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Calling All Jack Vance Fans

April 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm
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All you Vance fanatics out there… if you’d like a taste of the treats that we have in store for you in the forthcoming Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, be sure to check out the new issue of Subterranean Press’s online magazine, SUBTERRANEAN.

This issue was guest edited by Gardner Dozois, the most honored editor in our genre and my partner on the Vance book and WARRIORS. Among other treats, it contains a brand-new Dying Earth story from Lucius Shepard. “Sylgarmo’s Proclamation” is only one the twenty-one original tales of the Dying Earth featured in the anthology. Just a taste to whet your appetite for more. We think you’ll like it.

The issue also features stories by Carrie Vaughn (of Kitty and Wild Cards fame), a novella by Paul McAuley, novelettes by Joe R. Lansdale, Liz Williams, and Ken McLeod, and other good stuff.

To check out a copy, go to

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Dying Earth Giveaway

April 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm
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Want to be the first kid on your block to read all the swell stories in our Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH??

Well, here’s your chance. Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist is doing it again, offering up an Advanced Reading Copy of the gorgeous Subterranean Press edition, illustrated by Tom Kidd.

To check out the details of the contest, go to:

Good luck. And remember, cheaters will be blasted with the Excellent Prismatic Spray.

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A Night at the Tarn House

February 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm
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I've just finished correcting the page proofs of "A Night at the Tarn House," the novelette I wrote for the Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH. Tomorrow they go back to Subterranean Press, where the book is zooming into production. Appears we're looking at an August pubdate, barring unforeseen schedule changes. The limited editions — both lettered and numbered — are already sold out, but copies of the illustrated trade edition, with its gorgeous Tom Kidd artwork, can still be preordered from the Subterranean website at

Some writers actually like correcting proofs, I am told. Not me. I've always found it tedious. When the proofs are full of errors, it makes me wonder if I'm missing some of them, and I worry about mistakes sneaking by. When the proofs are clean, that makes me REALLY nervous and I end up going over the same pages several times, searching for the errors that I'm somehow not seeing.

These proofs were pretty clean, by and large, though I caught a few typos… mostly my own. In the old days before computers, most of the mistakes you found when proofreading were ones that had crept in during typesetting. No longer. These days, ninety per cent of the time, when I find a mistake in the text, it is one I made myself.

I'd read three-quarters of 'Tarn House' weekend before last at CoSine in Colorado Springs, but this was the first time I'd gone through the whole thing since mailing it off to my co-editor, Gardner Dozois. It held up pretty well, I thought. No one writes like Jack Vance but Jack Vance, which made this a rather intimidating assignment… but fun as well. Many of the other writers in the book attempted to recreate Vance's unique style, but I was content just to nod in that direction, and try my best to evoke his world and some of his wit. The readers will be the judge of how well I did, but my hope is that the Vance fans out there will enjoy meeting Molloqos, Lirianne, and the Great Chimwazle (whose name is an obscure Howard Waldrop swipe, I blush to confess) as much as I did writing about them.

And besides, you can't imagine how good it feels to have finished something.

Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.

Vance fans will also want to be sure to pick up the Spring issue of Subterranean's online magazine. Gardner Dozois was the guest editor for the issue, which will feature — among other treats — one of the other stories from SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH: "Sylgarmo's Proclamation," by Lucius Shepard. Consider it an appetizer.

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Vance Book Selling Fast

January 4, 2009 at 8:24 pm
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Just a word to the wise… and all the myriad Jack Vance fans out there. According to the latest news on the Subterreanean Press website, “our mammoth (over 600 pages) tribute anthology to Jack Vance, Songs of the Dying Earth, is preselling exceptionally well. We’re down to the last 50 copies of the signed limited edition, and the trade hardcover is more than half sold out. If you’re game for a copy of this book, we suggest ordering soon.”

To order a copy of your very own, go to

And while you’re there, you can also preorder a copy of Jack’s autobiography, IT’S ME, JACK VANCE, which Subterranean has just announced. I’m looking forward to that one myself.

Speaking of books in short supply, I should also mention that I now down to four (4) remaining pristine copies of the huge, lavishly illustrated GAME OF THRONES rpg book from the defunct Guardians of Order. Once those are gone, only the water-damaged copies will remain. If you want to snag one of these last four, you’ll find the details on the Signed Books / Limited Edition copies of my website.

A lot of people are taking me up on the new year sale for TUF VOYAGING, by the way. Yes, I still have plenty of copies of the regular hardcover. Of the limited, not so much. Order via PayPal. Just use their Send Money function to send payment to me at, and be sure and let me know if you want the book inscribed, or just signed. Thanks.

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Vance Book Delivered

December 8, 2008 at 11:08 pm
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The Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, is complete, and has been delivered to our publishers at Subterranean Press, Tor Books, HarperCollins Voyager (in the UK), and Luitingh (n the Netherlands). Other foreign editions will no doubt follow. Jack Vance has a worldwide readership.

My co-editor Gardner Dozois and I are very proud of this one. The Dying Earth is one of the great settings in fantasy, right up there with Howard’s Hyborian Age and Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and it was great to be able to visit there again.

And the Subterranean Press edition, which will feature full-page interior illustrations by Tom Kidd for each story, looks to be especially nifty.

Copies of the limited edition are still available through the SubPress website at

So that’s one project off the plate.

Now all I need to do is wrap up WARRIORS and SUICIDE KINGS and… yes… A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, and maybe I’ll be able to take a week off. (The reason they call them deadlines is because they’re like to kill you).

I’ll keep you posted.

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And Speaking of Great Art…

February 18, 2008 at 12:29 pm
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… I’m pleased to announce that the good folks at Subterranean Press have signed award-winning artist Tom Kidd to illustrate their signed, numbered, limited edition of SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, the Jack Vance tribute anthology that I’m co-editing with Gardner Dozois.

In addition to the cover painting, Kidd will also provide a full-page interior illustration for each of the twenty-one original stories that we’ll be including in the book. Tom is already hard at work, and has just sent us a rough sketch of his proposed cover, evocative and mysterious and perfect for the Dying Earth. Gardner and I can hardly wait to see the painting. Once that’s done, Kidd will move right on to the interior illustrations.

Those of you who follow the world of science fiction and fantasy art will already be familiar with Kidd’s work, of course. Those who are not can get a taste by visiting his website at

The book is coming together nicely, by the way. We’ve already got stories in from Robert Silverberg and Terry Dowling, and expect more soon. For a hardcore Vance fanatic like me, it was a thrill to return to the Dying Earth, one of the most original and seminal worlds in all of contemporary fantasy, and an inspiration to me and countless other writers.

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