Trullion: Alastor 2262

by Jack Vance
Series: Alastor 1
Reviewed date: 2005 Mar 12
Rating: 2
192 pages
cover art

Trullion is world 2262 of the Alastor cluster. It is a lush world, and the people are easy-going and do not propend to hard work. Glinnes Hulden of Trullion is an expert player of hussade, a wildly popular sport played throughout the Alastor worlds. Hussade is played on low platforms over water by masked teams armed with blunted sticks, which are used to knock opposing players into the water below. The objective is to win past the opposing team to their sheirl, a beautiful virgin wearing a golden ring and standing on a raised podium. Once reached, a tug on the sheirl's golden ring unfastens her clothes, thereby "denuding" her and winning the game. A denuded sheirl can never be sheirl again.

The plot of Trullion: Alastor 2262 meanders aimlessly. Intriguing bits of information are presented and forgotten with regularity until one wonders if Jack Vance intended this for publication or whether it was his way of trying out new ideas. The eventual resolution of the plot is only partially satisfactory, with much left unexplained. Furthermore, one is left with the distinct impression that everyone in the book is mad. And depraved.

The only worthwhile reason to read this book is the game of hussade. It appears to combine perfectly the base male passions for violence, competition, and naked female bodies. One wonders whether such a game could succeed today. If it could, whoever first brings it to market would become exceedingly wealthy. In unrelated news, I'm going to be taking some time off from reading to pursue my goal of getting rich quick.

Archive | Search