THE DRAGON MASTERS + THE LAST CASTLE
(reprint) omnibus: 1973
Ace-Double (1 author)
Ace Double (#16641) April 1973 paperback. Condition is Fine(-): very tight and square with flat spines; age tanning is mild to moderate and uniform (consistent with its age and quality of paper); very slight overall wear. No stamps marks or writing - a clean copy.
An Ace Double from 1973, containing The Dragon Masters and The Last Castle - both by Jack Vance, and both winners of the Hugo Award. (Each side states "2nd printing" and gives dates for earlier appearances - those dates don't match because each of these books was originally paired with a different book.) If you want a nice edtion without the other sides that were originally paired - this could make a nice addition to your collection, or a great gift if you want to show some what made Vance so special.
The Dragon Masters (137 pages, cover by Josh Kirby (?); copyright 1962 - first book appearance was 1963.) This first appeared in Galaxy August 1962, and won the Hugo award for "best short fiction" in 1963. In my opinion, this is Vance's finest work, and I recommend it highly.
War between the Basics and man had been waged intermittently over a period of many decades. Previous encounters had left each side with prisoners of the other species and each had performed remarkable genetic experiments. Thus, when they met again transformed men were slaves to the lizardlike Basics, fighting their battles and transporting their weapons, while on the other side, transformed Basics became dragons of all shapes and sizes, geared to fight the fiercest battles their human masters could plan. The nearness of the red star Coralyne predicted the imminence of the next conflict. Joaz Banbeck readied his war dragons to meet the attack. Upon his success would rest the entire future of the race of man on this world.
In a far-distant future, a refined and over-cultured human elite lived in 8 great castles, with their Birds and insect-girl Phanes and Meks to serve them. The Meks were intelligent Insectoids imported from Etamin Nine and domesticated to become technical serfs. Then came one day when humans woke up to find the Meks had revolted: they walked out en masse, disabled the Starships, and started destroying the Castles and killing the inhabitants. When the machinery began to fail, most of the elite were too impractical or preoccupied to care or do anything useful. When Hagedorn became the last remaining Castle, it fell on Xanten and Claghorn to devise a defense...