Monday, September 30, 2013

Jack Vance's "The Men Return" (short story, weird physics)

This is unlike anything else I've seen of Vance. And pretty near amongst the weirdest stories I've seen.

Story summary.

Earth passes through a peculiar region of space where causelty no longer holds & physics is weird. Earth is not necessarily solid & can randomly change phases. You can pick up a chunk of air & eat it, or ride it! Etc.

Most men died out. Few survivors are in two groups: organisms are thoughtless with random spur of the moment action. Relicts are rational of the old but are fast dying out - since this world has not rationality & doesn't tolerate rationality.

That's when the universe inexplicably returns back to a state where the effect follow the cause & rational men can claim the world again.

Fact sheet.

First published: Infinity Science Fiction, July 1957.
Rating: B.
Related: Stories of Jack Vance.