Jack Vance, sorted by year written
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The story was revised significantly in 1962 (re-titled as “Dream Castle”).
“Now, as to your process, it clearly has been developed while you worked for us; therefore it becomes our property. There are a thousand legal precedents to this effect.”
Farrero waved his hand. “Irrelevant. My basic idea is to bring Class III homes down to the Class II price level, which is of course not a patentable process.”
“Well, Douane,” presently came Marlais’ soft voice, “you probably could have handled him more subtly...” His voice trailed off to a whisper. Then: “We’ll have a hard time proving ownership of any patents. Still, it may be for the best. The industry is stable. We’re all making money. No telling where disruption might take us. Perhaps we’d better call a meeting of the association, lay our cards on the table. I think everyone will contract neither to hire Farrero nor use his process.”
Republished in The World-Thinker and Other Stories, Spatterlight,2012
Before long, however, Thomm came to feel that Covill paid only lip-service to the Bureau philosophy. Some of his actions seemed dense and arbitrary to the well-indoctrinated Thomm. He built an Earth-style office on Penolpan’s main canal, and the concrete and glass made an inexcusable jar against Penolpan’s mellow ivories and browns. He kept strict office hours and on a dozen occasions a delegation of Mi-Tuun, arriving in ceremonial regalia, had to be turned away with stammered excuses by Thomm, when in truth Covill, disliking the crispness of his linen suit, had stripped to the waist and was slumped in a wicker chair with a cigar, a quart of beer, watching girl-shows on his telescreen.
“At the age of fourteen he goes forth from his home with a hammer, a mortar, a pound of bone lime. He must mine clay, lead, sand, spar. He must find iron for brown, malachite for green, cobalt earth for blue, and he must grind a glaze in his mortar, shape and decorate a tile, and set it in the Mouth of the Great Burn. If the tile is successful, the body whole, the glaze good, then he is permitted to enter the long pottery and know the secrets of the craft.”
Republished in Sail 25 and Other Stories, Spatterlight 2012
A mystery story, set on a planet with marine life.
Fletcher tried to recall the line-up of barges along the dock. If Mahlberg, the barge-tender, had been busy with repairs, Raight might well have gone out himself. Fletcher drew himself a cup of coffee. “That’s where he must be.” He sat down. “It’s not like Raight to put in free overtime.”
Ahead shone the Bio-Minerals mast-head light, climbing into the sky as the barge approached. Fletcher saw the black shapes of men outlined against the glow. The entire crew was waiting for him: the two operators, Agostino and Murphy, Mahlberg the barge-tender, Damon the biochemist, Dave Jones the steward, Manners the technician, Hans Heinz the engineer.
Republished in Chateau d’If and Other Stories, Spatterlight 2012.
The scouts approached at breakneck speed, at the last instant flinging their horses sidewise. Long shaggy legs kicked out, padlike hooves plowed through the moss. The scouts jumped to the ground, ran forward. “The way to Ballant Keep is blocked!”
Republished as The Miracle Workers by Spatterlight, 2012.
Luke often daydreamed of a more sumptuous life: AAA nutrition, a suite of rooms for his exclusive use, Special Coupons by the bale, Class 7 Erotic Processing, or even Class 6, or 5: despite Luke’s contempt for the High Echelon he had no quarrel with High Echelon perquisites. And always as a bitter coda to the daydreams came the conviction that he might have enjoyed these good things in all reality. He had watched his fellows jockeying; he knew all the tricks and techniques: the beavering, the gregarization, the smutting, knuckling and subuculation…
Republished in The Moon Moth and Other Stories, Spatterlight, 2012