Far in the future, the craftsmen of the distant planet Halma create goods which are the wonder of the galaxy. But they know little of this. Their society is harshly regimented, its religion austere and unforgiving, and primitive -- to maintain standards, even the most basic use of automation is punishable by death.
When Amiante, a wood-carver, is executed for processing old documents with a camera, his son Ghyl rebels, and decides to bring down the system. To do so, he must first interpret the story of Emphyrio, an ancient hero of Halman legend.
* "Only Lord Dunsany could create worlds, names, atmospheres as magical as Jack Vance s; and Vance is a better storyteller." Poul Anderson
* "You can't possibly pass up any book by Jack Vance. He has perfected the trick of creating new worlds so deceptively real that after a while your own home seems imaginary." Jerry Pournelle
* Be warned: reading Vance is addictive. George R.R. Martin
* A modern classic by one of the great fantasy and science fiction writers of the 20th Century. A rare tale of an Earth so far in the future as to be nearly unrecognisable to the contemporary reader. Raymond E. Feist