Jack Vance is an American science fiction icon, he was noted as being one of American literature’s most distinctive and undervalued voices and he wrote some incredible vintage science fiction.
An American mystery, fantasy and science fiction writer all in one, most of his work was published under the name Jack Vance, but to his friends knew him as John Holbrook Vance. His stories were published from 1950 – 2000, today he is 96 years old, and every time I see one of his vintage books on a shelf I scoop it up.
I was first introduced to his science fiction paperbacks in November 2004 when a friend handed me the Planet of Adventure series 1-4. His books are hard to come by in their original printing and many have not been reprinted. However if you have an eye for spotting classic science fiction artwork these books can be found. If you ask any book store clerk worth her salt, they will tell you that there are only a hand-full kicking around. And some of the vintage paperbacks if you’re lucky, are still in great shape.
JackVance.com still make his novels available in ebook form but all of the actual books are out of print. And even if you find one that isn’t a perfect vintage paperback, like “Big Planet” which I found in a box in the rear of ABC books on Yonge Street last week. Whether in rough condition or not, these vintage books are still really fun to collect. Early prints from the 1950s to late 1960s have the most intriguing artwork. I wouldn’t know the exact prices of these today however Vance’s writings are my favorite in the Science Fiction category.
Immerse yourself in the artwork and especially the writing of these classic American paperbacks, Jack Vance’s his stories are filled with adventure and detail.
Here’s the synopsis on the back:
“AN EXCELLENT SF NOVEL…a good-old-fashioned travel-among-wonders yarn, in which a small group of Earthlings crash on a planet overrun centuries before by assorted dissidents, who have set up the Galaxy’s oddest assortment of splinter societies. They set out to make a 40,000-mile trek across the unknown face of the planet, beset by monsters, natives, and each other. It’s good fun all through, and the wacky society of Kirstendale must be experienced to be believed.” – P. Schuyler Miller of Astounding Science Fiction