Jack Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth

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raevol
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Jack Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth

Post by raevol » 16 Oct 2017, 07:58

Since I'm the acting chair for the unofficial OpenMW Book Club, I wanted to share the book I am enthralled with right now, Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance.

The structure of the book is a little confusing but it's basically a collection of short stories that proceed into a series of novels as far as I can tell. I'm halfway through the second novel.

These stories are famous because they are where "Vancian" spellcasting comes from- which is the type of spellcasting used in Dungeons and Dragons. If you ever wondered why the D&D spellcasting rules are so bizarre, it's because the mechanics are taken from these stories.

The stories themselves are amazing, it's a "science fiction" book because it's set in the far future, but it's all about magicians and swords. They at the same time have a very serious adult feel, and a sort of childish Grimm's fairy tale feel. And the writing is beautiful to read!

Anyway! Figured I would share and recommend them, since my Black Company thread got some traction.

DocClox
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Re: Jack Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth

Post by DocClox » 16 Oct 2017, 09:23

Oh, hell yes! Anything by Vance is worth reading. (OK, the Planet of Adventure books, maybe not quite so much).

The Dying Earth books have been hugely influential. You can see that in Morrowind with the multiplicity of spells all doing similar things more or less efficiently and often named for their creators.

As well as Vance, you'd probably enjoy some of Michael Shea's stuff. A Quest For Simbalis is a continuation of one of Vance's stories (with permission of course), but he also wrote Nifft the Lean and In Yana, The Touch Of Undying that aren't set on the Dying Earth but are very Vancian in tone and style and rocking good reads to boot.
Last edited by DocClox on 16 Oct 2017, 09:47, edited 2 times in total.

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sirherrbatka
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Re: Jack Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth

Post by sirherrbatka » 16 Oct 2017, 09:43

Just finished reading "Happiness Industry". Now reading "rendezvous with rama". I guess this will be next.

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raevol
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Re: Jack Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth

Post by raevol » 16 Oct 2017, 11:17

DocClox wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 09:23
As well as Vance, you'd probably enjoy some of Michael Shea's stuff. A Quest For Simbalis is a continuation of one of Vance's stories (with permission of course), but he also wrote Nifft the Lean and In Yana, The Touch Of Undying that aren't set on the Dying Earth but are very Vancian in tone and style and rocking good reads to boot.
I'll put these on my list! :shock:

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