The Pnume (Book 4 of 4 in Tschai series, Russian translation)
The Pnume are native to Tschai, living underground in a vast network of caverns with their human slave-species, the Pnumekin. Historians of Tschai, the Pnume collect its past with scholarly disinterest; they hear rumors of Adam Reith — a man who claims to come from another planet, named Earth — and they want him for permanent display in Foreverness, museum of Tschai life! Reith must survive the Pnume tunnels, if he is ever to return to Earth.
Tschai is a planet orbiting the star Carina 4269, 212 light-years from Earth. It is populated by three alien, mutually hostile species; the displaced, native Pnume; and various human races, some of whom live as slaves or clients of the aliens. Each of the four novels relates Reith's adventures with one of the species, and is named after that species.
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Jack (John Holbrook) Vance (August 28, 1916, San Francisco — May 26, 2013, Oakland) was a famous American mystery, fantasy and science fiction author. Most of his work has been published under the name Jack Vance. Vance's stories written in the 1940s and 1950s cover many science fiction themes, with a tendency to emphasis on mysterious and biological themes (ESP, genetics, brain parasites, body switching, other dimensions, cultures) rather than technical ones. By the 1960s, Vance had developed a futuristic setting which he came to call the "Gaean Reach". Thereafter, all his science fiction was, more or less explicitly, set therein. The Gaean Reach is loose and ever expanding. Each planet has its own history, state of development and culture. Within the Reach conditions tend to be peaceable and commerce tends to dominate. At the edges of the Reach, out in the lawless "Beyond", conditions are sometimes, but not always, less secure.
Alexander Feht (born in 1961 near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk), a Russian American poet, translator, and music composer, spent more than 15 years preparing and polishing his Russian translations of Jack Vance’s masterpieces. He personally discussed with Jack Vance some daunting difficulties involved in translation of Vance’s rhythmical and complex prose, whose mesmerizing character and timeless nobility are often lost in poor translations.
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