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This media cannot be played on your device. But would you want to? Worse still, the kind of inflated personal belief that is promoted by certain gurus may cause us to ignore the criticisms of those around us, even when they might be offering a more realistic view of our chances.

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Publication: The World-Thinker and Other Stories

Ultimately, the success stories we hear are the anomalies. Just think of all the motivational autobiographies out there: all giving the impression that determination was the key to success. After all, as many as nine out of ten start-ups end up bombing. I just think which side of the line is it on?

Is it my thoughts and actions? Or is it something out there? He gives an example of a game of tennis, but he says that same applies to any major challenge. Brown also advocates the Stoic practice of premeditation every morning to prepare the mind for the day ahead.

The danger of a single story - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This deliberate self-reflection — taken from a distanced perspective, when we are in a more rational frame of mind — reminds us that some things will be out of our control, and need not be the source of upset. One of the best ways of achieving this, he says, is to leave the phone out of the bedroom. With that in mind, I wonder how much we are simply seeing a public facade of Brown himself. But as far as you can tell from our short conversation, the Stoic approach of accepting our lack of control certainly seems to bring him moments of relief in his hectic life.

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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Get A Copy. More Details Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. The World Between and Other Stories is a book published in that is composed of three novelettes and two short stories dating from to The first story is The World Between, also known as "Ecological Onslaught", a 29 page novelette written in A potentially habitable planet is discovered by beings from Blue Star who are in direct competition with residents of another planet called Kay.

When the Blue Star explorers try to introduce organisms to the planet to eventually make it ha The World Between and Other Stories is a book published in that is composed of three novelettes and two short stories dating from to When the Blue Star explorers try to introduce organisms to the planet to eventually make it habitable, the Kay citizens decide to release diseases and predators to disrupt things. This quickly becomes an ecological battle between two planets.

It is an interesting story and my second favorite of the five. I rate a 4 The second story is "The Moon Moth" which is a novelette of 39 pages that was initially published in It is the most interesting and the easily the finest written of the five stories. Edwer Thissell, who arrived on the planet Sirene only three months ago, is suddenly appointed as the new Consular Representative from Earth after his predecessor is assassinated.

He must quickly assume the responsibilities of this new position while learning how to behave in that role in the very strange culture on Sirene where everyone wears special masks, communicates through playing musical instruments while singing and will kill by sword anyone who violates the strict customs and protocol which seem almost incomprehensible. Thissell is assigned the duty of capturing an assassin from Earth who will soon to arrive on Sirene. But in the process of trying to track him down he has to interact with the Sirenes and seriously and perhaps fatally violates Sirene customs while doing so.

The story is well thought out, skillfully written and quite complex. It consists of five vignettes with different characters and settings. In the first vignette a man with no memory finds himself naked at a 19th century Boston coming out party and has to decide what to do. In the second a different character is in the midst of a losing battle with insect like creatures and decides to order his men to attack the main hive of the creatures he is fighting. In the third a man is in an ancient city of ruins seeking a parchment that can save his lords life. In the fourth a person finds himself in competition to mentally project imaginative images on a screen.

In the last scene our fifth character is captured and tortured by his enemy. It is unclear how these vignettes are related until toward the end of the story where it all comes together. I found this story to be the least interesting of the collection and rated it a 3- The 4th, a short story of 24 pages, is "The Devil on Salvation Bluff" written in Two missionaries, a married couple, live outside the main city on a planet called "Glory" where their ancestors from Earth crash landed years ago.

They maintain a huge clock which is very symbolic and adhere to Earth time and customs even though it does not apply to this planet which has a number of suns that seem to rise unpredictably. The two missionaries are responsible for "civilizing" the local natives, who live in the wild, by teaching them about manners, social behavior, adherence to schedules, and the importance of time and clocks. The locals raise goats, run around half naked, live in filthy conditions, refuse to live in the houses that the missionaries built for them, copulate in public and destroy the canals the missionaries make.

The chief of the tribe is the only one who speaks their language, but he won't cooperate and calls the giant clock the devil, threatening to roll boulders down on it. The couple are concerned how an upcoming inspection will reflect on them and think the chief must be mentally ill to be so uncivilized so they decide to take him to one of their hospitals for mental health treatment. Things do not work out as they expect, however.

This is very easy to read, rather fun and fairly interesting. I don't know how to explain this one except to say that the law of causality, physics and reality on Earth is rendered somewhat inoperable and matter now fades in and out of existence. Humans evolved into two different creatures, one rooted in the laws of science and the other having developed in the coexisting world of randomness and surrealism where nothing seems real.

Both groups spend all their time seeking food and are not above eating each other. As food becomes more scarce, the groups become more desperate. It is all very bizarre, but I found it fascinating and rated it 3: "Liked it. Apr 19, TJ rated it liked it. Copies of the set seem to be rarely sold, although I have seen two of them on eBay. There are fifteen short works included. Twelve of them are short stories, two are novelettes and one is a novella.

A brief description of each story is listed below alphabetically. It is quite entertaining. The story involves the rivalry between astronomy professors who compete to gain more access time to the observatory telescope so they can explore their pet projects and personal interests. Written in the first person singular, this is more of a mystery story than science fiction.


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I thought it was fairly interesting and rated it a 3. DP "DP" is a twenty page short story that sometimes has an exclamation point after the title. Vance wrote this story while vacationing in a village in the Austrian Tyrol and uses this location as the setting for the story. White humanoid troglodytes begin coming up out of the fissures in the earth after a lava flow forces them to the surface. The "Trogs" are initially killed by fearful humans until they are recognized as also being human.

The harmless and helpless Trogs are blind and have no food or shelter.

Stories, Listed by Author

Prolonged exposure to the sun kills them. They are refugees, totally dependent on others.


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Eventually millions of Trogs climb up out of the earth and are stranded in a small area in Austria called Trog City. The United Nations becomes involved and some countries offer to take some of the Trogs as immigrants. Some citizens find this threatening and campaign against it. One country wonders if the Trogs could be used for cheap or free labor.

It is a classic refugee ethical dilemma done Vancian style. I rated it a 4. The couple are concerned how an upcoming inspection will reflect on them and think the chief must be mentally ill to be so uncivilized, so they decide to take him to one of their hospitals for mental health treatment. I rated it a 3. Vance explained how this story was originally part of an epic novel that was rejected for publication. It was one episode that he salvaged from the novel. It has also had the title "The Temple of Han. While fleeing, however, the sky suddenly changes and a new sun appears in place of the old one.

The Han have somehow moved Earth to a different location, and that is merely the first step in the drastic measures they will take to regain the jewel. In the Introduction It is engaging and worth reading. The House Lords "The House Lords" is a fifteen page short story that was published initially in Saturn magazine in In his Introduction Vance mentions that he has little recollection of the story. An Astrographical Society ship from Earth arrives on another planet where conditions for life are favorable. They suddenly see a human child and then encounter some English speaking people who call themselves "Freemen.

Suddenly some other humans whom the Freemen call "House Lords" appear from a castle and the Freemen flee. These House Lords refer to the Freemen as "Wild men" and have advanced weapons and a very superior attitude. Two of the men from the ship accompany the House Lords to their castle where they try to determine who all of these people are and where they came from. It is a rather interesting story that I rated a 3. A slight revision of the story was issued in and titled "Dream Castle.

Vance, Jack 1916–

It is a fifteen page short story that features an intelligent and enterprising protagonist named Farrero, a fairly recent graduate who designs and markets homes for a contracting firm. His boss, Angker, wants him to sign over patents that he created when he was in school. When he refuses to do so, he is immediately fired. Farrero strikes out on his own even though he does not have a contractor's license.

His ideas are revolutionary and very profit making so that he is soon in competition with his old firm. They decide to try to hire rehire him or at least attempt to duplicate what he is doing, but Farrero seems to have anticipated this. The story is quite clever.