Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A guide to major novels of Jack Vance

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:

  1. "The Last Castle"
  2. "The Languages of Pao"
  3. "The Dragon Masters"
  4. "Araminta Station"
  5. "The Eyes of the Overworld"
My own experience with him to date has been limited to less than a half dozen short stories - either very beautiful ("Meet Miss Universe" & "The Moon Moth" - both very funny tales), or average but never crappy.

Related: Stories of Jack Vance; "best of" lists.