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The Jack Vance thread

Connavar

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Apr 1, 2007
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8,411
Im reading Lyonsesse book 1 right now and its sheer brilliance but im also thinking i love the writing, the world but nothing compares to my alltime fav Jack Vance in Tales of the Dying Earth.

Cugel is up there with Sherlock Holmes, Parker, Solomon Kane, Medea, The Contintental OP as alltime best literary characters in my eyes ;)
 

zlogdan

Hex data reader and pawn
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May 9, 2013
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Jack Vance is surely one of my favorite authors. It all started with Mazirian The Magician tale, which is so far the only Dying Earth related story ever translated to Portuguese. The last book I read by Vance was The Grey Prince. Dying Earth is an spectacular book but the sequels were a bit difficult to me because Cugel is a rascal, you hardly can relate to the character. Still most his "victims" are nearly as amoral as he is. I loved "The Eyes of the Overworld" although I keep hoping Cugel to be blasted by a fireball all the time. When I read "Cugel's Saga" I was all the way prepared to hate Cugel again to a point I thought the book was ok, but the more I think I about I see that I was a little biased and this book was quite good as well.

My favorite one is definitely "The Planet Of Adventure" 4 books saga.
 

Connavar

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Apr 1, 2007
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8,411
Jack Vance is surely one of my favorite authors. It all started with Mazirian The Magician tale, which is so far the only Dying Earth related story ever translated to Portuguese. The last book I read by Vance was The Grey Prince. Dying Earth is an spectacular book but the sequels were a bit difficult to me because Cugel is a rascal, you hardly can relate to the character. Still most his "victims" are nearly as amoral as he is. I loved "The Eyes of the Overworld" although I keep hoping Cugel to be blasted by a fireball all the time. When I read "Cugel's Saga" I was all the way prepared to hate Cugel again to a point I thought the book was ok, but the more I think I about I see that I was a little biased and this book was quite good as well.

My favorite one is definitely "The Planet Of Adventure" 4 books saga.
Hello zlogdan so nice to see another newer member that is Vance fan :)

I too started reading Vance with the first DE book about Mazirian The Magician but i still loved the stories of Cugel because you say he is a rascal but i can relate because i dislike him at times but other times i like the way he goes about things. How he gets his way toward his enemies, he would a be criminal, a villain in Vance SF novels like Demon Princes, Planet of Adventure books but in the dark fantastic far future world of DE he fits perfectly, its darkly humor type world for people like Cugel.
 

zlogdan

Hex data reader and pawn
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May 9, 2013
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71
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Hi Connavar

We work hard we can perhaps have a Jack Vance own forum here . It seems after 10 specific threads created about an author, the admins can create a sub forum!
 

Bick

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I'll never know why it took so long for me to get to read Jack Vance, but I'm glad I finally got here.

I'm reading The Star King presently, and I'm savouring it. I'd heard Vance's prose was unique, and that he was a great stylist, and I think this is certainly true. His turns of phrase and clear, inventive exposition are really incredible. I'm in awe of his writing. I don't know if all his work is this good, but I expect I'll find out. I'm much more of a SF fan than a fantasy fan these days, so I started with the Demon Princes. There's a few books in the series (5), so it will take me a while, but how does Alastor, and his other SF series stack up?
 

dask

dark and stormy knight
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Marune: Alastor 933 was my favorite Alastor book and one of my favorite Jack Vance books in general. The Star King is probably my favorite Vance, but books like Marune, The Last Castle, Slaves Of The Klau are right up there.
 

Bick

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Thanks for the feedback. I finished The Star King; loved it. Moving straight on to The Killing Machine and expecting more good things.
 

Connavar

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The Star King is good but its the weakest of legendary Vance series, the writing, the characters everything is finer in the other Demon Princes books. The Star King is good but its simple, not as stylised, more like 3 stars compared 4-5 stars in the the rest of the series.

Bick as someone who has read just today his 30th Vance novel in Wyst, the third, final book in Alastor series i recommend the series its much better than i expected after the first book Trullion. Marune, Wyst are much better. Still im also SF fan first when it comes to Vance i would recommend these books before Alastor:

The Planet of Adventure series
Emphyrio - first Vance ever for me and still the best stand alone novel
The Blue World
The Last Castle(science fantasy novella)
Dragon Masters(Science fantasy novella)
then
Alastor a great series but not his best weird human culture in SF.

Man i envy you you have 10-15 books in great SF series,books to read in the series we mentioned, lucky lucky :)
 

Bick

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Thanks for the reply, Conn. There are a few shouts for Emphyrio, so I'll have to seek that out too. I enjoy starting out on authors new to me, especially as I tend to enjoy reading 3-4 books consecutively by one author whenever possible. Recent 'ruts' (negative connotation for a positive experience), include Simak and ADF.
 

Bick

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I finished The Killing Machine. I enjoyed it and rate it highly as Vance's style shines through again, though I actually think The Star King was marginally better. I'm now reading The Palace of Love, and so far, so good.
 

Bick

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Palace of Love was pretty good. What struck me most about The Star King was Vance's unique use of language, with inventive and evokative descriptions and turns of phrase. His linguistic style is maintained in the next two books, but fewer passages seemed quite so striking to me in books 2 and 3. Perhaps reading them one after the other didn't help in this regard. That said, I did enjoy Palace of Love, and possibly I'd rate it slightly higher than The Killing Machine, but I'd still put The Star King top of the pile so far.

I'll need to get the second volume of The Demon Princes to continue with books 4 and 5. I'll do this I'm sure but I don't have it yet, so my adventures with Vance will have to face a brief hiatus.
 

Wraith01

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May 23, 2016
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My first fantasy novel was a paperback of "The Green Pearl" if I'm not wrong that's the second book of "Lyonnesse"
I was around 12 at the time and really didn't understand it...
I have to go back and finally read the whole thing at some point.
 

Stephen Palmer

author of novels
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My first fantasy novel was a paperback of "The Green Pearl" if I'm not wrong that's the second book of "Lyonnesse"
I was around 12 at the time and really didn't understand it...
I have to go back and finally read the whole thing at some point.
The first two Lyonesse books (of which The Green Pearl is the second) are probably Jack Vance's greatest work. Alas the third book was good, but a bit of a let-down. You definitely need to read the trio in order - and I do recommend them all to you.
 
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