Cover: Ned Dameron. Underwood-Miller, 1984.
On Wyst, World 1716 of the Alastor Cluster, millions of people live together in harmony, work only a few hours a week, and share the fruits of their labor equally. Wyst seems a Utopia. But the Connatic, knowing better than to take Utopia at face value, one day decides to investigate – a decision that may cost him his life.
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.