The Dragon Masters/The Last Castle Author:Jack Vance Set a Monster to Catch a Monster — War between the Basics and man had been waged intermittently over a period of many decade. Previous encounters had left each side with prisoners of the other species, and each has performed remarkable genetic experiments. — Thus, when they met again, transformed men were slaves to the lizard-like Basics, fightin... more »g their battles and transporting their weapons, while, on the other side, transformed Basics became dragons of all shapes and sizes, geared to fight the fiercest battle their human masters could plan.
The nearness of the red star Coralyne established the imminence of the next conflict. Joaz Banbeck readied his war dragons to meet the attack. For upon his success might rest the entire future of the race of man on his world.
Take an inimitable style, in-depth creativity, and insight mixed with irony - Put them together and you have Jack Vance, a tradition that needs no introduction to science-fiction readers.
Have him weave his delicate artistry around castles and turrets, filling them with the strong personalities of a super-cultured culture, there irascible Birds and gauze insect-girl Phanes, all threatened by an invasion force of uni-cognitive Meks and crumbling ideology.
The result is The Last Castle -- well-deserved winner of the Nebula Award, a story well worth reading.« less