Jack Vance is my favorite author. He from WW2 until his death in 2013 he wrote science fiction, fantasy, mystery...often all three in combination in a single story. He wrote straight through and across all those boundries. It long made him hard to classify, with book sellers not always knowing where to shelve him. It also made him untiringly popular with his very devoted fans. But not so much with publishers who didn’t know how to market his works. Editors were further annoyed by his contracting the old-fashioned way...for the printing of editions, rather than to pay him once and then own the rights forever.
Jack had been writing since ten years before I was born, and carried on right to the end, even though he had long since gone blind. His writing is timeless “ meaning that often a reader can’t tell when it was written. Thus most of his works will never age. Above are pictures taken form a weekend visit I made to the house where he lived with is wife Norma. She preceeded him into that great mystery beyond. The occasion was a working weekend for a project called the Vance Integral Edition in which I played a minor role. Minor but enough of one to be invited on that epic weekend. A visit long to be remembered. The VIE is a project thought up by Paul Rhodes, an artist and one of Jack’s most ardent fans. Paul and quite a number of others all slaved away together to re-publish all of Jack’s works in a 44-volume collector’s edition. We gathered together with Jack to study original manuscripts so as to bring the edition to complete integrity with such of his originals as still were in existence. Some of the stories, sadly, were distorted over the years (tarted up according to Jack) by hack editors employed by the publishing houses. My contribution to the effort was OCR scanning: five novels and quite a few stories.
The main things which make his work great are mood and style. I have a longer rant on this topic should you be wanting to read it. Here is the link: html