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Songs of the Dying Earth

Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      Songs of the Dying Earth
Гарднер Дозуа

Джордж Рэймонд Ричард Мартин

Return to the unique and evocative world of The Dying Earth in this tribute anthology featuring the most distinguished fantasists of our day. Here are twenty-one brand-new adventures set in the world of Jack Vance's greatest novel.A dim place, ancient beyond knowledge. The sun is feeble and red. A million cities have fallen to dust. Here live a few thousand souls, dying, as the Earth dies beneath them. Just a few short decades remain to the long history of our world. At the last, science and magic are one, and there is evil on Earth, distilled by time … Earth is dying.Half a century ago, Jack Vance created the world of the Dying Earth, and fantasy has never been the same. Now, for the first time, Jack has agreed to open this bizarre and darkly beautiful world to other fantasists, to play in as their very own.The list of twenty-one contributors eager to honour Jack Vance by writing for this anthology includes Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Tanith Lee, Michael Moorcock, Terry Dowling, Lucius Shepherd, Dan Simmons, Robert Silverberg, Tad Williams, Walter Jon Williams and George R.R. Martin himself.

SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH

STORIES IN HONOUR OF JACK VANCE

Edited by

George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

with an Appreciation by Dean Koontz

ROBERT SILVERBERG, MATTHEW HUGHES, TERRY DOWLING, LIZ WILLIAMS, MIKE RESNICK, WALTER JON WILLIAMS, PAULA VOLSKY, JEFF VANDERMEER, KAGE BAKER, PHYLLIS EISENSTEIN, ELIZABETH MOON, LUCIUS SHEPARD, TAD WILLIAMS, JOHN C. WRIGHT, GLEN COOK, ELIZABETH HAND, BYRON TETRICK, TANITH LEE, DAN SIMMONS, HOWARD WALDROP, GEORGE R.R. MARTIN, NEIL GAIMAN

Copyright (#)

HarperCollinsPublishers 77-85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB

www.voyager-books.co.uk (http://www.voyager-books.co.uk)

First published in Great Britain by HarperVoyager An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2009

Copyright © George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois 2009

Full copyright information here (#litres_trial_promo)

The authors assert the moral right to be identified as the authors of this work

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books

HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication.

Source ISBN: 9780007277483

Ebook Edition © SEPTEMBER 2009 ISBN: 9780007290666 Version: 2014-11-28

Dedication (#)

to Jack Vance, the maestro, with thanks for all the great tales, and for letting us play with your toys.

Table of Contents

Cover Page (#u8136e5a1-1FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Title Page (#u8136e5a1-2FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Copyright (#u8136e5a1-3FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Dedication (#u8136e5a1-4FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Thank You, Mr. Vance DEAN KOONTZ (#u8136e5a1-6FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Preface JACK VANCE (#u8136e5a1-7FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

The True Vintage of Erzuine Thale ROBERT SILVERBERG (#u8136e5a1-8FFF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Grolion of Almery MATTHEW HUGHES (#u8136e5a1-12FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

The Copsy Door TERRY DOWLING (#u8136e5a1-16FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Caulk the Witch-chaser LIZ WILLIAMS (#u8136e5a1-20FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Inescapable MIKE RESNICK (#u8136e5a1-24FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

Abrizonde WALTER JON WILLIAMS (#u8136e5a1-28FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

The Traditions of Karzh PAULA VOLSKY (#u8136e5a1-32FF-11e9-9e03-0cc47a520474)

The Final Quest of the Wizard Sarnod JEFF VANDERMEER (#litres_trial_promo)

The Green Bird KAGE BAKER (#litres_trial_promo)

The Last Golden Thread PHYLLIS EISENSTEIN (#litres_trial_promo)

An Incident in Uskvosk ELIZABETH MOON (#litres_trial_promo)

Sylgarmo’s Proclamation LUCIUS SHEPARD (#litres_trial_promo)

The Lamentably Comical Tragedy (or The Laughably Tragic Comedy) of Lixal Laqavee TAD WILLIAMS (#litres_trial_promo)

Guyal the Curator JOHN C. WRIGHT (#litres_trial_promo)

The Good Magician GLEN COOK (#litres_trial_promo)

The Return of the Five Witch ELIZABETH HAND (#litres_trial_promo)

The Collegeum of Mauge BYRON TETRICK (#litres_trial_promo)

Evillo the Uncunning TANITH LEE (#litres_trial_promo)

The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderōz DAN SIMMONS (#litres_trial_promo)

Frogskin Cap HOWARD WALDROP (#litres_trial_promo)

A Night at the Tarn House GEORGE R.R. MARTIN (#litres_trial_promo)

An Invocation of Incuriosity NEIL GAIMAN (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

THANK YOU, MR. VANCE By Dean Koontz (#)

IN 1966, at 21, fresh from college, I was a fool and possibly deranged, although not seriously dangerous. I was a well-read fool, especially in science fiction. For twelve years, I pored through at least a book a week in that genre. I felt that I belonged in one of the other worlds or far futures of those tales more than I did in the world and time in which I’d been born, less because I had a wide romantic streak than because I had low self-esteem and longed to shed the son-of-the-town-drunk identity that fate had given me.

During the first five years that I wrote for a living, I produced mostly science fiction. I was not good at it. I sold what I wrote—twenty novels, twenty-eight short stories—but little of that work was memorable, and some was execrable. All these years later, only two of those novels and four or five of those stories might not raise in me a suicidal urge if I reread them.

As a reader, I could tell the difference between great science fiction and the mediocre stuff, and I was drawn to the best, which I often reread. Considering that I was inspired by quality, I should not have turned out so many dreary tales. I was driven to write fast by economic necessity; Gerda and I had been married with $150 and a used car, and though bill collectors were not breaking down the door, the specter of destitution haunted me. A need for money, however, is an insufficient excuse.

In November of 1971, as I moved toward suspense and comic fiction and away from writing SF, I discovered Jack Vance. Considering the hundreds of science fiction novels I had read, I am amazed that I had not until then sampled Mr. Vance’s work. With the intention of reading him, I bought numerous paperbacks of his novels but never opened one, partly because the covers gave me a wrong impression of the contents. On my shelves today is an Ace edition of The Eyes of the Overworld, with a cover price of 45 cents, featuring Cugel the Clever in a flaring pink cape against a background of cartoonish mushrooms like giant genitalia. A 50-cent Ace edition of Big Planet features well-rendered men with ray guns riding badly drawn alien beasts of dubious anatomy. The first book I read by Jack Vance, in November 1971, was Emphyrio, published at the budget-busting price of 75 cents. The cover illustration—perhaps by Jeff Jones—was sophisticated and mystical.

Every writer has a short list of novels that electrified him, that inspired him to try new narrative techniques and fresh stylistic devices. For me, Emphyrio and The Dying Earth are such books. Enthralled with the former, I finished the entire novel without getting up from my armchair, and the same day I read the latter. Between November of 1971 and March of 1972, I read every Jack Vance novel and every piece of his short fiction published to that time—and although many more books were to come, even then he had a long bibliography. Only two other authors have so captivated me that for a time I became immersed in their work to the exclusion of all other reading: on discovering John D. MacDonald, I read thirty-four of his novels in thirty days; and after stubbornly avoiding the fiction of Charles Dickens through high school and college, I read A Tale of Two Cities in 1974 and, over the next three months, every word of fiction Dickens published.

Three things in particular fascinate me about Mr. Vance’s work, the first being a vivid sense of place. Far planets and distant future Earths are so well portrayed that they expand like real and fully colored vistas in the mind’s eye. This is achieved by many means, but primarily by close attention to architecture, first the architecture of key buildings; and in architecture I include interior design. The opening chapters of The Last Castle or The Dragon Masters contain excellent examples of this. Furthermore, when Jack Vance describes the natural world, he does so in the manner neither of a geologist nor a naturalist, nor even as a poet might describe it, but again with an eye for the architecture of nature, not merely of its geological features but also of its flora and fauna. The appearance of things does not intrigue him as much as does their structure. Consequently, his descriptions have depth and complexity from which images arise in the reader’s mind that are in fact poetic. This fascination with structures is evident in every aspect of his fiction, whether it is the structure of languages in The Languages of Pao or the structure of a system of magic in The Dying Earth; and in every novel and novelette he has written, alien cultures and far-future human societies ring true because he gives us the matrix and the lattice, the foundation and the framing on which the visible walls are stood and hung.
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