Hard-Luck Diggings: The Early Jack Vance

Hard-Luck Diggings: the early Jack VanceI just came across this new title from Subterranean Press. Hard-Luck Diggings is a collection of Vance’s earlier fiction, when he was trying to break into the writing industry. One could wonder therefore what the quality is like, but according to these reviews quoted by Subterranean it seems pretty good:

First up, from SF Site:

“Jack Vance is a familiar name to most SF/Fantasy readers. Now, as his writing career seems to have drawn to a close, he is getting a welcome new shot of recognition, driven by a memoir, a tribute antholology, and some interesting new collections of his work. Hard-Luck Diggings is the latest collection, and it is different from the others in not really selecting a representative group of his stories, nor a themed set, nor the best. It is instead a choice of some of the more interesting works from his first decade or so of publishing.”

And, from SFCrowsnest:

“As you would expect from a master of the genre, none of the stories in here are a disappointment… Subterranean Press are apparently planning a further Jack Vance anthology and for any author with such a long and distinguished career, I consider this a valuable service.”

From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
“Even these early tales make it clear why Vance is still one of the most revered, read, and taught of science fiction authors, highlighting his blending of genres, forward-thinking and prophetic science, and careful craft.”

Here’s a list of the stories:

  • Hard-Luck Diggings (1948)
  • The Temple of Han (1951)
  • The Masquerade on Dicantropus (1951)
  • Abercrombie Station (1952)
  • Three-Legged Joe (1953)
  • DP! (1953)
  • Shape-Up (1953)
  • Sjambak (1953)
  • The Absent-Minded Professor (1954)
  • When the Five Moons Rise (1954)
  • The Devil on Salvation Bluff (1955)
  • Where Hesperus Falls (1956)
  • The Phantom Milkman (1956)
  • Dodkin’s Job (1959)

I must say this does look quite tempting!

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