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“While we are alive we should sit among colored lights and taste good wines, and discuss our adventures in far places; when we are dead, the opportunity is past.”

May 30, 2013

Words of wisdom from the novel Maske: Thaery by the peerless Jack Vance, who died on Sunday at the grand old age of 96. He was my favourite writer of modern times, in any genre. His words were (and remain) magic. The uncanny poise and precision of his prose are matched only by his ironic wit and his facility for creating exotic worlds, eccentric societies and memorable scallywags. In gaming circles, he is probably best known for The Dying Earth, which inspired Gary Gygax to design D&D‘s distinctive magic system, but he was almost ludicrously prolific. The loss of his sight curtailed his career, but he left his many fans on a high with the beautiful, warm, funny, elegiac split novel Ports of Call / Lurulu. Evidently his joie de vivre remained undimmed.

I’ll have more to say soon, but for now this must suffice. Jack Vance lived a long and productive life. He had several adventures in far places, as recounted in his autobiography. I invite you all to light your lights, raise a glass of good wine (or whatever your tipple might be) and salute the passing of a multi-award-winning Grand Master of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the finest stylist of English prose of (at least) the last fifty years.

Jack Vance

John Holbrook Vance (1916 – 2013)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tom Evans permalink
    June 9, 2013 7:49 pm

    Wise words indeed.

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