Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jack Vance (1916 - 2013)

Novelist Christopher Priest writing a Jack Vance obituary for The Guardian:
“His prose – detailed, exotic, resonant of feelings, sounds and fragrances – soared well above the requirements of the genre; he described alien landscapes with bizarre and inventive energy in language that was ambitious, wordy, sometimes lurid, always bold.”

From a 2009 New York Times profile of Jack Vance:
"Jack Vance is the most painful case of all the writers I love who I feel don't get the credit they deserve," Michael Chabon said. "If 'The Last Castle' or 'The Dragon Masters' had the name Italo Calvino on it, or just a foreign name, it would be received as a profound meditation, but because he's Jack Vance and published in Amazing Whatever, there's this insurmountable barrier."

John Clute writing in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction:
“(O)ne of the two or three most deeply influential authors in the sf and fantasy genres after World War Two … creating an oeuvre whose surface flamboyance never obscured an underlying seriousness. Authors clearly (and often explicitly) influenced by Vance include such widely divergent figures as Jack L Chalker, Avram Davidson, Terry Dowling, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K Le Guin (though the influences here were almost certainly governed by a mutual concern with Anthropology), George R R Martin, Michael Moorcock, Dan Simmons and Gene Wolfe.”

Related links:
Obituary: The Guardian (by Christopher Priest)
Obituary: LA Times
Obituary: NY Times
NY Times profile (2009)
Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Jack Vance entry
Jack Vance official website

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