Living in interesting times...
Jack Vance has long been one of the most influential, admired and imitated writers in science fiction and fantasy literature, the award-winning author of such widely acclaimed works as The Dying Earth, the Lyonesse trilogy, the adventures of Cugel the Clever, the Demon Princes series, and many other masterful tales set among the stars, in exotic fantasy realms or on our own Earth.
For much of his career, Vance has also been one of the field’s most private writers, an author who preferred to let his work speak for him. Now, at last, to coincide with the release of the tribute anthology Songs of the Dying Earth, Jack gives us this intimate and fascinating glimpse into his rich and eventful life, including an extensive photo section, and a valuable insight into how he went about practicing his craft.
Third Printing: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition
"Vance's memoir is unexpected from an author; rather than dwelling on topics in his fiction he shares his many real world interests detailing a life spent building boats and houses, traveling the world and seeking out all sorts of fascinating experiences. From a California childhood marked largely by an absent father, he writes about finding work, joining the war effort in WWII, and seeing the world, mostly because he has an interest in seeing it. There is no master plan to Vance's life - he and his wife Norma spend years refining a piece of property around their home, they build a boat with friends because it seems like fun and they live in various countries for months at a time just to see what it is like. "Our old wanderlust" Vance refers to it as, and on every occasion this drive to live someplace new is embraced and enjoyed. The birth of their son John does not in any way make them turn to a more sedentary lifestyle. John is packed up along with everything else and goes along for the ride. In the end Vance considers that perhaps he should have discussed his writing more but that isn't the point of his book - other than the fact that the writing could and did take place anywhere in the world and it all worked out swimmingly, didn't it?"
"For all his desire to fade more into his work, Jack Vance is anything but an invisible man. This book tells more than was told before, but reveals less than some would like. All the more reason to look to the fiction. That is where the inward Jack Vance lives."
- Gail Cross
- Jack Vance
- 208 pages
- United States
- Out of Print