having tested the effects of the potion, the visitors to Andromeda find that they are all having strange subjective experiences. Glawen is haunted by visions of his long-dead mother and Wayness believes that she hears the voice of her dead brother, Milo. Sessily shows them how to enter the Hierion Domain where they visit the replicoids of Glawen's mother and Milo. Glawen and Wayness learn that an alien force had long been controlling human evolution and the spread of humans out into the galaxy. Previously, other humanoids had evolved on various Garden Worlds of the galaxy (such as the "Planet of the 19 Moons") and their civilizations were also carefully crafted and guided. All that remains in the Hadronic Domain are a few remnants of those ancient peoples, the bulk of their populations having been "shunted" into the Sedronic Domain.

new recruits
In the Hierion Domain, Glawen and Wayness meet "Emperor Schulz" (a mangled translation), the current Yos ēlōtē for our galaxy. The Yos ēlōtē is an appointed position, a kind of Overseer for Humanity, empowered by aliens to take action so as to guide the human species towards eventual transcendence from existence as a hadronic lifeform towards a new existence as an artificial lifeform. The Yos ēlōtē is tasked with preventing ecological damage to Garden Worlds like Earth and Cadwal. Glawen and Wayness are recruited into training as the next Yos ēlōtē.

Director of Forestlands
Related Reading: past tributes to Vance.

In this series:
Mirky Porod
the Scutinary Vitalists
the Director of Forestlands.

Next: modulating the rate of technological advances on Earth

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