Jack Vance, one of the great masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy, one of those who defined the genre, an author of high sophistication, one of the most original inventors of intricate worlds, Jack Vance has recently left us.
When I packed my books in Vienna, I found that I had owned German translations of “The Dying Earth”, two of the “Alastor” books and “The Grey Prince” – only I had never read a single one of them. Don’t ask me why.
I’ve really discovered Vance only a few months ago. I read “The Dying Earth”, his early fantasy success, and I loved it, especially the incomparable “Cugel the Clever”. “Lyonesse” captured me for maybe a month and is still vivid in me, and now I’ve just begun reading “Magnus Ridolph”, the complete collection of his early space mystery stories revolving about this detective / adventurer of the same name.
So far I have read only the first, and apart from the fact that mathematicians are still supposed to use slide rules (something that I’ve found in Asimov’s early “Foundation” trilogy as well), it seems still pretty enjoyable, even if it dates from 1948.