Accueil > A. E. van Vogt > THE 14 VAN VOGT NOVELS ON THIS SITE, in chronological order > "The Players of Null-A" (1948-49) by A. E. van Vogt

"The Players of Null-A" (1948-49) by A. E. van Vogt

samedi 6 juin 2020, par A. E. van Vogt

This major work, first published in the October-November-December 1948 and January 1949 issues of Astounding Science Fiction as The Players of Ā [1], is the direct sequel to his renowned 1945 opus The World of Null-A.

It has all the key players of the first episode – the Null-A (non-Aristotelian) [2] mutant Gilbert Gosseyn with an extra brain(!) who has learned how to “similarize” (transport instantaneously) himself to previously-memorised places in case of need, the superiorly intelligent and capable fellow-Null-A adept Eldred Crang, the fascinating Patricia Hardy, the redoubtable conqueror Enro the Red, as well as new players in this cosmic game, notably the mysterious and extraordinarily powerful – and menacing – Follower and a very interesting and helpful young woman called Leej who can predict forthcoming events.

Centred on a galactic-level conflict that menaces the very existence of much of the galaxy including the planets of the solar system, this smoothly-written and wildly imaginative adventure is quite independent of its rather famous predecessor, but not, in our humble opinion, inferior in merit.

With the very numerous (22 !) and quite splendid original Astounding illustrations by Rogers, and the magazine covers by Rogers (for the October 1948, November 1948 and January 1949 issues) and Orban (the December 1948 issue).

(76,500 words)

An e-book is available for downloading below.

The Players of Null-A (e-book)

[1it was re-issued in pocket-book format as The Pawns of Null-A in 1956, and then in 1966 (and in most subsequent printings) as the easier-to-pronounce version of its original name, The Players of Null-A.

[2here is the outline of the significance of this key concept as explained in the “Abstract” introduction to Chapter VIII :
Aristotle’s formulations of the science of his time were probably the most accurate available during his lifetime. His followers for two thousand years subscribed to the identification that they were true for all time. In more recent years, new systems of measurement dis­proved many of these "truths," but they continue to be the basis of the opinions and beliefs of most peo­ple. The two-valued logic on which such folk thought is founded has accordingly been given the designa­tion Aristotelian—abbreviation : A—and the many-valued logic of mod­ern science has been given the name non-Aristotelian—abbreviation : Ā, null-A..