The Weapon Shops of Isher

The Weapon Shops of Isher With the publication in the July issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine of the story Seesaw van Vogt began unfolding the complex tale of the oppressive Empire of Isher and the mysterious

  • Title: The Weapon Shops of Isher
  • Author: A.E. van Vogt
  • ISBN: 9780671431297
  • Page: 388
  • Format: Paperback
  • With the publication, in the July 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, of the story Seesaw, van Vogt began unfolding the complex tale of the oppressive Empire of Isher and the mysterious Weapon Shops This volume, The Weapon Shops of Isher, includes the first three parts of the saga and introduces perhaps the most famous political slogan of science fiction TWith the publication, in the July 1941 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, of the story Seesaw, van Vogt began unfolding the complex tale of the oppressive Empire of Isher and the mysterious Weapon Shops This volume, The Weapon Shops of Isher, includes the first three parts of the saga and introduces perhaps the most famous political slogan of science fiction The Right to Buy Weapons is the Right to Be Free Born at the height of Nazi conquest, the Isher stories suggested that an oppressive government could never completely subjugate its own citizens if they were well armed The audience appeal was immediate and has endured long beyond other stories of alien invasion, global conflict and post war nuclear angst.

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      Published :2020-06-18T13:55:22+00:00

    About "A.E. van Vogt"

    1. A.E. van Vogt

      Alfred Elton van Vogt was a Canadian born science fiction author regarded by some as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid twentieth century the Golden Age of the genren Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home He began his writing career with true story romances, but then moved to writing science fiction, a field he identified with His first story was Black Destroyer, that appeared as the front cover story for the July 1939 edtion of the popular Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

    908 thoughts on “The Weapon Shops of Isher”

    1. 4.0 to 4.5 stars. This is a great example of the "big idea" science fiction classic. Set thousands of years in the future, the story revolves around the struggle between a corrupt empire and the mysterious "weapon shops" that provide the population with a means to insure that the government can never become all powerful. Libertarian SF at its best and arguably Van Vogt's best book ever.

    2. Another dystopian outing by Van Vogt, and one which demonstrates moments of depth and subtlety surpassing his other work. Yet, at its heart, it suffers from the same ridiculous problems as most of his stories.What may be most interesting about this book is how it feels like a prototype for the dark, socio-political sci fi of Philip K. Dick and the Cyberpunk authors. The characters try to move through complex, corrupt bureaucratic systems, and often end up beaten and weaker for it as they seek to [...]

    3. "The right to own weapons is the right to be free" I own an omnibus edition of The Weapons Shop of Isher and The Weapons Makers now as the old paper backs are long gone. The only thing that keeps these from 5 star ratings is that they are not quite as "enthralling" as some reads. Still these are wonderful books and of course they will provoke thought and debate.The weapons shops exist basically to keep the totalitarian government of the Empress Isher from being able to take the last step to comp [...]

    4. During my teen years, when I thought that A.E. van Vogt could do no wrong, I somehow missed reading The Weapon Shops of Isher. I have finally closed that particular gap on this rather odd book -- one that the National Rifle Association would heartily sanction.Isher is an incredibly corrupt empire ruled by a young empress whose heart is in the right place, though she is surrounded by cynical self-serving courtiers. Van Vogt writes:When a people lose the courage to resist encroachment on their rig [...]

    5. The core message; "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free" - it's no surprise that the NRA and gun enthusiasts will love this line but do they understand it? Certainly the Weapon Shop philosophy is pro-gunt it is also pro-gun control. Impossible?It's a SHORT novel so I'm going to attempt to minimize how much plot I actually mention here. The story itself is pretty familiar--future totalitarian dystopia ruled by a monarch with a government tainted by political/corporate collusion and co [...]

    6. 1980 grade A2015 grade ASeries book WS2The book has odd POV transitions in that it is not always obvious that the POV has changed. Content wise, in the beginning chapters, all the characters seem to be losers. But stick with it. It is a pretty easy but intelligent read and gets immensely better.(Note: My edition is the 1973 fourth printing of the Ace edition pictured above - condition "Very Good." That edition is not listed in the owned books section and I do not feel like dealing with problema [...]

    7. This is '40s vintage pulp science fiction at its best. The plot is something of a mess with threads going off in all directions. But darned if I don't love it as much today as when I was a kid. Could Van Vogt have done better? Probably. But think of the times and what was expected of him. Besides, if it wasn't for the writers of the Golden Age, I would neither read nor write SF today. So, three cheers for A. E. Van Vogt and this wonderful little gem of writing.

    8. A blast from the past, literally. The Weapon Shops of Isher is classic golden age adventure science fiction the likes of which is no longer seen today. Van Vogt fills the work with catchy prose, sly humour and understated profundity. Reduced to its most basic essence, The Weapon Shops… is a somewhat tongue in cheek libertarian critique masquerading as serious libertarian literature. While the philosophies on display are commonly read as totalitarianism versus personal freedom, the more complex [...]

    9. A.E. van Vogt's "The Weapon Shops of Isher" is a 1951 book he formed from three of his 1940s era short stories. So, you have to keep several things in mind about it. First, since its source stories were initially published in the magazines of the time, the prose tends to be a bit terse and abrupt. There's no subtlety in what it's trying to get across or in how it does it. Second, since it's a story originating during the 1940s (The Golden Age of Science Fiction), it's old and the world has chang [...]

    10. ‘In the year 4784, the Universe is contained within the empire of Isher ruled by the Empress Innelda.‘Dedicated to pleasure, Innelda’s dictatorship has driven Isher to the brink of cosmic disaster. For against her stand the impregnable Weapon Shops, their immortal leader Robert Hedrock and a man from the 20th century with terrifying power.’Blurb from the 1974 New English Library paperback editionVan Vogt had a definite talent for writing narratives which had that David Lynch quality of a [...]

    11. The Right to Buy WeaponsPeople always have the kind of government they want. When they want change, they must change it. —A.E. Van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher When I was a youngster, I saved the money I made mowing lawns, shoveling snow and babysitting the neighbor's kids for a very special purpose: I bought books. Paperback books, almost exclusively. I went to the drugstore downtown, which had a rack of novels just inside the front door, and I scanned the wire shelves searching for the pr [...]

    12. One of the Best SF only surpassed by "The World of Null-A” by the same authorY enjoyed every minute of this book. I only regret there are no more AEVanVogt books left for me. He is truly the greatest SF suthor, period.

    13. Big ideas and big philosophies: THE WEAPON SHOPS OF ISHER provides a rich, if dated, reading experience from the heart of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Even so, it is a difficult book to recommend. Of the three stories interwoven into the novel's narrative, Fara Clark's story is easily the best. As father with unwavering government loyalty, his life is turned completely upside-down when an ominous "Weapon Shop" appears within his small town. His story is of disillusionment and discovery, an [...]

    14. As a lifelong reader of science fiction I can’t believe that I have never read any A E Van Vogt until now. Regarded by many as one of the most influential science fiction writers of the mid twentieth century, he was still writing into the 1980s. The Weapon Shops of Isher was published in 1951, and with the exception of a few references to “atomic energy” typical of the era, it stands up pretty well. Like most good science fiction, the technology and scientific projections are only a small [...]

    15. A classic from the Golden Age of SF. The society envisioned rests on an unusual concept "His idea was nothing less than that whatever government was in power should not be overthrown. But that an organization should be set up which would have one principal purpose: to insure that no government ever again obtained complete power over its people." So we have the Weapon Shops, in their strange buildings none of the Empress' soldiers or policeman can enter, offering ultra high tech "smart" guns whic [...]

    16. The right to be armed is the right to be free! This call, like the battle cry of the Archangel Michael, Who is like God?!, echoes down the ages of Man. If you are not armed, you are always wholly at the mercy of tyrants. Who can argue with such a truism? A lot of people, actually. For the phrase does not, in fact, echo down the ages of Man. It dates only to 1941, when this book, a now obscure science fiction classic, was first published—and the principle itself is not much older. So, rather th [...]

    17. So, I read this because I remember enjoying the short story on which it is based (The Weapon Shop). This expanded version adds several additional plot lines that, while interesting and not unenjoyable, ultimately just make it take longer to get to the punchline at the end. Certainly not as egregious in that respect as, say, the Gamearth books, those pissed me off. I'm not sorry I read The Weapon Shops of Isher, I enjoyed it, and it's quite a slim volume. But next time I'll probably just read the [...]

    18. I finished rereading The Weapon Shops of Isher yesterday. It was written in the 1940s and published as a series of short stories in Astounding Science Fiction magazine edited by John W. Campbell. I've been a A.E. van Vogt fan since I was a teenager and a loyal Astounding then Analog reader even unto today. I'm currently rereading some of the books that I enjoyed when I was younger.Revisiting Isher is fun. I'm thinking of rereading the null-A stories as well and maybe Slan. A lot of the old scien [...]

    19. Wish I had abandoned this one, but I kept waiting for it to turn around. The whole story is predicated on a series of inventions of incredible power that somehow haven't affected any other part of society. Guns with AI so sophisticated that they only fire in self-defense, but somehow there are still office buildings full of clerks? A machine that unerringly identifies morally upstanding people but the world government is run by a hereditary monarchy? It's entirely too ludicrous.

    20. The Weapon Shops of Isher is one of those books that stayed with me long after the reading was done, so much so that I based a company I started and ran for twenty-plus years on the concepts of freedom presented in the book.Says something, doesn't it, when a work of fiction can influence you like that?

    21. Classic Science Fiction at its best. This sequel to The Weapon Makers was originally published in 1951 and may seem a little dated now, but in this continuation of the classic story of the battle between the immortal Hedrock and Empress Innelda over the Weapons Shops, A.E Van Vogt established his place among the great Science Fiction authors.

    22. This short but challenging novel contains the best solution I am aware of to the problem of human violence -- essentially, bio-feedback guns; ie, sophisticated weapons that respond to intentionality and only works if used defensively these are available only to citizens, not to agents of the government, in special shops with doorknobs which can distinguish between the two

    23. I found this to be a refreshing retreat into my past. The plot and the characters of this story were simple compared to what is being written by today's authors, but they have held up well. Overall, this and its sequel are still very enjoyable.

    24. Well worth the read!I have loved this book since I was a kid and I have read it so many times it's always good to read it again. Especially in this time with all the talk about gun control who is right and who is wrong.

    25. I had read this book in my teens, and was always fascinated by its interwoven subplots. So as not to be a spoiler, I'll simply say it's a good, easy, read.

    26. A fun if perfunctory vision of a pre-digital future, featuring disparate storylines that weave together satisfyingly (unusual in a book from this era). Aspects feel rushed, the characters are cardboard cutouts of po-faced Mary-Sues (very usual in a book from this era), time travel is used illogically (though excitingly), and it's not always clear what exactly is going on, or why it matters. But the book engages throughout, and remains unique and fresh enough in its ideas, and written with enough [...]

    27. Van Vogt is arguably the best author ever.To me, only Jack Vance, robert E Howard, and Michael Moorcock even contend.His books grab you and take you on a roller coaster ride with mind blowing concepts and pro capitalism bias.Sick of SJW? look no further!!Inspiring me to write my own capitalist space[tm] series.

    28. Should've learned my lesson and read the description carefully.This is a fix-up novel.Not that that's something necessarily bad in itself, just with this author, these things tend to turn out really bad.For three days I struggled with it. The plot is impossible to follow, the setting very difficult to understand, the pages seem glued and difficult to turn.

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