The Jack Vance thread

Aillas

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I've read THE DYING EARTH and THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD but not the others though I have them. I knew "Morreion" was a DE tale and probably figured into a novel somewhere but wasn't sure which. I may fast-track the remainders now. I thought and thought what does DE mean and nothing materialized. Feel really silly now!
Just in case you weren't sure, Morreion is the last part of Rhialto the Marvellous (the last Dying Earth book) which I've yet to read. I'm rather excited to read it.
 

Aillas

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Does anyone here know if Araminta Station, first book of the Cadwal Chronicles, fares well as a stand-alone book?



I just received a hardback edition of it in the mail yesterday. It was only about $7 so I felt I couldn't go wrong with buying it. I'm thinking of reading it after the Alastor series. However, if it doesn't fare well as a stand-alone, I may not read it right away. When a book from a series doesn't fare well as a stand-alone, I usually wait until I'm possession of every book in the series before going through with reading it. I'll probably eventually get the sequels, but this won't be for years . . . I have a queue of books I want to buy over the next few years; Ecce and Old Earth and Throy aren't on it.

To a lot of Vancephiles, Araminta Station is considered as being one of Vance's best while Ecce and Old Earth and Throy are often considered as being "good" but seldom will you hear someone say that the sequels are on par with Araminta Station.

I'm rather excited to read this book, but I might avoid it for now if you folks think the Cadwal series should be read in its entirety.

So: Should I go ahead and read Araminta Station after the Alastor series, or should I wait until I obtain copies of Ecce and Old Earth and Throy, which I probably won't get for at least a couple years, instead?
 

Elflock

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Does anyone here know if Araminta Station, first book of the Cadwal Chronicles, fares well as a stand-alone book?



I just received a hardback edition of it in the mail yesterday. It was only about $7 so I felt I couldn't go wrong with buying it. I'm thinking of reading it after the Alastor series. However, if it doesn't fare well as a stand-alone, I may not read it right away. When a book from a series doesn't fare well as a stand-alone, I usually wait until I'm possession of every book in the series before going through with reading it. I'll probably eventually get the sequels, but this won't be for years . . . I have a queue of books I want to buy over the next few years; Ecce and Old Earth and Throy aren't on it.

To a lot of Vancephiles, Araminta Station is considered as being one of Vance's best while Ecce and Old Earth and Throy are often considered as being "good" but seldom will you hear someone say that the sequels are on par with Araminta Station.

I'm rather excited to read this book, but I might avoid it for now if you folks think the Cadwal series should be read in its entirety.

So: Should I go ahead and read Araminta Station after the Alastor series, or should I wait until I obtain copies of Ecce and Old Earth and Throy, which I probably won't get for at least a couple years, instead?
Well,it depends...do you have any other JV titles at the moment? I personally don't think Araminta is one of his best at all...In fact I struggled to finish it and never bothered with the other two even though I do have them somewhere...;) It's not bad or anything,it's kind of ok,you might love it,who knows?...but there are lots of much better ones IMHO. I would definitely read his older stuff first,especially the 50's and 60's stuff. The cover is good on your one though!
 

Elflock

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Just in case you weren't sure, Morreion is the last part of Rhialto the Marvellous (the last Dying Earth book) which I've yet to read. I'm rather excited to read it.
Now,Rhialto IS a good one! Read that! ;):)
 

Connavar

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Araminta Station is long way from among his best and havent seen anyone in JV forums that say its one of his best either.

Its the only Vance novel i didnt finish when i started. Not bad just didnt interest me as similar book/series he has written.
 

iansales

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Second-hand copies of Ecce & Old Earth and Throy aren't that easy to find in the UK these days. Took me a while to track down copies, so I'll have to read the trilogy one of these days.

I thought Vance's last three books - Night Lamp, Port of Call and Lurulu - were very weak.
 

Aillas

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Well,it depends...do you have any other JV titles at the moment?
Yes - many. I have five Jack Vance omnibuses/collections (The Complete Lyonesse, Tales of the Dying Earth, The Demon Princes, The Jack Vance Treasury, Alastor) and will be getting a new omnibus soon (Planet of Adventure).

The cover is good on your one though!
Mine actually never came with a cover; the dust-jacket wasn't included. I just posted that cover because I like it.

Now,Rhialto IS a good one! Read that! ;):)
Lots consider it as being the weakest Dying Earth book. I still look forward to reading it though.

Araminta Station is long way from among his best and havent seen anyone in JV forums that say its one of his best either.
I've come across quite a few people who listed it as being one of their favorites. It also has a really high rating on Goodreads. For a book to have four or more stars on that site is quite impressive.
 

Elflock

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Yes - many. I have five Jack Vance omnibuses/collections (The Complete Lyonesse, Tales of the Dying Earth, The Demon Princes, The Jack Vance Treasury, Alastor) and will be getting a new omnibus soon (Planet of Adventure).
Ok my advice is...read all of those first! (except the Gray Prince/Koryphon one...that was one of his lamer efforts I reckon) From memory,'Araminta Station' is actually something that doesn't work at all as a stand-alone novel...the ending is left very much 'up in the air' I think...(but I still never got around to reading the other two)
I just finished what I think was his first full length novel,'The Five Gold Bands',1953. It has shades of what was to come later,it was pretty cool,but I'd only give it about a 3/5.
 

Connavar

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Second-hand copies of Ecce & Old Earth and Throy aren't that easy to find in the UK these days. Took me a while to track down copies, so I'll have to read the trilogy one of these days.

I thought Vance's last three books - Night Lamp, Port of Call and Lurulu - were very weak.
Can you even mention these works knowing how he wrote them ? He could barely write,see then. Thats a pretty good excuse for a writer. Not writing like you have been writing in over 50 years.

Thats why i havent read Night Lamp despite i have it. He has many strong,in his prime works to read before his last efforts.
 

Connavar

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Aillas

Why even think about Araminta when you have classics of SFF genre and works he is legendary for like Lyonesse,Dying Earth, Demon Princes ?

Its not a hard choice between those and his later works.
 

dask

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NIGHT LAMP struck me like STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND in reverse. The first half was not my favorite Vance at all, but when the protagonist's father appeared at his front door the novel suddenly took off like a rocket and wouldn't stop til the last word on the last page.
 

Ian Whates

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Second-hand copies of Ecce & Old Earth and Throy aren't that easy to find in the UK these days. Took me a while to track down copies, so I'll have to read the trilogy one of these days.

I thought Vance's last three books - Night Lamp, Port of Call and Lurulu - were very weak.
I loved Lurulu. I'd read Port of Call and, while enjoying it up to a point, felt that this was only half a book and needed to be completed. Lurulu did that and had all the eccentric warmth of Vance at his best. Taken together, the two provide a terrific swansong for one of my favourite authors.

Night Lamp isn't a partricular favourite, I'll grant you, but it isn't devoid of merit.

As for the Cadwal Chronicles, they remain among my very favourite Vance -- some of the best of the Gaean Reach books. To date, I've read around thirty of Vance's books, and am delighted that this still leaves me with a great deal to catch up on. A quick count shows thirteen in my own collection that I've yet to read... Happy days! :)
 

Connavar

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I loved Lurulu. I'd read Port of Call and, while enjoying it up to a point, felt that this was only half a book and needed to be completed. Lurulu did that and had all the eccentric warmth of Vance at his best. Taken together, the two provide a terrific swansong for one of my favourite authors.

Night Lamp isn't a partricular favourite, I'll grant you, but it isn't devoid of merit.

As for the Cadwal Chronicles, they remain among my very favourite Vance -- some of the best of the Gaean Reach books. To date, I've read around thirty of Vance's books, and am delighted that this still leaves me with a great deal to catch up on. A quick count shows thirteen in my own collection that I've yet to read... Happy days! :)
30 Vance books ? I have read 19 books by Vance in than 3 years which is not as impressive as i would like :) I didnt know he was so prolific in the first two years.

Since i saw how prolific he is i will try to reach 50 books soon. He has 50 novels and many shorter stories. So he has written like 60-70 books if you count the short story collections.

Ian i have even more respect for you now, not that you like his books because many do but because you have read so many.
 

J-Sun

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That is a prodigious number. Other than Asimov (c.40 books of fiction (in a lot longer than three years)), I don't think I've read as much as 25 by anyone and precious few anywhere near that. I know exactly what you mean, Ian, about having some left. Treasure them! It often depresses me that there's basically no more Asimov I can read for the first time.
 

Connavar

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That is a prodigious number. Other than Asimov (c.40 books of fiction (in a lot longer than three years)), I don't think I've read as much as 25 by anyone and precious few anywhere near that. I know exactly what you mean, Ian, about having some left. Treasure them! It often depresses me that there's basically no more Asimov I can read for the first time.
I treasure authors who i have read like 60% of their works but Vance is so consistently great and he was so prolific for so many years that its a challenge to get the books while they are reprinted and read them. Beside he is known for his details,world building and im starting to forget the first Vance books i read in 2007. I dont like to re-read but with him i must.

I treasure authors like Lord Dunsany,Hammett who had like 5-10 novels in their whole career and a few collections. Those i read like once or twice a year but Vance i can read 5 times a year for 5-10 years.

David Gemmell one of my fav authors i have not read since 2009 because i read 17 books in less two years. 17 of his 30 books. After that i have cooled off to treasure them for later ;)
 

Ian Whates

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Ian i have even more respect for you now, not that you like his books because many do but because you have read so many.
Ah, but then I'm old, Con, so I've had plenty of time to read a lot, particularly when it comes to the books of authors I especially like (or did like at one point).

At a quick count, there are 9 authors I've read 30 or more books by, and a whole host who make it into the 20s... The nine are: Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Jack L. Chalker, C.J. Cherryh, Alan Dean Foster, Michael Moorcock, A.E Van Vogt, Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny.

The surprising thing is that it's years since I've read any books by the vast majority of these, which I suppose is a reflection of how the genre continues to move on.

(Oh, and just as an aside, the authors I've read 20-odd books by do include a certain David Gemmell, with 26 titles).
 

J-Sun

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At a quick count, there are 9 authors I've read 30 or more books by, and a whole host who make it into the 20s... The nine are: Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Jack L. Chalker, C.J. Cherryh, Alan Dean Foster, Michael Moorcock, A.E Van Vogt, Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny.
This is irrelevant but that list reminded me that I misspoke: I have read something like 31 Cherryhs. And revisting that reminds me that I also forgot how much Heinlein I read and got rid of - I have 23-28 (depending on how you count) but have read about 39 of his (really everything but To Sail Beyond the Sunset and I never finished Farnham's Freehold - but I ended up getting rid of almost everything published after 1961).

Sorry about this post - on with your thread. :)
 

Aillas

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Hmm, I'm reading The Demon Princes series right now. I just bought The Blue World the other day and think I'll be reading that next:



I think I'll read some of Vance's more classic stuff before reading Araminta Station. I'm still quite the Vance noob, so . . .
 

Stephen Palmer

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Night Lamp is one of the better ones of his late period work. But nothing beats the Lyonesse series, Kirth Gersen, Dying Earth...
 

hitmouse

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Dredging up an old thread.
In defense of the Cadwal Chronicles.
Araminta Station is one of his best. Stands up well as a lone novel. Excellent witty whodunit/thriller. The sequels are good but not as good, and not strictly necessary.

I think I have read about 80 - 90% of Vance. Fabulous writer
 
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