Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Dying Earth

Jack Vance (August 28, 1916 - May 26, 2013) did not prefer the title, but I use it here with sadness and affection. He founded an entire genre of fiction and deserves to be remembered for it. Plus, it echoes my own feelings at this time.

I found the works of Jack Vance through my love of Dungeons & Dragons. In the back of the Moldvay Basic Rules book, on page B62, there was a bibliography of "Inspirational Source Material." Jack Vance was one of many that caught my eye. The stories were wild, wondrous, and witty. Far from the typical sword-and-sorcery fare I was used to. They made me think. They made me re-read to see if I had missed anything.

I miss Vance already.

I would thank him for the magic and the wonder of reading about a world so out of reach, yet so tantalizingly near. Full of sheer myth and legend. Echoing with enchantment and the booming presence of so many larger-than-life characters. Shimmering with charm and color even as the star giving it life gutters and dies.

I wish him well on his next journey.

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