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Saturday, 15 June 2013

In Memory of Jack Vance

I found out this week that Jack Vance died last month; how I've loved his books these least forty years or so.

Although his main characters could sometimes seem a bit underdrawn, the minor characters, his landscapes and his settings were always wonderfully inventive. And his style! If I had any pretensions to writing fiction, I would quietly shelve them after reading his.

Looking at his bibliography I see that there are still many, many works that I haven't read. Of the ones I have, I enjoyed the fantasy most, although individual SF novels such as Emphyrio or Night Lamp were also excellent. The Dying Earth books will always be my favourites, and Cugel my most loved Vance character, despicable though he often was. Vance wonderfully represents a sense of world-weariness as the inhabitants of the Earth wait for the sun to finally die out. But in the meantime there are still spectacles to see, wines to sample, manses to rob...

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