Iszm, a world dedicated to house-growing trees and house export, is deadly afraid of poachers/intellectual property thieves. The hero gets caught up in the efforts of some of the thieves, with consequences that pursue him after he leaves.
The Houses of Iszm was another of the stories new to me when I bought my CVIE, and it’s one that paid off. It’s a relatively early novella, and it doesn’t have Vance’s usual cast of characters. What it does have, though, is the exotic locales that he made so much of later on.
It’s not Vance’s best work or his most complex, but I found it to be fun and interesting. The concepts are intriguing, the setting strange, the hero likeable. Well worth reading for fan or newcomer alike.