Subterranean Press have announced yet another Jack Vance publication. It looks like they’re planning to publish his complete works at this rate!
Here’s the blurb from their site:
Dangeous Ways, a hefty (560 pages) omnibus gathering three of his best mystery novels: the Edgar Award-winning The Man in the Cage, the unforgettable hider-in-the-house thriller, Bad Ronald, and the exotic South Seas murderfest, The Deadly Isles.
Whether featuring exotic locales such as Morocco and the Marquesas, forgotten corners of his beloved California, or even more modest, mundane settings like downtown San Francisco and Oakland, these beguiling, often hard-hitting tales explore the same depths of greed, obsession and depravity as mark his highly praised Demon Princes novels, feature the same resourceful, often cool, sometimes fraught protagonists as travel Tschai, Halma or Cadwal, show the same canny insights into the workings of human nature, the familiar trademark wit, the same fabulous gift for language and creating a living, breathing sense of place.
So now there’s a super duper Iain Banks iPhone App available, which other Science Fiction and Fantasy authors would merit there very own app? Well my top 5 would be:
His novels have such a rich background to them that I am sure there are plenty of background notes which could be digitised and provided as extra features. There’s already iPhone versions of his novels Drood and Terror, but as far as I can tell these don’t have extra features on them.
A compendium of spells (such as The Spell of Forlorn Encystment) from his Dying Earth stories together with nice illustrations of them would be awesome! I think though this would be a labour of love and I can’t seen anyone except a very dedicated fan producing something like this.
There is an encyclopedia available for his New Sun books already, and something that accessed this information would be a good starting point for an iPhone App. Again not sure anyone would do it now.
Well he does have an interactive App coming for his Mongolaid book, to be published sometime this year I hope. It seems that this will allow fans of the book to submit their own content which will then become part of the App. Sounds amazing!
And lastly the Godfather of comic fantasy. There’s a huge amount of non-fiction material available for his Discworld books already, so I am sure this must be on the cards as well. I have seen what looks like an unauthorised App, which apparently analyses each of the Discworld books, so not exactly special features about the author and his writing, but interesting nevertheless.
I 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.”
I received my limited edition copy of the Songs of the Dying Earth compilation, the book of short stories compiled by George R. R. Martin in honour of Jack Vance.
I must say it’s a lovely piece of work, the leather slip case is immaculate and the cover art and illustrations inside the book are great too, but I must admit to rather fannish dribbling when I got to the signature pages – these are real signatures – not copies as postulated by some. Amazing to see the signatures of so many great writers in one place: Martin, Gaiman, Simmons, and Vance himself.
Now I have to just get on and read some of the stories! Although I almost don’t want to just sit and read this copy like I would a normal book as the production is just so immaculate.
Has any one read any of the stories yet? Which are your favourites?
I’ve heard The Terror is excellent and sounds like it’s well worth a limited Subterranean Press edition. Also in the same news story its mentioned that Dan Simmons contributed a 26,000 word novella to the new Songs of Dying Earth anthology tribute to Jack Vance. I’m looking forward to getting my copy of this even more now!
As I went ahead and ordered the Songs of Dying Earth tribute, I’m now on Subterranean’s mailing list. They have just published another Jack Vance title – a Jack Vance Reader, which includes Emphyrio, The Domains of Koryphon and The Languages of Pao.
I haven’t read these titles, but they do sound interesting! Great cover: