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The Genius of Jack Vance

Wonderful article in the NEW YORK TIMES about Jack Vance:


It is nice to see one of our genre's few authentic masters finally getting some recognition from the mainstream press. I agree with most everything that's said here: Vance is not only a great SF and fantasy writer, he's a great writer, period, and deserves a place in the canon of American literature.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a great article. I predicted there would be some fresh interest in Vance thanks to the autobiography and a certain tribute anthology, when talking with a literature professor a few weeks back. Glad that panned out, and some of the remarks in the essay have given me some ideas.

Jul. 19th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Note that the article was written by a literature professor. I graduated from his school, so I wrote him an email saying I would have taken a class with him had I known there was a Vance fan in the department.
Jul. 17th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
It does seem a little bit harsh on A.E. van Vogt and John Varley to describe them as "the usual thrills", though.
Jul. 17th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
Jack Vance and Roger Zelazny are the two authors that really stand out for being so utterly... imaginative and unique.
I suppose Neil Stephenson is working his way up there too ^-^

And you, actually!! Besides general writing, I really love how you write different genders, body types, personalities - extremely impressive, and rare. I would say nearly 99% of authors write characters who are by and large just like them, or just like what they wish they were.
Jul. 18th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
Alright, my interest is piqued. Any recommendations on a good book/books to start with?
Jul. 18th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
Every book by Jack Vance is great :) However, it's best if you save the best for last, that is the Lyonesse trilogy (which is, a bit unlike the rest of his work, pure fantasy), or the Dying Earth books. Also The Grey Prince is a bit different, more political.
I alsolutely love the five Demon Princes books. But as I said before, every book is great :) I'm lucky to be Dutch, since all his books have been easily available here. And his last novel Lurulu was published in Holland first :)
Jul. 18th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
Tales of the Dying Earth is the best starting point, IMO. Vance is a great writer. I only wish I'd read his stuff earlier, as I just got around to reading it last year.
Jul. 18th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
I just got the anthology in the mail. Great stuff!
Jul. 18th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
I love those NYT Magazine profiles. I'm going to print this one up and sit back with my lunch and enjoy.
Jul. 19th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Recognizing Vance's contributions has been long overdue. I'm glad to see him getting these kudos while he's still on his feet instead of post-mortem.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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