By Jack Vance
L. a. musique, dit-on, est universelle... C'est pour s'en assurer que Dame Isabel Grayce décide un beau jour, accompagnée d'une troupe d'opéra au grand complet, de quitter los angeles Terre à bord du Phébus afin d'offrir aux multiples races extraterrestres de los angeles Galaxie les ivresses de l. a. Grande Musique. Objectif ultime : l. a. planète Rlaru, dont los angeles réputation mélomane a traversé le vide interstellaire. Mais l. a. musique n'adoucit pas forcément les mœurs, et les performances de l. a. compagnie, au fil de son voyage à travers les mondes, vont rarement rencontrer l'accueil espéré. Entre des extraterrestres passablement récalcitrants, guère sensibles aux sirènes artistiques, et les divagations romantiques de Roger, le neveu de Dame Isabel, et du capitaine d'un vaisseau bientôt fantôme, l'odyssée du Phébus pourrait bien prendre des airs de Crépuscule des Dieux ! Jack Vance nous offre ici un petit bijou de area opera humoristique, où los angeles Musique des Sphères est à l. a. portée du canon d'un chœur d'opéra !
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But he still did not know where he was, and the speaker at the other end of the circuit must have understood his situation completely. "Don't worry, Dave. This is Frank Poole. I'm watching your heart and respiration-everything is perfectly normal. Just relax – take it easy. " Soft light flooded into the chamber; he saw moving shapes silhouetted against the widening entrance. And in that moment, all his memories came back to him, and be knew exactly where he was. Though he had come back safely from the furthest borders of sleep, and the nearest borders of death, he had been gone only a week.
At the end of the hundred days, Discovery would close down. All the crew would go into hibernation; only the essential systems would continue to operate, watched over by the ship's tireless electronic brain. She would continue to swing around Saturn, on an orbit now so well determined that men would know exactly where to look for her a thousand years hence. But in only five years, according to present plans, Discovery II would come. Even if six or seven or eight years elapsed, her sleeping passengers would never know the difference.
When Bowman used the highest magnification of Discovery's telescopes, he appeared to be hanging above a slightly flattened globe, looking down upon a vista of racing clouds that had been smeared into bands by the giant world's swift rotation. Sometimes those bands congealed into wisps and knots and continent-sized masses of colored vapor; sometimes they were linked by transient bridges thousands of miles in length. Hidden beneath those clouds was enough material to outweigh all the other planets in the Solar System.
Space Opera by Jack Vance