"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
In this marvelous novel by Jack Vance, the Meks are brought to Earth to serve the needs of the last aristocrats - expatriots who had returned to the deserted Earth in the far future.
The syrup sac is an ingenious device, which supplied all of the nutritional needs of the Meks without the need to grow crops, catch food, and spend time eating. Despite these advantages, the gentlefolk of the last castle on Earth did not see fit to make use of syrup sacs themselves.
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