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.
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.”
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!
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!
A nifty idea for a book promotion – suggest your own 25 word epitaph for your tombstone! Subterranean Press are running this promo for Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.
Website for the book is here.
My epitaph is:
A man of talent and wit,
Writer of words sad yet funny.
Some said “a shame he didn’t see fit
To ever write a check to us for our money”.