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Thread: Jack Vance

  1. #31
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    The Lyonesse series is now available in the UK again btw, through the Fantasy masterworks series. Cool edition as well.

    Has anyone read Dragonmasters? It's been republished this month and it seemed like an intriguing story.

    P.S. Does anyone know where I can read an excerpt of Vance's stuff. I'm not sure if his writing style is for me, though the ideas certainly appeal to me.

  2. #32
    Lost in a large book nicba's Avatar
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    Question Lyonesse

    I've read the first book about Lyonesse from the Fantasy masterworks series some while ago.

    I liked the first half of the book, about Suldrun's tragedy. The second half didn't really grab me. It felt to me as if Vance had somehow lost the "spark" in the story.

    Does it pick up in the following books? I never even knew there were a whole triology and I'm not sure if I should really bother to read the rest. What do you think?

    /Nicolai

  3. #33
    Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it emohawk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mithfânion
    Has anyone read Dragonmasters? It's been republished this month and it seemed like an intriguing story.
    I read The Dragon Masters a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It's a lot easier to read that some of Vance's stuff. It won the Hugo for Best Novella when it was first published too, if that's the sort of thing that influences your reading choices.

  4. #34
    unconditional roach love
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    Jack Vance is a genius. A world-builder and a master of language. I have only started reading him recently, but the person who put him up there with Cordwainer Smith was quite right.

    Have any of you heard of the Vance Integral Edition? It seems expensive, but worthwhile (I am quite profligate when it comes to book buying!) but I have heard reports that the actual books in the edition vary in quality of production quite badly. Any information at all would be useful!

  5. #35
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    I loved Lyonesse. I also read a series which may or may not have been the dying earth series...can't remember now...I recently bought the Gray Prince but it has been moved further down my to read list I'm afraid. Does anyone recommend it as a good read?

    I think there was a new book in the book shop by him now I think of it - would it be a rerelease? Will check out it's name when I next pop in to the book shop!

  6. #36
    unconditional roach love
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    Lyonesse is one of my fanstasy favorites!

    OK, I know that a re-release of To Live Forever (1956)was on the cards, so that may be it. Apart from that, there are several different re-issues as well as a few new works that have been released over the past decade, complicating matters.

    Do post the title and I'll try and let you know more!

  7. #37
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    Hey Leiali -- Although I think there is no such thing as a bad Jack Vance book, I would say "The Grey Prince" is perhaps on of his weaker books. Still worth reading, though.

    If you can get your hands on Vance's "The Blue World," or "Maske: Thaery" -- they are excellent reads! "Araminta Station" is also fantastic. It's the first in a trilogy of Vance's "Cadwell Chronicals."

  8. #38
    Regulated User Kleronomas's Avatar
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    My first Vance book was Araminta Station not so long ago and I've been trying to read 1 or 2 books of his a month, since. They are mostly relatively short books. He's should have a new book out now or shortly called Lurulu which is a sequel to his most recent release Ports of Call.. This, alas, will probably be his last.

  9. #39
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Any information at all would be useful!
    The website is here which might be a start. I do like Vance, though IMO his style varies little. It is a very oldfashioned style now, but I like it. It has a charm to it that I guess we could call Vance's voice/voices.

    And he's still writing, as mentioned above - pretty much blind now, sadly, but still able to dictate and continue work.

    This site here makes fair comments about his work, I think. Here it suggests that Vance may have different voices, contrary to what I put above!

    The Integrated Edition series looks great in the pictures but sadly $3000 (about Ł1600 at the moment) is a bit beyond my pocket, I'm afraid.

    Hobbit
    Mark

  10. #40
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    Yes, Hobbit, that HUGE Vance Integral Edition is about $3,000 -- they really went all out on it -- get this: The book covers are made from "mountain ram's leather!!" I think they are all hand made.

    You wouldn't believe the work that has gone into putting together that project of Vance's works -- Vance has fans that are more like worshippers -- it's almost like a cult of personality!! They also are doing things like changing titles of what some of his works were originally published under -- Vance frequently complained about the lame titles his publishers slapped on his books.

    The project has the support of Vance himself, though he is not otherwise involved in it.

  11. #41
    Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it emohawk's Avatar
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    iBooks is currently publishing Vance books from the VIE text. They've currently published The Dragon Masters/The Last Castle, Maske: Thaery and The Gray Prince I believe, with more to come.

  12. #42
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    A long 1976 interview with Jack Vance has been posted on Youtube in twelve parts:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JqK9sTE83V0

    The man remains witty and intelligent in my opinion. I've only seen the first one sofar but already I agree wholeheartedly with his idea that for the sake of the reader's suspension of disbelief, the author should stay out of publicity or keep a low profile, since by coming into publicity the author basically puts his face between that and the secondary world . I think this has merit.

  13. #43
    Urbis Morpheos Stephen Palmer's Avatar
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    An exceptional writer, a favourite of mine, and influential on my own work. Nobody can do 'far future' in quite the same way...

    The Lyonesse series is a highlight in Vance's glittering career, as are the whole Dying Earth series, Big Planet, The Languages Of Pao, and the whole Star King series, of which my favourite has to be The Face.

    A unique writer with something for everybody! And frequently found in second-hand shops...

  14. #44
    Registered User devilsadvoc8's Avatar
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    Vance doesn't do it for me

    A lot of people rave about Vance here. I picked up the Demon Princes to see what it was all about.

    Pluses for JV: develops a good backstory and detailed local history

    Minus for JV: In the Demon Prince, the protagonist was essentialy bullet proof. He had an answer for everything. Yes it is SF but I disliked the fact that nothing was ever in doubt as the main character had some hidden talent that made him better than whoever he was facing in every instance. Even his failures were contrived and miniscule and actually set up future victories.

    Vance overall reminded me of a Fantasy author who shall remain nameless whose famous set of stores involved a character who no matter what the quest was, they had a friend perfectly suited for the task to accompany them.

    Yes all stories need a little of this contriveness (is that a word) to get by but I thought Vance went far beyond what was necessary.

  15. #45
    Making my first foray into Jack Vance Sci Fi via a mistake in purchasing the Star King which i'd forgot was part of those two omnibi Deomn Prince editions, I hadn't gotten them because they were a bit expensive, but now it seems I can probably get the series individually cheaper anyway.

    I also kept confusing The Dragon Masters with the Demon Princes for seem rason, but i've clarified that in my head now.

    Also does any have any information on Vance's next book coming out in June The Laughing Magician, it's a Dying Earth book, thats all I know. Although it does have on Fantastic Fiction it's just a paperback release.

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