Classic Covers: More From Jack Vance
Jul27

Classic Covers: More From Jack Vance

With hundreds of titles in dozens of editions in as many different languages, a catalog of Jack Vance’s prolific output is a feast of diverse and changing visual styles over many years. With cover illustrations as varied as Frazetta-style sword-and-sorcery, heady new age semiotics, surreal horror, literal Tolkien fantasy, and nuts-and-bolts high technology science fiction, Vance has inspired numerous creative interpretations of...

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The Other Cugel’s Saga: Michael Shea’s A Quest for Simbilis
Jul20

The Other Cugel’s Saga: Michael Shea’s A Quest for Simbilis

The Other Cugel’s Saga: Michael Shea’s A Quest for Simbilis by Fletcher Vredenburgh At the end of The Eyes of the Overworld (1966), Jack Vance’s rogue, Cugel the Clever, found himself once again stranded in the very same distant part of the Dying Earth to which he’d been sent at the beginning of the book by Iucounu the Laughing Magician, on a mission to retrieve a magical lens. And that’s where he remained for over a...

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Words Weird and Wonderful: Jack Vance’s Dying Earth
Jul16

Words Weird and Wonderful: Jack Vance’s Dying Earth

Words Weird and Wonderful: Jack Vance’s Dying Earth by Bill Ward By no means secondary to his innovations in diction, Jack Vance’s exacting employment of etymological rarities, conjugational novelties, and antiquated antiquaria conspires to produce a style that may only be satisfactorily appellativized as ‘Vancian.’ What follows is far from a pandect on the topic, but rather a minikin’s smattering sample...

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Vancian Quotations
Jul13

Vancian Quotations

Vancian Quotations by Bill Ward “When you want to describe something that’s flamboyant, weird and strange, anything a little bit outrageous, wicked or nasty, you don’t do it by exposition, which can become long-winded and tiresome. You have one of your characters describe it to somebody else . . . this is almost a trade secret: not having the exposition come from the writer, but rather from the mouths of the characters...

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Jack Vance’s Influence on Dungeons & Dragons
Jul09

Jack Vance’s Influence on Dungeons & Dragons

Jack Vance’s Influence on Dungeons & Dragons by Bill Ward “Turjan … descended to his study … The tomes which held Turjan’s sorcery lay on the long table of black steel or were thrust helter-skelter into shelves. These were volumes compiled by many wizards of the past, untidy folios collected by the Sage, leather-bound librams setting forth the syllables of a hundred powerful spells, so cogent that Turjan’s brain...

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