Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dying Earth Hardcover – 1976
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
The Dying Earth by Jack Vance, illustrated by George Barr. Underwood-Miller, San Francisco, 1976. 1st hardback edition, classic science fiction. Light shelf wear, dust jacket in very good condition.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's a collection of interrelated short stories from 1950. The Pocket books paperback you're probably looking at is a reprint from March 1977.
The six stories are interrelated and share many of the same characters.
It's fantasy fiction, with wizards and monsters and so forth. It's a short book, though: 146 pages. One thing that's kind of annoying is that there's one of those heavy card stock cigarette ads right in the middle of the book (for Kent and Newport) that can't be removed. They used to do this with mass market paperbacks in the 70s. Thank God that went out of style.
It's a bit confusing at first: Vance gets right into his world and all the names and allusions can be quite disorienting, especially when you realize that no clarification will ever be forthcoming (e.g., you never get any specifics on why the world is "dying").
However, the writing is superb. If you can get into it, it's quite a feast for the imagination and Vance proves himself a capable wordsmith. I am not alone in my high opinion of this book: in 2001 it won a "retro-Hugo," an award designed to recognize superlative SF that was overlooked or unappreciated at the time of publication.
I actually read this through twice. It's not that it contains a lot of deep, subtle lessons. It's that it's such a pleasure to be in the hands of someone who's got such a disciplined style with English.
Note that Vance's conception about how wizards know and use spells was seminal in the Gygax's conception of them when he created Dungeons and Dragons with Dave Arneson.
The ebook is well formatted with an excellent table of contents and includes information about the author, a link to the Gateway Science fiction website, and a useful list of other books by Vance organized according to the various series to which each work belongs.
This is an excellent buy!
But, it is fun. And different. And a good read and a source of much that is found in role-playing games.
So, I recommend it as a fun piece of pulp and a romp of the imagination.
Without any intention to pun, the stories are so charming, that you hope the Earth takes a long, long time to die. Apparently, so did Mr. Vance, as he added on several more tales after the release of his first set of stories, now almost 70 years ago.
It's important to understand Jack Vance and his science fiction and fantasy storytelling to comprehend why this book is such an archetype for all his work.
All heroes and heroines in Jack Vance works are truly heroic, equally capable in the art of thinking as the art of fighting. All his rogues are a rich mixture of good and bad and all his villains are masters of distasteful deeds and plans.
His romances, while light and swift in their culmination, are gifted with such purity of desire, that it make you long for a real encounter so clear of the doubts and drudgery spattered in our own relationships.
Finally, all his characters get their just desserts. The heroes and heroines earn their peace; the rogues their bedevilment and the evildoers their ultimate comeuppance.
In a world filled with dreary tales of gray and despair, the works of Jack Vance transport you through intricate plots or simple plots and leave you with a sense of optimism and pleasure.
The Dying Earth features a series of tales set so far into Man's future that science is all but forgotten and even magic has begun to wane.
In this land, few magicians can command many of the spells learned after science's long-ago demise. As has always been and (considering the distant future these stories take place in) likely always will be, there are both good and evil men who master this sorcery.
While each tale in the book is individual, there is a subtle connection to each tale preceding it (sometimes not so subtle).
Each story contains within it a romance, reaffirming the hopefulness of all of Jack Vance's works in that, even as the Earth dies, still love remains.
If your heart and mind have not been encrusted with jaded cynicism, you will love this book. Even if, The Dying Earth may have just enough magic, the magic of Jack Vance, to break through and remind you how to smile while reading a book.
Most recent customer reviews
For the fantasy enthusiast Jack Vance and his Dying Earth series are one of the...Read more