Jack Vance (where shall I begin?)

Coragem

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Hi there:

Lately I keep hearing good, better-than-good things about Jack Vance.

For example:

http://www.fantasyliterature.com/vancejack.html

Please could you advise me in terms of where I should begin with his work?

As for what I like, I'd say strong characters, a believable world, and ideally some heroism, humour, and romance. Although an experienced reader, I confess that I lack the stamina to cope with overly heavy description or explanation.

Coragem.
 

Fried Egg

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I suppose the first question is: Do you prefer fantasy or SF?

The second question is: Short stories, novels or series?
 

Connavar

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Also i must say dont be afraid to be open what is new ,different to you and with weird stories.

I can say about his prose that despite his stylised fine prose its pretty lean, spare prose. If you get used to his language there is no heavy description, explanation.

Like Fried Egg i must know what you prefer SF or fantasy. World building he is rated for that.
 

Stephen Palmer

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I'd start with the Lyonesse series... then Big Planet... then The Dying Earth. So many great books!
 

Coragem

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As for what I like, I'd say strong characters, a believable world, and ideally some heroism, humour, and romance. Although an experienced reader, I confess that I lack the stamina to cope with overly heavy description or explanation.
The books I love most meet the above criteria, and that matters to me much more than whether it's fantasy or sci-fi.

Honestly, I tend to find that fantasy books more reliably suit this criteria (too many sci-fi books lack humour and enjoyable characterisation, in my opinion), but that just makes me more eager to seek out the sci-fi that I'll like.

Coragem.
 

GOLLUM

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For Fantasy and the lines sometimes become blurred between this and the SF Genre but for "Fantasy" I wold go with Lyonesse, Dying Earth and The Dragon Masters, for "SF" I would go with The Demon Prince series, Planet of Adventure and Emyphyrio.
 

Fried Egg

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The "Dying Earth" series could be tricky since, although it has humour and heroism, it does not have what I would call a believable world. Indeed, the world building is the absolute minimum required to move the plot along. I would definitely go with "Lyonesse" over "Dying Earth" in that regard which is far superior in it's world building and still retains the humour and heroism (although it lacks the brevity of "Dying Earth").
 

Connavar

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The "Dying Earth" series could be tricky since, although it has humour and heroism, it does not have what I would call a believable world. Indeed, the world building is the absolute minimum required to move the plot along. I would definitely go with "Lyonesse" over "Dying Earth" in that regard which is far superior in it's world building and still retains the humour and heroism (although it lacks the brevity of "Dying Earth").
Yeah world building is not important in Dying Earth first collection but you get to see more of DE world buidling in Cugel, Rhialtho books.

Still you read the whole series for the wit,characters, magic etc

Coragem says he likes humor and characterisation and i think he can find in Cugel books. World building wise Lyonesse or his SF books is better choice.

Heroism in Dying Earth ? You must mean Guyal story, the rest of DE stories are pretty bleak when its about heroics.
 

nomadman

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I've enjoyed pretty much every Vance book I've read, since a large degree of his appeal for me lies in his idiosyncratic writing style, and this varies little regardless of the genre he's writing in or the time period in which he was writing. I also love his dark humor, his carefully realized but wonderfully imaginative cultures, and the aura of melancholic strangeness he weaves throughout the best of his work.

Of the picaresque adventure tale, which a large degree of Vance's work falls into, I enjoyed both Cugel books, with the first one, The Eyes of the Overlord, a slight favourite. Emphyrio is a superb coming of age story set in a dystopian culture of master craftsmen, that's one of his more serious works. His first Dying Earth book is a collection of darkly weird short stories that remain a favorite many years after I first read it. Of his series, my all-time favourite Vance is probably The Demon Princes, a five book revenge story written over a span of about twenty years that's a pure joy to read and one of the best examples of the lone-wolf SF adventure tale I can think of.

Lyonesse and his Planet of Advenutre series are worth looking into, so I've heard.
 

Connavar

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I've enjoyed pretty much every Vance book I've read, since a large degree of his appeal for me lies in his idiosyncratic writing style, and this varies little regardless of the genre he's writing in or the time period in which he was writing. I also love his dark humor, his carefully realized but wonderfully imaginative cultures, and the aura of melancholic strangeness he weaves throughout the best of his work.

Of the picaresque adventure tale, which a large degree of Vance's work falls into, I enjoyed both Cugel books, with the first one, The Eyes of the Overlord, a slight favourite. Emphyrio is a superb coming of age story set in a dystopian culture of master craftsmen, that's one of his more serious works. His first Dying Earth book is a collection of darkly weird short stories that remain a favorite many years after I first read it. Of his series, my all-time favourite Vance is probably The Demon Princes, a five book revenge story written over a span of about twenty years that's a pure joy to read and one of the best examples of the lone-wolf SF adventure tale I can think of.

Lyonesse and his Planet of Advenutre series are worth looking into, so I've heard.

Well said thats why he is my fav writer other than his huge literary talent.

I have read not a Vance book i have not enjoyed despite he is the author i have read most of with having read 26 books of his. Gray Prince is weakest work so far i have read but it was still his unique style, his strange humans,worlds.
 

Coragem

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I ordered both the Demon Princes books and the Complete Lyonesse. They've jumped straight to the top of my to read pile, and I haven't looked forward to anything this much in ages.

One problem, though. Amazon are normally great, but this time they've sent me a damaged copy of Lyonesse. A bit of a hassle.

Coragem.
 

Elflock

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The books I love most meet the above criteria, and that matters to me much more than whether it's fantasy or sci-fi.

Honestly, I tend to find that fantasy books more reliably suit this criteria (too many sci-fi books lack humour and enjoyable characterisation, in my opinion), but that just makes me more eager to seek out the sci-fi that I'll like.

Coragem.
I would recommend 'To Live Forever' and 'Monsters in Orbit' then.
 
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