Jack Vance, Magician
Like the professional wizards and sorcerers he so often writes about, Jack Vance has long been a master magician when it comes to storytelling, turning out marvelous tricks with words, using his wonderful knack for names, detail and dialog, his fine eye for rendering the vagaries of the human condition to deliver high adventure set on fascinating worlds and in fabulous realms that are second to none.
In a career spanning nearly sixty years, this peerless F&SF Grand Master has taken us from the Dying Earth to Lyonesse, from the Oikumene of the Demon Princes to the farthest corners of the Gaean Reach, Alastor Cluster and beyond, bringing alive on the page magical places we can only dream about.
Dream Castles presents a generous serving of this celebrated magician’s “performances,” ten fascinating tales from his long and influential career, among them his two Miro Hetzel adventures, “The Dogtown Tourist Agency” and “Freitzke’s Turn”, the intriguing “The Narrow Land,” a second outing for Jean Parlier in “Choldwell’s Chickens,” and the classic space opera of “Son of the Tree.”
Dream Castles shows a true magician storyteller perfecting his craft, one moment as journeyman finding a voice all his own, the next as fully-fledged maestro intent on exploring worlds and delivering adventure and wonder in equal parts, the very stuff that dreams are made of.
From George R. R. Martin:
“You could say that Jack Vance is the Fred Astaire of letters. Astaire brought such grace and style to his dancing that he made it seem almost easy, just as Vance does when he writes... For inventive plots, wry humor, knowing and ironic dialogue, and imaginative panache, he has no equal in or outside of our genre.”
“One of the strongest and most unmistakable voices and visions the field has produced.”
From Paul Di Filippo:
“Jack Vance's artistry is undeniable... A master stylist, he combines a flair for dialogue (witty), description (painterly) and detail (ornate but never egregious) with an ingenuity of plotting and a fecundity of conceit that is unmatched within the field.”
John Holbrook "Jack" Vance (1916–2013) was an American mystery, fantasy and science fiction writer. Though most of his work has been published as by Jack Vance, he also wrote 11 mystery novels using his full name John Holbrook Vance, three under the pseudonym Ellery Queen, and once each using the pseudonyms Alan Wade, Peter Held, John van See, and Jay Kavanse.
Vance won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984 and he was a Guest of Honor at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 14th Grand Master in 1997 and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers.