Rhialto the Marvellous takes up the personal and political conflicts among a conclave of two dozen magicians of Ascolais and Almery in the 21st Aeon. The shocking appearance of the Llorio the Murtha, a powerful female force from an earlier aeon threatens to unbalance nature by "ensqualming" or feminizing the magicians. This triggers a tremendous struggle for power and the other mages turn against Rhialto. Hoping to reestablish his rightful place, Rhialto travels to other aeons to restore the missing Perciplex which projects the Mostrament, the constitution of the association. In his final adventure, Rhialto must, ultimately, travel to the very ends of time and space to confront an old adversary whom he had wronged and must commit further misdeeds to restore order.
Jack Vance (1916-2013)
John Holbrook Vance was born in 1916 and studied mining, engineering and journalism at the University of California. During the Second World War he served in the merchant navy and was torpedoed twice. He started contributing stories to the pulp magazines in the mid 1940s and published his first book, The Dying Earth, in 1950. Among his many books are The Dragon Masters, for which he won his first Hugo Award, Big Planet, The Anome, and the Lyonesse sequence. He has won the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, amongst others, and in 1997 was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.