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Thread: Jack Vance

  1. #46
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    THIS LINK may help. As Jack is now declared blind, and has announced that Lurulu will be his last book, then this could only be a reprint.

    The Jack Vance Treasury (as much as I've read so far, anyway) is a pretty good collection and gives you an idea of Jack's range.

    Hobbit
    Mark

  2. #47
    Urbis Morpheos Stephen Palmer's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that The Laughing Magician was originally published as Cugel The Clever, which is the third of the four Dying Earth books. All of them are fantastic...

    What a shame that Jack is now too infirm to write more. I have to admit I found Lurulu hard going; but you have to remember that he is really old now, and has had a spectacular career. Must be hard for an author to announce he's written his final book...

  3. #48
    dw4rf thrinidir's Avatar
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    Announcing SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH — the Jack Vance Tribute Anthology! (link)

    Today, in order to honor the magnificent career of Jack Vance, one unparalleled in achievement and impact, George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, with the full cooperation of Jack Vance, his family, and his agents, suggest a Jack Vance tribute anthology called Songs of the Dying Earth, to encourage the best of today’s fantasy writers to return to the unique and evocative milieu of The Dying Earth, from which they and so many others have drawn so much inspiration, to create their own brand-new adventures in the world of Jack Vance’s greatest novel.
    Authors — stories in hand:

    * Robert Silverberg
    * Terry Dowling
    * Glen Cook
    * Tanith Lee
    * Liz Williams
    * Kage Baker
    * Elizabeth Moon

    Authors — slated to contribute:

    * Neil Gaiman
    * Dan Simmons
    * Elizabeth Hand
    * Matt Hughes
    * Mike Resnick
    * Phyllis Eisenstein
    * Paula Volsky
    * Howard Waldrop
    * Tad Williams
    * Walter Jon Williams
    * John C. Wright
    * Lucius Shepard

  4. #49
    Registered User Jeroen's Avatar
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    I was introduced to Jack Vance by reading the Lyonesse trilogy, and it completely blew my mind! It was incredible!

    Then I read the Dying Earth novels, and I loved it. Then Emphyrio, and I thought it was quite good. But then I started on the Demon Princes, a book series everybody seems to love, and I didn't like it. I thought it was boring. Sure, a lot of stuff happened, but I couldn't find the magic feeling. And was there any ironic humor? I was hoping for that.

  5. #50
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    I'm really looking forward to Songs of the Dying Earth. The Subterrenaen edition looks gorgeous but a bit too expensive for me. So I'll have to settle for the Tor or HarperCollins edition.

    It is a pity that Gene Wolfe is not writing a Dying Earth story in this anthology. I read the editors asked him but he could find no time in his schedule to contribute.

  6. #51
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    Good news for those who are waiting for the Jack Vance tribute anthology (this comes from the Official George Martin website) :

    DYING EARTH ANTHOLOGY
    NEARS COMPLETION
    August 15, 2008
    SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, the Jack Vance tribute anthology that I'm co-editing with Gardner Dozois, has been moving ahead rapidly, and we expect to deliver the complete manuscript to our publishers within the next six weeks.

    The anthology will feature brand new stories from twenty-one of today's leading fantasists, set against the sinking lands and swollen red sun of Vance's Dying Earth, a universe that ranks with Tolkien's Middle Earth and Howard's Hyborian Age among fantasy aficionados. Jack Vance and his representatives have been so kind as to give us permission to use Jack's characters as well, so fans can expect appearances from Chun the Unavoidable, Guyal of Sfere, T'sais, and other favorites... and yes, of course, Cugel the Clever will be on hand as well. It would hardly be the Dying Earth without him.
    Eighteen stories have already delivered and accepted from our all-star lineup of writers, Jack Vance fanatics all. The current lineup includes:

    "The Green Bird" by Kage Bager
    "The Good Magician" by Glen Cook
    "The Copsy Door" by Terry Dowling
    "The Last Golden Thread" by Phyllis Eisenstein
    "The Return of the Fire Witch" by Elizabeth Hand
    "Grolion of Almery" by Matthew Hughes
    "Evillo the Uncunning" by Tanith Lee
    "An Incident in Uskvosk" by Elizabeth Moon
    "Inescapable" by Mike Resnick
    "Sylgarmo's Proclamation" by Lucius Shepard
    "The True Vintage of Erzuine Thale" by Robert Silverberg
    "The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz" by Dan Simmons
    "The Final Quest of the Wizard Sarnod" by Jeff VanderMeer
    "The Traditions of Karzh" by Paula Volsky
    "Caulk the Witch-Chaser" by Liz Williams
    "The Lamentably Comical Tragedy (or The Laughably Tragic Comedy) of Lixal Laqavee" by Tad Williams
    "Abrizonde" by Walter Jon Williams
    "Guyal the Curator" by John C. Wright


    There are still three more stories due, including contributions from Howard Waldrop and Neil Gaiman. We're expecting those soon. Jack Vance himself has written a preface for the anthology, and the book will also feature an appreciation from Dean Koontz, bestselling writer and lifelong Vance fan.

    Tor will be publishing the trade editions in the United States, and HarperCollins Voyager in the United Kingdom. Subterranean Press will produce three special editions for the collector's market—a deluxe illustrated hardcover of 1500 copies, and an even-more-deluxe signed, numbered, limited, illustrated, slipcased edition of 500 copies. The numbered edition will be signed by both editors, all the participating writers, and Jack Vance himself.

  7. #52
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Yup, I've paid for an all-signed, singing and dancing edition. (But not the REALLY expensive lettered edition.)

    At one point there was talk of a GRRM story, though it's not in the list. Does that mean that it's not included? Or one of the late?

    Mark/ Hobbit
    Mark

  8. #53
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    I'm afraid the third missing author is Michael Shea, not George Martin. Although Michael Shea is a very good short story writer and a longtime Jack Vance disciple. He even wrote a Cugel novel (Quest for Simbilis) with the permission of Jack Vance back in 1974.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Yup, I've paid for an all-signed, singing and dancing edition. (But not the REALLY expensive lettered edition.)



    Mark/ Hobbit


    Me too. I'm eagerly awaiting this book but I thought Koontz was going to write a story as well, not just an appreciation.

    I'm more than halfway through Madouc now; it's absoultely enchanting, just like the prior two Lyonesse books.

  10. #55
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Vance bibliography

    Anyone wanting to know the full sets of alternative titles for Vance's works will find all variants listed in the titles list on this Jack Vance page (which, full disclosure, is mine).

    My favorite example is Vance's own original title for what was eventually published as simply Showboat World, that original being The Magnificent Showboats of the Lower Vissel River, Lune XXIII, South Big Planet.

    (The linked page also conatins an appreciation of Vance with a number of specimen quotations from his various sorts of works.)
    Last edited by Erfael; September 16th, 2008 at 09:43 AM.

  11. #56
    I actually came across your site fairly recently and bookmarked it so I could read it when I was able to (a lot of info there to digest). From my brief visit I took away that you were very selective in what you liked and that Vance was one of your very few five star authors.

    Vance is definitely my favorite author and I guess I'm lucky in that there are still a lot of his works I have yet to read. After I finish Madouc, I'm going to start on the Demon Princes books. Of series I've read Lyonesse (almost), Dying Earth, Big Planet, and Planet of Adventure and I honestly can't say which one I like best.

  12. #57
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Just so, just so.

    From my brief visit I took away that you were very selective in what you liked and that Vance was one of your very few five star authors.

    Yes, Vance is one of a dozen writers I consider the Five-Star Masters of speculative fiction. As to "very selective", I try--it is the basic organizing principle of the site--to stick to authors of at least above-average merit; but, as I currently list (just checked) 255 authors, and have perhaps as many as half again that number queued up on my "plausibly recommended, so check out" list, which is up at the site, and freely admit that I am behindhand with some of the latest, I don't think I have been snootily exclusive--though, predictably, I have a continuing stream of emails of the "but how could you leave out ---?!?" sort.

    Vance is definitely my favorite author and I guess I'm lucky in that there are still a lot of his works I have yet to read. . . .

    Oh, indeed: savor it! While Vance's work is almost endlessly re-readable, what wouldn't I give to have a new, untasted vintage Vance set before me. Drink in each new book of his you come to, remembering that it's only new once.
    Last edited by Erfael; September 16th, 2008 at 09:42 AM.

  13. #58
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Going through Songs of the Dying Earth now. Thoughts as I proceed:

    The True Vintage of Erzuine Thale by Robert Silverberg, about a depressed wine-drinker, was good but not oustanding.

    Grolion of Almery by Matthew Hughes, about a magical project and a ravenous plant, was superb with a hilarious ending.

    The Copsy Door by Terry Dowling is also excellent, and the most 'Vancian' of the stories so far. As a close friend, sometimes test-reader and occasional collaborator of Vance's, this is perhaps unsurprising. This story could have come straight out of The Dying Earth itself. It's about three wizards forced to compete for a grand prize.

    Caulk the Witch-Chaser by Liz Williams is okay but unremarkable. Some nice ideas but the least effective story so far. It's about a witch-hunter sent on a perilous mission to a murky swampland.

    Inescapable, about a man bewitched by a beautiful woman, by Mike Resnick is very good, with an excellent twist ending that will have fans of the earlier books grinning, but there's an effective element of horror as well.

    Abrizonde by Walter Jon Williams is tremendous. A castle comes under siege and the attackers and defenders employ many of Vance's signature spells and creatures in their attacks and in the defence. Great fun.

  14. #59
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    I have nothing to add to this thread except:

    JACK VANCE ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. #60
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    The Traditions of Karzh by Paula Vosky is also very good, featuring the return of the pernicious pelgranes. It's quite funny, featuring some classic Vancian exchanges at the start, but with a twisted and dark side to it.

    The Final Quest of the Wizard Sarnod by Jeff VanderMeer is the weakest story so far. VanderMeer is hit and miss at matching the Vancian mode of speech and the story is quite weak. The 'twist' is ineptly handled and the characters are uninvolving. What's more annoying is that VanderMeer directly takes on several iconic Dying Earth characters from the original book and mishandles them.

    The Green Bird by Kage Baker sees the return of the irrepressible Cugel. A very good story and Cugel is handled well, although the ending is a bit abrupt and ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which I'm guessing will go unanswered unless one of the other writers is also doing a Cugel story later on in the book.

    The Last Golden Thread by Phyllis Eisenstein is perhaps the most interesting story, as the author doesn't attempt to match Vance's distinctive speech pattern. Instead she injects a much more melancholic air into proceedings and the story is more emotional than some of the others. An interesting experiment in doing a different type of story in the Dying Earth mileu and very well handled.

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