Review: Slan

Slan by A.E. van Vogt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the classic science fiction/space opera novels that pretty much everyone read back in the day. It was a tad dated then and now, but it’s an enjoyable read.

The story is set in the future, with Jommy Cross being one of the last of the super race known as Slans. Slans are persecuted and killed on sight by humans, who are threatened by the Slans, who they believe to be manufactured by machines and which have telepathic abilities. Also in the mix are a subrace of the Slans, that don’t have the vast telepathic abilities, but have developed spacefaring technology that they plan to use to take over the planet (they already control Mars). Jommy’s crusade is to use the technology bequeathed him by his murdered father to united Slans and humans.

The main reason this is a four-star novel instead of a five is that the ending is very weak and sudden, and doesn’t necessarily resolve much in the story (at least for me). I enjoy van Vogt’s writing, but his characters are a bit cardboard in this one. But other than that, it’s a good tale, and definitely worth reading for any fan of proper science fiction and golden age sci-fi.

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