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Old June 2 2013, 06:00 AM   #9
The Lensman
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Re: R.I.P. Jack Vance, 1916-2013

Klaus wrote: View Post
The Dying Earth series had a big influence on old-school AD&D as well... he'll be missed.
Loved the Dying Earth! Had multiple copies of "The Dying Earth" and "Eyes Of The Overworld". I remember about twenty six years ago, a co-worker saying that the landscape of (I think) the movie Willow reminded him of a book by Jack Vance...all he could recall was that it took place in the millionth century or something, had very exotic and strange lands and was awesome. He could recall Vance's name but he couldn't recall the name of the book. When I went to look for the book, I had forgotten Vance's name, only knew it was near the end of the alphabet and that it was in "the millionth century". Yeah, that's how I used to sometimes look for books...I discovered a lot of cool shit along the way.

By an amazing coincidence the book I thought was "The Dying Earth" happened to be the book that inspired that whole genre...."Zothique" by Clark Ashton Smith....a book (and author) that went on to be one of my all time favorites.

Thankfully in the intro to that book, it mentioned authors who were inspired by Ashton Smith's "Zothique" stories and it mentioned Vance and "The Dying Earth". I finally had the name of both author and book and finally found it and it's sequels. I read "The Dying Earth" on a trip to the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. This was sometime in the 90's....out in a million acres of National Forest where the nearest outpost of civilization was literally a small village with one general store. No power out there, and a full moon so bright it was a night time sun.

Out there in those mountains, the imagery of "The Dying Earth" was really vivid. Wandering around hiking, sitting on top of hills taking in the grand vistas and listening to the wind....walking under a canopy of tree's, seeing a giant boulder....or being amazed at just how a bright a full moon can truly be....it was eerie and surreal and fit the whole vibe of the book. It wasn't hard to feel like I was there, as if I walked far enough I might come across the Museum Of Man or run into Chun the Unavoidable or spy a Twk-Man riding a dragonfly.

A truly memorable experience for a wonderful book.

Farewell Jack...thanks for taking us all into strange and wonderous lands at the end of the world.
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