The Jack Vance thread

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by Aillas, Apr 4, 2011.

  1.  
    Aillas

    Aillas New Member

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    Anyone here like Jack Vance? If so, which Vance series and stand-alone books do you like best?

    I just started reading his books and am becoming very fond of them. The Lyonesse Trilogy is brilliant. My user-name is actually taken from the main protagonist of that series!

    I'm currently waiting to receive a first-edition hardcover of Araminta Station in the mail. I also ordered a hardback Planet of Adventure omnibus some time ago but it hasn't arrived yet which makes me think it may have gotten lost (unfortunately not a rare thing to happen when ordering books from the USA).

    I wish to get these Vance titles eventually:

    1. Wild Thyme, Green Magic
    2. Blue World, the
    3. Jack Vance Reader, the
    4. Maske: Thaery
    5. Durdane
    6. Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph, the
    7. To Live Forever
    8. Showboat World
    9. Hard Luck Diggings

    It's a shame that much of his books are out-of-print and expensive to get. I want to get most, if not all, of the above books in hardcover format. That will cost me an arm and leg, but I'm the type of person who usually always chooses hardcover over softcover. As long as I can find hardbacks of the above for $50 or less, I should be fine.
     
  2.  
    J-Sun

    J-Sun Active Member

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    Well, I'm the type of person who always chooses a paperback over a hardcover, though I'll take a hardcover if I can't get it any other way or it's a handy omnibus. :)

    So far I like him. I've only read The Languages of Pao, The Best of Jack Vance (alas, not from the Ballantine series, but the much inferior Pocket), The Dying Earth, and Emphyrio. Possibly others I'm forgetting. Despite Emphyrio being well-regarded, I wasn't overly impressed. It wasn't bad, but not my favorite. I like the others - my favorite is probably Languages. I have the rest of the Dying Earth books and all the Tschai books waiting to be read (they've actually been waiting a long time - especially the Dying Earth series). We'll see where it goes after that.
     
  3.  
    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Some may be better than others but I like 'em all. Reach, grab, go!
     
  4.  
    Elflock

    Elflock New Member

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    I totally agree,his Lyonesse series IS brilliant. Some of the things in your list are definitely better than others...but it's all down to your individual taste. If you liked the Lyonesse ones,I'd probably suggest things like The Dying Earth books first,especially 'The Eyes of The Overworld'. 'The Blue World' was a good one,'The Brains of Earth',The Demon Princes series,just about anything from the magazines from the 50's and early 60's was really good. 'Son of The Tree'...get that!! What a classic!! That 'Jack Vance Reader' is probably a good one to get. Is 'Abercrombie Station' in it?...that was another classic. I especially recommend the weird stories in a collection called,'Fantasms And Magics'...you can find it easily second hand,it's been republished a lot. The cover illustration on my copy matches the stories in it nicely...this thing...

    [​IMG]

    But a lot of his stuff from the late 60's-70's,the Tschai and Durdane and Big Planet series,'The Grey Prince' etc,I didn't really like that much...it was OK...just.
    Given you say you are more of a hardcover book person,I probably shouldn't even bother pointing out that you can get ALL of this stuff online as ebooks!! There're enough Jack Vance ebooks to keep you in reading material for years!! And depending on how scrupulous you are...you can get it all free too!!
     
  5.  
    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Your cover is cooler than mine.
     
  6.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Just read Emphyrio the other week. I was very impressed up until they left the planet and then it didn't quite grip me. The last two pages are a bit pointless, too. Would have been better to end it on the chapter before.

    Great prose, however.
     
  7.  
    Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Active Member

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    I've read (with my personal rating):

    The Lyonesse Trilogy *****
    The Dying Earth ****
    The Dragon Masters ***
    The Blue World ****

    And I have Emphyrio lined up to read next.
    Damn! I saw that in a second hand store that's now closed down but I never picked it up. :(
     
  8.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    I Think I've read most of Vance's oeuvre. Some are better than others, but he's always had a distinctive voice. Some of those titles listed in the first post are probably not available in hardcover. The copy of The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph I have, for example, is an Ace double (with Vance's The Brains of Earth) and I'm fairly sure that's its only edition.

    As for which are the good ones... Emphyrio and Maske:Thaery are good. I have a soft spot for the Alastor Cluster books and the Demon Princes series, although a recent read of Star King did remind that it's not especially well-plotted. The Languages of Pao is not one of his best ones, and the Port of Call books meandered a bit. The Dying Earth stuff is very funny, though.
     
  9.  
    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    I have a copy I may be persuaded to part with...
     
  10.  
    Aillas

    Aillas New Member

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    The Jack Vance Reader contains three novels: [FONT=Arial, Helvetica][SIZE=-1]Emphyrio, [/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica][SIZE=-1]The Domains of Koryphon and[/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica][SIZE=-1]The Languages of Pao[/SIZE][/FONT].

    Ah, nice. I was thinking "damn - that book has a cool cover. I should check it out" but upon checking out that book's contents realized that I have all but one of the stories from that collection in The Jack Vance Treasury.

    What's your favorite story from Fantasms and Magic?

    I've been thinking of investing in an E-book reader, especially given that many used books that I order from the USA don't arrive (for god knows what reason). I also detest waiting nearly a month for my book to arrive only to receive the damn wrong book. This happens too often for my liking.

    You might want to try to find a copy of The Jack Vance Treasury which contains all but one of the stories collected in that collection as well as many additional stories. It's a "best of" Vance short stories collection. I've yet to read it. It can often be found on Ebay for around $20.
     
  11.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    Hi Alias i did post in Jack Vance yuku forum in your thread how to find those Durdane books cheaply in Abebooks.

    Most of those books were recently in print or easy to find second hand. Im not a long time fan but i have bought most of those very cheaply recently.

    Most of his books are not out print look better. Demon Prince series,Lyonesse series,Dying Earth series,Alastor series,Planet of Adventure series are in print. Thats like 20 books. There are new Hardcover collections of his works too that you can find cheaply second hand.

    Its a great time to be Vance fan when i in sweden have so many books i found easily as new and second hand.
     
  12.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

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    Is that your only Vance novel ? It was my first one back in 2007 and i agree i was impressed too until they left the planet. Still a very good stand alone novel of his. He does his best works otherwise in his SF series,short story,novella collections.
     
  13.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    I've read Star King. Pretty good fun, but I'm aware he's done better.
     
  14.  
    thatollie

    thatollie Kraken Addict

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    Hardback, humbug. You want the paperback covers.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  15.  
    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Here's the complete series courtesy of DAW Books:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16.  
    thatollie

    thatollie Kraken Addict

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    Here's the rest from Grafton.
     

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  17.  
    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Great stuff! Especially THE FACE.
     
  18.  
    thatollie

    thatollie Kraken Addict

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    Maybe next time I'll post the Alastor covers.
     
  19.  
    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    That DAW cover of Star King- Whys the guy with the sword wearing a space helmet when he's just in his underwear?
     
  20.  
    thatollie

    thatollie Kraken Addict

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    Because it's from 1978.
     

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