Science Fiction Fridays: The essential Jack Vance reading list

The world said goodbye to one of the greats last week when Jack Vance died at the age of 96. Vance was one of the most sophisticated stylists in science fiction and he was known for his far-future world building and clever storytelling. If you’ve never read Jack Vance, you owe to yourself to explore his vast and varied oeuvre, so here is a list of 7 of the best Jack Vance works at the Library that are sure to make you an insta-fan! What works do you think should round out this list?

tales of the dying earthTales of the Dying Earth—Baroque stories of Earth in the distant future where technology and magic have merged and our sun is in the final stages of death.alastor

Alastor—The Alastor Cluster is a sprawling galactic empire ruled by the enigmatic Connatic, who often goes incognito among his subjects to investigate the fringes of society.

magic highwaysMagic Highways—An early collection of short stories that includes some of Vance’s early pulp space opera and more intriguing pieces such as “The Sub-Standard Sardines” about a colony of sentient fish.

demon princesThe Demon Princes—Kirth Gersen has five names written on a piece of paper. These five people are responsible for the death of his entire family at the Mount Pleasant Massacre. No matter where he has to search in the universe, Kirth will find them and make them pay.

moon mothThe Moon Moth—On the strange planet of Sirene, where every citizen wears mask of various design and style to denote their social status in society, and, a diplomat from Earth becomes embroiled in a grisly murder investigation.planet of adventure

Planet of Adventure—Adam Reith discovers a warring alien civiliazation and human slaves from Earth’s past when he becomes stranded on the mysterious planet Tschai.

songs of the dying earthSongs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance—This collection doesn’t have a clunker in it and has at least two or three of your favorite authors, such as Dan Simmons, Neil Gaiman, Tad Williams, Kage Baker, Mike Resnick, Tanith Lee, Robert Silverberg and many, many more. The audiobook is particularly awesome!

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