Carlo Rotella's "The Genre Artist" in The New York Times dated 15 July 2009. [via Dan Clore @rasfw (this rasfw link also has discussion on article)]
Well, actually it's a tribute. But reads like a very good getting-started guide to his novels for readers unfamiliar with Vance.
There is a bit for authors too, here - a dissection of some aspects of his writing. E.g., how to describe pages worth of imagery in a few words; which also happens to add to the appeal of story to international readers since they can fill in locale-specific details in ways that look personally more familiar.
Some of the stories named:
- "The Last Castle"
- "The Languages of Pao"
- "The Dragon Masters"
- "Araminta Station"
- "The Eyes of the Overworld"
Related: Stories of Jack Vance; "best of" lists.