Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010
: Sixty years ago, in The Dying Earth
, Jack Vance introduced his own version of the distant future, where the sun has become a red giant, powerful wizards fight over the scraps of ruined civilizations, and a handful of colorful and eccentric characters insist on having a few adventures before oblivion descends. In Songs of the Dying Earth
, 22 sci-fi and fantasy writers, from newcomers like Liz Williams and Byron Tetrick to established names like Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, each offer their own snippets of Vance's Dying Earth. In one story, an apprentice architect stumbles into a duel between two powerful mages, for example, while in another a poet-philosopher tries (and fails) to forget the coming apocalypse in a drunken haze. Some stories capture Vance's style and inventiveness, while others recreate his perfect combination of black humor and creeping dread. Songs of the Dying Earth
is both a respectful homage to a sci-fi master and a whirlwind tour of a world that readers will want to revisit. --Darryl Campbell
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This stellar anthology features 22 original stories set in the far future of Grand Master Jack Vance's 1950 classic The Dying Earth
, wherein sorcerers, rogues and demons squabble for power beneath the waning light of a bloated red sun. Some of the field's most talented writers successfully adopt Vance's convoluted style, ironic dialogue and amoral protagonists, as in Dan Simmons's epic novella The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderoz, which relates the desperate quest of Shrue the diabolist to find a dead wizard's Ultimate Library, and Liz Williams's excellent Caulk the Witch-chaser, concerning a minor wizard forced to ally himself with his quarry. Exquisitely illustrated by Tom Kidd, these are tales to savor and a fitting tribute to one of the field's finest authors. (Oct.)
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