“Thank You, Mr. Vance,” by Dean Koontz. © 2009 by Dean Koontz. “Preface,” by Jack Vance. © 2009 by Jack Vance. “The True Vintage of Erzuine Thale,” by Robert Silverberg. © 2009 by Agberg, Ltd. “Grolion of Almery,” by Matthew Hughes. © 2009 by Matt Hughes Company Ltd. “The Copsy Door,” by Terry Dowling. © 2009 by Terry Dowling. “Caulk the Witch-Chaser,” by Liz Williams. © 2009 by Liz Williams. “Inescapable,” by Mike Resnick. © 2009 by Mike Resnick. “Abrizonde,” by Walter Jon Williams. © 2009 by Walter Jon Williams. “The Traditions of Karzh,” by Paula Volsky. © 2009 by Paula Volsky. “The Final Quest of the Wizard Sarnod,” by Jeff VanderMeer. © 2009 by Jeff VanderMeer. “The Green Bird,” by Kage Baker. © 2009 by Kage Baker. “The Last Golden Thread,” by Phyllis Eisenstein. © 2009 by Phyllis Eisenstein. “An Incident in Uskvesh,” by Elizabeth Moon. © 2009 by Elizabeth Moon. “Sylgarmo’s Proclamation,” by Lucius Shepard. © 2009 by Lucius Shepard. “The Lamentably Comical Tragedy (or the Laughably Tragic Comedy) of Lival Laqavee,” by Tad Williams. © 2009 by Tad Williams. “Guyal the Curator,” by John C. Wright. © 2009 by John C. Wright. “The Good Magician,” by Glen Cook. © 2009 by Glen Cook. “The Return of the Fire Witch,” by Elizabeth Hand. © 2009 by Elizabeth Hand. “The Collegeum of Mauge,” by Byron Tetrick. © 2009 by Byron Tetrick. “Evillo the Uncunning,” by Tanith Lee. © 2009 by Tanith Lee. “The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderôz,” by Dan Simmons. © 2009 by Dan Simmons. “Frogskin Cap,” by Howard Waldrop. © 2009 by Howard Waldrop. “A Night at the Tarn House,” by George R. R. Martin. © 2009 by George R. R. Martin. “An Invocation of Incuriosity,” by Neil Gaiman. © 2009 by Neil Gaiman.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: Sixty years ago, in The Dying Earth, Jack Vance introduced his own version of the distant future, where the sun has become a red giant, powerful wizards fight over the scraps of ruined civilizations, and a handful of colorful and eccentric characters insist on having a few adventures before oblivion descends. In Songs of the Dying Earth, 22 sci-fi and fantasy writers, from newcomers like Liz Williams and Byron Tetrick to established names like Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin, each offer their own snippets of Vance's Dying Earth. In one story, an apprentice architect stumbles into a duel between two powerful mages, for example, while in another a poet-philosopher tries (and fails) to forget the coming apocalypse in a drunken haze. Some stories capture Vance's style and inventiveness, while others recreate his perfect combination of black humor and creeping dread. Songs of the Dying Earth is both a respectful homage to a sci-fi master and a whirlwind tour of a world that readers will want to revisit. --Darryl Campbell