Thursday, May 30, 2013

RIP Jack Vance

Like many of you, I've been playing D&D since 1980 (in other words A LONG TIME).  The term "Vancian Magic" is thrown around a lot and it wasn't until I read "Tales from the Dying Earth" that I knew what it meant.

In my younger years, I was a big reader of Moorcock and Leiber.  I read "The Hobbit" but I struggled with LOTR.  I read Robert Asprin, Larry Niven and Ray Bradbury.

I didn't read Vance until much, much later.

I'm so glad that I did.

I believe that I read somewhere that the word "libram" is a Vancian invention.  He does have a way with words and phrases.  His spell names are fantastic!

Ioun stones are his.  Prismatic Spray is his.  What else in our favorite game has it's origin in his stories?

If you haven't read "The Dragon Masters" you really should.

One tidbit that I learned only recently was that "Ellery Queen" was, in fact, Jack Vance.

My Dad loved Ellery Queen.  I love Jack Vance.  I guess that's one more thing that I had in common with my old man.  :)


finbikkifin said...

Jack Vance was Ellery Queen, but only for three stories. It's one of those brand-style pen names.

RIP. :(

Sean Robson said...

I had no idea that Jack Vance passed away. It's only in the past few years that I've really come to appreciate and love his work, but his Dying Earth stories now rank among my favourites.

Jim said...

@finbikkifin -- now I have to figure out what stories!
@Sean -- same here. :( Sad day.

finbikkifin said...

The good ones, duh.

(the answer is probably on his Wikipedia page, but I don't remember)

MCPlanck said...

Levels are his - in one of the Dying Earth stories, a character (Turjan?) is described as a swordsman of the seventh circle.