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The Jack Vance Treasury Hardcover – Jan 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 633 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press (Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596060778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596060777
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.2 x 5.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,561,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Manly Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pretty much all the well-known and best-loved shorter Vance stuff is here in this single collection. There are the Hugo-winning novellas The Last Castle and The Dragon Masters, the short stories The Moon Moth and The Kokod Warriors, Sail 25, and others. There are a number of "extracts" from the Dying Earth series - including Liane the Wayfarer and some Cugel the Clever (in fact, there is multiple Cugel).

Generally, this is "mid-period" Vance: already a skilled artisan, and rapidly becoming a master. The unique Vancian voice is in full flow, and yet there is enough structure and plot to each story that each is substantially different. What we are generally looking at is a dissection of an alien culture, social satire set in a future world or a fantasy past, usually with an irrepressable hero - or at least, protagonist.

I'd read some of this stuff already, but most of this was new to me: if you can stand short stories, this is a nice introduction to Jack Vance. If you cant stand short stories, then Lyonesse is probably the best way to see if Vance is for you.

This is a wonderful collection of beautiful tales, that you can read just for the joy of it, but will repay tenfold a little thought and engagement.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Jack Vance Variety 29 May 2007
By Stewart Teaze - Safe AI developer/Global Warming Debunker-don't believe the commie agenda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This collection of 18 short stories/novelletes provides a good sample of the variety of stories that the Grand Master put out.

Two of the stories were Hugo Winning novelettes (which I had first read in the early 70's in first THE HUGO WINNERS anthology), THE DRAGON MASTERS(1963) and THE LAST CASTLE(1966). I just reread these two stories, and they are actually BETTER than I had remembered them - both of these stories are absolutely top notch.

Many of the other stories are more fantasy oriented, and not really my cup of tea. There are eight pure SciFi short stories - almost all of which are worth reading. I especially liked THE KOKOD WARRIORS(1951). THE MOON MOTH(1961), THE SECRET(1966) and THE NEW PRIME(1951) were also enjoyable. Those four all hold up better to time than SAIL 25(1962), and are more enjoyable than THE GIFT OF GAB(1955), NOISE(1951), and THE MEN RETURN(1957).

If you haven't read THE DRAGON MASTERS, THE LAST CASTLE, or THE KOKOD WARRIORS, you really must get this book and read these three stories. They all hold up extremely well to time, and are true far-future SciFi classics. These three stories, and THE FACE (1979, from THE DEMON PRINCES series), show that when Jack Vance is good, he is VERY good.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Just what I needed 22 Mar. 2011
By Babytoxie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Once upon a time, I viewed science fiction and fantasy as two distinctly separate genres, but that all changed once I happened upon the works of Jack Vance. With Tales of the Dying Earth, Vance made me realize that the two could, in a way, work together, and I had to hunt down more examples. I found them, plus so much more, in THE JACK VANCE TREASURY, a hardcover collection packed full of novellas and short stories. Included are several more sci-fi/fantasy blends, such as "The Dragon Masters", "The Miracle Workers", "The Moon Moth", and "The Last Castle". These stories are much stronger examples of genre-blending than what is presented in the Dying Earth tales, and they are truly outstanding.

In addition, several of Vance's straight sci-fi tales are included, such as "Sail 25", "The Gift of Gab", "Noise", "The Kokod Warriors", and "The Mitr". "The Men Return", "The New Prime", and "The Secret" could also be considered sci-fi, but not in the standard sense. Also included are three of the aforementioned Dying Earth tales - "Liane the Wayfarer", "Guyal of Sfere", and "Morreion" - as well as "Overworld", "The Sorcerer Pharesm", and "The Bagful of Dreams" (three excerpts from the Cugel adventures).

As this collection includes work from a approximate 20-year period [1951 - 1973?], the quality varies, but there's really not a weak story in the bunch. They're all extremely creative and are definitely not your run-of-the-mill filler material. Many of the stories in this book eschew theatrics or action in favor of weighty topics: genetic engineering, language, the scientific method, and alien psychology, just to name a few. One thing that I admire about Vance's style is how richly he fleshes out his characters and concepts - the man is a "world builder" in the truest sense of the term, creating fascinating alien cultures and settings. As a result, I was pulled deeply into these stories, and once they ended, I had a hard time leaving. Another thing I admire about his style, and this is made all the more amazing when considering the first, is its brevity - many of the concepts in these stories could have easily been expanded into turgid full-length novels by a lesser writer, but Vance gives the reader just the right amount of material to make his point and then moves on to something else. I appreciate this highly, as it's a skill that many of today's authors unfortunately lack. Each story contains an afterword of sorts by Vance, a few of which provide insight to what was just read; however, the bulk of them appear to be random quotes.

This book has apparently entered the realm of remainders, so you can probably score a mint copy for a fraction of the cover price if you cast your net widely enough. Don't be tempted to pay inflated prices!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful collection 5 Mar. 2012
By Manly Reading - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Pretty much all the well-known and best-loved shorter Vance stuff is here in this single collection. There are the Hugo-winning novellas The Last Castle and The Dragon Masters, the short stories The Moon Moth and The Kokod Warriors, Sail 25, and others. There are a number of "extracts" from the Dying Earth series - including Liane the Wayfarer and some Cugel the Clever (in fact, there is multiple Cugel).

Generally, this is "mid-period" Vance: already a skilled artisan, and rapidly becoming a master. The unique Vancian voice is in full flow, and yet there is enough structure and plot to each story that each is substantially different. What we are generally looking at is a dissection of an alien culture, social satire set in a future world or a fantasy past, usually with an irrepressable hero - or at least, protagonist.

I'd read some of this stuff already, but most of this was new to me: if you can stand short stories, this is a nice introduction to Jack Vance. If you cant stand short stories, then Lyonesse is probably the best way to see if Vance is for you.

This is a wonderful collection of beautiful tales, that you can read just for the joy of it, but will repay tenfold a little thought and engagement.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Start Here with Vance 26 Dec. 2010
By Graham Culbertson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of Jack Vance, but I only discovered him recently. I wish I had started with this collection! It includes The Dragon Masters and The Last Castle, which I think are his two greatest works. If you're going to start reading Vance, you should start with those - and they're both here. Both of those stories won Hugo Awards for a reason; they're quintessential Vance in that they're both exciting and thought provoking, full of his stunningly assured language AND exciting battle sequences.

Besides the two masterpieces, this collection showcases a number of Vance's strengths. You get a Magnus Ridolph - Vance's Sherlock Holmes - story, stories from his most acclaimed work, the Dying Earth series, and a number of other excellent short and medium length science fiction stories. If you've heard Jack Vance is great - maybe from the New York Times - and wonder where to start, this is the place!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
brilliant 15 Dec. 2009
By Louis Vigo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had a love hate relationship with this book, because many of his ideas were so much larger than a short story. Most should have been their own book, and many should have been series of books.

What I liked most was his use of ontology. Many authors today take for granted that every alien civilization would have the same sort of logic we would have. However, we have been granted a way of thinking passed to us directly from Socrates.

How would an alien race think? Would we be able to communicate, even if we learned their language because their way of thinking would be so different.

He also explores the question of what makes sentience. Can a species be intelligent in a completely different way than we are?

Can there be a different understanding of the universe that is not based upon Greek platonic logic? A logic which gave us empirical science, and is now being unraveled by quantum theories? Is it possible that we need a new type of logic in order to reach the next level of understanding of the universe?

Just a few of my thoughts as I read it
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