A bibliography for Jack Vance

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Phalid’s Fate

Author: Jack Vance
Year written: 1945
Author’s age at the time: 29
Year published: December 1946
Publication: Thrilling Wonder
Dutch title: De vruchten der Phaleden
Genre: short story, novelet, SF


“I want to minimize the shock on the brain,” explained the doctor. “The visual images no doubt will be confusing, to say the least. The Phalid’s color spectrum, remember, is twice as long, the field of vision three or four times as wide as that of the average human being. It has two hundred eyes, and the impressions of two hundred separate optic units must be coordinated and merged. A human brain accommodates to two images, but it’s questionable whether it could do the same for two hundred. That’s why we’ve left intact a bit of the creature’s former brain the nodule coordinating the various images.” Here Plogetz paused long enough to give the complex black head an appraising glance.

Wratch looked about the sky for familiar star-patterns, and for the first time regretted the seven new colors in his spectrum. Because the stars were entirely different in guise, some bright in over-violet, others in sub-red.

Republished in Chateau d’If and Other Stories. Spatterlight, 2012