Big Planet was first published in Startling Stories (vol. 27 no. 2, September 1952), then cut and reissued in 1957 by Avalon Books. The text was restored in 1978.
Cover: Steve Hickman. Underwood-Miller, 1978.
Charley Lysidder, the Bajarnum of Beaujolais was ruthlessly expanding his empire on the Big Planet. The objectives of the mission from Earth was to stop him and ensure that the whole world didn't fall under the domination of the tyrant.
But when sabotage forced the spacecraft carrying the mission crashlanded, the priority changed. The survivors faced an epic 40,000 mile trek to safety, across the vast and unknown surface of the planet, harassed by monsters, the native people and the agents of the Bajarnum, and riven by their own deadly disputes.
Rich, strange and powerful, Big Planet, is an important landmark in the history of SF. The sophistication of the concept of the Big Planet itself, with its huge size and negligible metal resources, and Jack Vance's subtly effective baroque style, changed the planetary romance forever.
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.