Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dying Earth

I had never read Jack Vance's Dying Earth novels, and recently acquired a compilation of all 4 in one volume.  Two brief stories in and it is as if I am reading stories penned by someone who played a LOT of D&D.  I have read many others comment on the influence of Jack Vance on D&D, but I am amazed at how the tone, style and events seem to be the whole sail cloth from which D&D was cut. 

I don't know if I like it though, and again my own prejudices against a ton of sorcery in favor of a ton of swords may unfairly shade my appreciation.  It is still early as I have barely scratched the surface of the novels.  Even so, it is a good read so far and very illuminating in many ways.

9 comments:

UWS guy said...

Don't read the stories about cudgel first, I found them a bit long and slow. Read "Mazirian the Magician" and "turjan of Mir" the "T'sain". They are short stories, ad especially mazarian--blew me away and fully explains what people mean by "Vancian Magic".

Fenway5 said...

@UWS-Thank you for the tip! The collection began with a Turjan short story and then Mazarian. Next is T'Sais!

Mike Monaco said...

I enjoyed reading them straight through -- Dying Earth, then the two Cugel novels, then Rhialto. The stories in the first book set up the world very nicely, and cugel's improbable adventures made 'sense' after them. Great stuff all around IMO.

Eric Wilde said...

Ah, wonderful! Enjoy the books. They grew on me as I read through the series.

Brendan said...

Wait until you get to the Cudgel stories. Those tales are wild, and not in a "crazy sorcery" kind of way.

I haven't gotten around to Rhialto yet... hopefully soon though.

Fenway5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fenway5 said...

Thanks all! I am hopeful the middle and end are as good as the start! :)

Christopher O'Dell said...

The Cugel stories are about a character who would be a Thief in D&D instead of a Magic-User, so those may be more to your liking. After one read-through, I liked the first two books the best, but found all of them worth reading.

I agree that it's amazing how much the Dying Earth feels like D&D. Even more than Tolkien and Howard, I feel like Vance and Leiber "read" like D&D (though both Conan and Tolkien, especially with The Hobbit, do, of course, feel like D&D too).

Clovis Cithog said...

when The Lord of the Green Dragons asked E G G
what books he should read for DnD he added him the Barsoom series .. .

free at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/62

this is according to an interview posted by Hill Cantons