Actual title: The Chasch.
When the Terran starship Explorator IV reached the planet Tschai, its crew didn't know what to expect. Tschai was so far from Earth that the distress signal which had brought them here must have taken centuries to reach them. Whatever cataclysm had threatened this planet was probably long past.
So they went in orbit around Tschai, and sent a man named Adam Reith down to explore in a scout-boat. Suddenly a gray projectile darted up from the planet and Explorator IV was blown to bits. Reith's scout-boat hurtled out of control to crash-land on the planet below. Injured and alone on this alien world, Reith faced dangers he could not even imagine. But Reith was not a man to give up – and he had a deadly score to settle with someone... or something... on the planet Tschai.
John Holbrook "Jack" Vance (1916–2013) was an American mystery, fantasy and science fiction writer. Though most of his work has been published as by Jack Vance, he also wrote 11 mystery novels using his full name John Holbrook Vance, three under the pseudonym Ellery Queen, and once each using the pseudonyms Alan Wade, Peter Held, John van See, and Jay Kavanse.
Vance won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984 and he was a Guest of Honor at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 14th Grand Master in 1997 and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers.