New Celebrations: The Adventures of Anthony Villiers
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by Alexei Panshin
Category: Science Fiction
Description: Many books have been hailed as "in the tradition of" The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not this one. It came first. It may, however, be something of a precursor. A space-operatic comedy of manners and meditation on life, a cheerful noir thriller, New Celebrations contains the first three, and so far only, novels about the enigmatic Anthony Villiers, a young man who trails both a mysterious past and a six-foot furred toad companion whose papers are not in order. From a space-station gambling resort, to a nice camping venue in a nature reserve, to the masquerade on Delbalso where arboreal peels grunt like clockwork, Villiers tours many odd social circles of the interstellar Nashuite Empire. Hounded by want of cash, by assassins and, worse, bureaucrats, he remains polite, has fun, and makes an impression. Meet him and see. New Celebrations comprises the first three books of the adventures of Anthony Villiers: Starwell and The Thurb Revolution, originally published in 1968, and Masque World, published the year after.
eBook Publisher: Electricstory.com, 1968
eBookwise Release Date: April 2002
54 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [593 KB]
Reading time: 375-526 min.
"Star Well [the first book of New Celebrations] is a wise, delightful, and well-turned book; and it is something I have never seen in science fiction before. It is the first of a series of novels that examines the proposition that the world is composed of small communities of mutual interest. When the pith of that statement is bared as astutely as it is in this novel, it does not matter which 'small community' you belong to: Star Well hits."--Samuel R. Delany, from the Introduction
"I strongly recommend you introduce yourself to Anthony Villiers ... it's all glorious, ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek parody of almost anything you can think of ... Get it!"--Analog
INTRODUCTION by Samuel R. Delany Star Well is a wise, delightful, and well-turned book; and it is something I have never seen in science fiction before. It is the first of a series of novels that examines the proposition that the world is composed of small communities of mutual interest. When the pith of that statement is bared as astutely as it is in this novel, it does not matter which "small community" you belong to: Star Well hits.
I write this as the second volume of the adventures of Anthony Villiers nears completion. Looking for an analogue to this roman fleuve in the mainstream, I come up with A Dance to the Music of Time, perhaps Men of Good Will, definitely NOT Jalna. Twenty-eight-year-old Mr. Panshin's credentials for the undertaking are impressive. He is the author of one fine and solidly classical sf novel, Rite of Passage; he was the recipient of a "Hugo" award from the World Science Fiction Convention in 1967 for his critical writing over the previous year; he recently published the first full-length study of Robert Heinlein, Heinlein in Dimension; his short stories have appeared in Analog, If, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Galaxy.
What follows is a gallery of gamblers, duels and double-crosses, a minuet of manners and manners mangled; the machinery of the universe is speculated upon; inspector generals arrive to inspect it. And Anthony Villiers, gentleman par excellence, dashes through it all, buckling a swash or two, bungling a couple of others.
If you consider it impolite to strike up an acquaintance with someone you have not been formally introduced to, well--consider the introduction made.
New York, April 1968