Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance

Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance

Illustration By Tom Kidd

Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Tom Kidd

Jack Vance was a seminal figure in the development of modern fantasy, so much so that it’s nearly impossible to imagine the genre as we know it today existing without him. In the course of his more than fifty-year career, he has published dozens of major novels, as well as collections filled with marvelously crafted stories, winning the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Edgar Award, the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, and several World Fantasy Awards, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Vance’s masterpiece, The Dying Earth, may be the most influential fantasy novel of the Twentieth Century, surpassed only by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy; it has not only inspired several generations of fantasy writers, from Gene Wolfe and Michael Moorcock to Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, but its influence has reached deep into the realms of graphic novels, comics, fantasy role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, and even computer gaming.

In Songs of the Dying Earth, we have called on one of the most distinguished casts of authors ever assembled—including Dan Simmons, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Paula Volsky, Mike Resnick, Robert Silverberg, Lucius Shepard, Tad Williams, Tanith Lee, Liz Williams, Glen Cook, and eleven other famous writers—to write stories in honor of the genius of Jack Vance, stories using the bizarre and darkly beautiful far future setting of the Dying Earth, near the very end of Earth’s lifespan, where mighty wizards duel with spells of dreadful potency under a waning and almost burnt-out red sun, and adventurers and cutpurses strive to hoodwink and out-trick each other in haunted forests full of demons and monsters strange almost beyond comprehension.

The Limited and Lettered Editions of Songs of the Dying Earth will be printed on 80# Finch, housed in a custom slipcase or traycase, as appropriate. The trade edition will be printed on 60# Natural paper.

Each of the stories in the Subterranean Press edition of Songs of the Dying Earth will feature an original pen-and-ink illustration by Tom Kidd, who has also provided the glorious cover art.

In addition, the SubPress edition will precede the U.S. trade hardcover by six months.

Late News: Jack Vance has turned in an original preface for Songs of the Dying Earth, which will make this book even more dear to those who revere his work. In addition, Dean Koontz will be contributing an appreciation and signing the limited edition.

Songs of Dying Earth will be limited to three unique editions:

Lettered: 26 signed copies, housed in a custom traycase
Limited: 500 signed numbered copies, housed in a custom slipcase
Trade: 1474 unsigned cloth bound hardcovers

From Library Journal (Starred Review):
“From Dan Simmons’s new novella about a wild search for the Ultimate Library (’The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderoz’) to Walter Jon Williams’s tale of an architectural student caught up in a war between two great powers (’A brizonde’), the 23 stories not only capture the unique feel of Vance’s dying universe but stand individually as one of the strongest gatherings of writers to pay homage to one of their own.”

From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
"This stellar anthology features 22 original stories set in the far future of Grand Master Jack Vance's 1950 classic The Dying Earth, wherein sorcerers, rogues and demons squabble for power beneath the waning light of a bloated red sun. Some of the field's most talented writers successfully adopt Vance's convoluted style, ironic dialogue and amoral protagonists… Exquisitely illustrated by Tom Kidd, these are tales to savor and a fitting tribute to one of the field's finest authors."

Authors — stories in hand:

  • Dan Simmons
  • Robert Silverberg
  • Kage Baker
  • Terry Dowling
  • Phyllis Eisenstein
  • Glen Cook
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Elizabeth Hand
  • Matt Hughes
  • Tanith Lee
  • George R. R. Martin
  • Elizabeth Moon
  • Mike Resnick
  • Lucius Shepard
  • Jeff Vandermeer
  • Paula Volsky
  • Howard Waldrop
  • Liz Williams
  • Walter Jon Williams
  • Tad Williams
  • John C. Wright

Please note: Mr. Vance has already signed the limited and lettered edition, and we expect, though we cannot yet guarantee, that all contributors will sign these editions.

From The Agony Column:
"At $40.00 with all the stories alone it would be a steal, but I have to mention the outstanding illustrations by Tom Kidd. Each story gets its own detailed title-page illustration, and they're gorgeous. The interior book design is also classy, with framed pages. Each story includes an introduction to the author and an afterword by the author. The writers have been careful to preserve the particular flavor of Vance's work, that combination of humor, horror, and unbound imagination that forced the critics to come up with the appellation 'Science fantasy' to describe it. Any way you look at it, Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance is a total steal. But for all the quantity and quality on parade here, there's one simple reason to buy this book. It will mark you. These writers have remembered Jack Vance for you — wholesale."

Tom Kidd
Kage Baker
370 pages
United States
Out of Print