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In the 1940s, the Golden Age of science fiction flowered in the magazine Astounding. Editor John W. Campbell, Jr., discovered and promoted great new writers such as Isaac Asimov in New York, Robert A. Heinlein in California, and A.E. van Vogt in Canada, whose novel Slan was one of the basic works of the era. Throughout the forties and into the fifties Slan was considered the single most important SF novel, the one great book that everyone had to read. Many SF fans rallied to the cry, "Fans are slans."
Today it remains a monument to pulp SF adventure, filled with constant action and a cornucopia of ideas. And maybe fans really are slans. Read it and see for yourself.
Slan is legendary science fiction author A. E. Van Vogt's first and best-known novel, back in print from Tor Books's Orb imprint. The story is classic golden age science fiction: Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bred superhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by "normal" humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stop Jommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis, the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray. But on their latest trip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother is killed. Jommy, only 9 years old, unwittingly becomes caught up in a plot to undermine Gray, who may be more sympathetic to slans than the public suspects. The nonstop action and root-for-the-underdog plot has made Slan a science fiction favorite.
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