They concern an impoverished but dashing young man, Anthony Villiers by name, who wanders the interstellar Nashuite Empire in the company of a woolly, toadlike humanoid alien named Torve. Villiers, it develops, is a remittance man: he doesn't get along with his family, so he is "requested to travel.
The result is that Villiers can move in the highest of high society but never has quite enough cash on hand.
Something calledRandvar the Songsmith. He was merely an instrument. The titles listed below are available as indicated, either from us or in electronic or print-on-demand editions. When the pith of that statement is bared as astutely as it is in this novel, it does not matter which 'small community' you belong to: Star Well hits. Oh, this is much better.
Over the course of the three books there are duels, and assassins, and bureaucrats, and syrupy children's-book authors, and incisive narratorial comments, and wry irony and wit, and laugh-out-loud funny bits. The whole series, especially the second book, is charming and highly recommended, especially at this price, especially given that the series is long since out of print and probably difficult to find anywhere else.
Though you can occasionally find copies of Star Well or Masque World at used bookstores. The plots and situations are entertaining, but the characters are the best part. There are, sort of, three characters who appear in all three books; I'll talk a little about each of them. First, Anthony Villiers. Villiers isn't quite a rogue—he's too polite, and too well-bred—but he isn't exactly a gentleman either. He's a bit of a fop: "Villiers followed the old dictum, Live as you dress.
He dressed well.
He's adept at the High Culture about which more later , but is also adept at being direct when directness is called for:. When you wish to insult a man—the Cut Direct. When you wish to snub a man—the Cut Indirect. The Studied Insult, the Pertinent Reflection—to be overheard, of course—even the smiles available for twelve separate effects.
Villiers travels in the company of one of my favorite aliens, Torve the Trog. The Trog race has been confined to two star systems since their defeat in a war; only a few of them are officially allowed to travel. Torve is not one of those few, and yet he manages to get through customs everywhere he goes. Perhaps, if our minds were trained to accept the idea and our language permitted, it would be altogether better not to believe in causality.
Perhaps lines of occurrence in which events are not caused but occur of their own volition would be more satisfactory. Star Well, ch. Torve doesn't believe in causality. He takes some odd circumstances for granted, and is surprised by others. For example, at one point, he's helping hammer nails, but keeps getting distracted:. Torve was bemused by the way a nail would retreat into the wood after it had been hit on the head. Thurb, ch. The third major character, in a sense, is the narrator. The narrator definitely has a personality, and frequently pauses to chide characters and readers , or to hold forth on various philosophical points.
For example:. Learning, playing and loving, and combinations thereof, are a good way to spend a lifetime. Admittedly, a difficult regimen, but nonetheless not beyond attainment. If you are going to be what you wear, you should try more than one style before you settle. As an experiment, try on something strange and wild. What sweet whirling thoughts unsettle the mind? Think about them. Now, who are you? Masque World, ch.
The narrator's comments on characters' flaws are often in a dry ironic tone, casting aspersions on characters for things that most readers would consider positive traits such as Villiers not behaving sufficiently like an aristocrat ; the result is occasionally to make the narrator sound overly stuffy and aristocratic, though it's never entirely clear whether the narrator is meant to be taken seriously or with tongue in cheek. Probably some of both. Either way, the narrator is often funny:.
I am beyond all help. In addition to the philosophy and humor, the books manage to toss in a surprising to me number of sly sexual references in passing, without ever dwelling on them.
There's a funny bit where a tourist resort's Accommodations Clerk, misunderstanding a request for privacy from one of the more straight-laced characters, offers to send in a variety of leather appliances; there's a couple of paragraphs about an order of holy prostitutes; there's a one-word casual mention of polygamy that's so subtle most readers will probably miss it; and there's momentarily a certain casual attitude toward homosexuality, in this brief exchange with the other character's name removed to avoid spoilers :.
A modern liberal reader might nonetheless take issue with certain political aspects of the books: in particular, there are few female characters in the trilogy, and there's a hook-nosed swarthy villain in one book. But there's also a certain amount of subversion of reader expectations; for example, the narrator spends some paragraphs at one point discussing the paucity of female characters:.
New Celebrations: The Adventures of Anthony Villiers - Kindle edition by Alexei Panshin, Cory Ench, Catska Ench. Download it once and read it on your Kindle. New Celebrations: The Adventures of Anthony Villiers [Alexei Panshin] on prelinparbalym.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
It has always been my conviction that a story with a young personable unmarried man ought to have an attractive girl as well, for companionship's sake. So far, there are half a dozen such young men in our story, and no attractive young ladies at all. Unfortunately, there are unlikely to be many. There are some gender-related moments that may make a modern reader wince a little at first, but perseverance furthers, and Panshin knows what he's doing. Keep in mind that he wrote Rite of Passage and forgive him. As for race, issues of human interaction with aliens are explored much more interestingly than issues between human races which are largely ignored, though the influence of various non-European languages is clear in character names , and even the stereotyped villain is kind of an interesting character.
Another reason to forgive Panshin any minor political lapses is the care with which he dissects and skewers class and cultural issues. The action of the books takes place against the backdrop of a galactic empire, and Villiers and his friends are mostly from the noble class who rule that empire—and yet Villiers is in almost self-imposed exile from the center of the empire, due partly to his predilection for hanging about with confidence men and Trogs and other such uncouth beings.
Throughout the books we catch glimpses of the High Culture that this ruling class lives by which is as heavily mannered as various historical ruling cultures —and yet, the narrator constantly deconstructs that culture:. The empire is a gallimaufry of cultures of which the so-called High Culture is only one. Cultures are media of expression, like languages. Most men know at least several fluently, shift easily among them, but are most comfortable in one.
Real unity is impossible—the universe is too large. The common experience of the opening of space ended forever the possibility of one common culture. Which is just as well. Delany, from the Introduction"I strongly recommend you introduce yourself to Anthony Villiers.
It's all glorious, ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek parody of almost anything you can think of. Get it! Get A Copy. Published March 15th by Electricstory. More Details Anthony Villiers Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about New Celebrations , please sign up.
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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 20, Julie Davis rated it really liked it.
I heard of this book from Maureen at her blog, Aliens in This World and when I suddenly had to go out of town, I indulged in my favorite stress-relieving activity Albeit on the Kindle, where this book waited handily in my private wish list. It is a trilogy following the adventures of Anthony Villiers, not quite a lord and not quite a rogue, but definitely a gentleman. He has been not quite outcast by his family and travels around the known universe which is quite large.
Unfortuna I heard of this book from Maureen at her blog, Aliens in This World and when I suddenly had to go out of town, I indulged in my favorite stress-relieving activity Unfortunately, the money his family send to travel with is often not awaiting him when he arrives at his destinations which puts him continually in financial straits. As he travels, with alien friend Torve the Trog who I fell in love with almost immediately , Villiers encounters various adventures.
All of this is told amusingly by an omniscient narrator who occasionally will drop into the story to make direct comments to the reader.