Hard Luck Diggings

Jack Vance

Published by Subterranean
ISBN 10: 1596063017 / ISBN 13: 9781596063013
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Synopsis: A legend has to start somewhere...

As so many writers have said, it's in the shorter and mid-length work that the storytelling craft is best learned. Hard-Luck Diggings brings together fourteen such pieces from the first twelve years of Grand Master Jack Vance's genre-defining career, from back when he first worked to pay the mortgage, buy the groceries, travel the world, eventually building his own private 'dream castle' and starting a family.

Like any writer serious about staying in the game, we see him targeting the markets of the day, doing what was needed to meet the tastes of editors and their readerships while at the same time perfecting his own special way of doing things so that his name, his distinctive voice, stood a chance (in modern marketing parlance) of becoming a viable 'brand.'

Hard-Luck Diggings brings that fascinating process to life in fine style. As well as serving up vintage entertainment from one of the field's genuine masters, it provides an illuminating armchair tour of how the Jack Vance enterprise came to be, full of zest and life, the thrill of the upward climb and of so much more to be done. This is a book to be savoured with a twinkle in the eye, a knowing smile, but most of all, with a love of adventure and high romance firmly in place.

From Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. This collection assembles 14 stories published by celebrated SFWA Grand Master Vance between 1948 and 1959. Even these early tales make it clear why Vance is still one of the most revered, read, and taught of science fiction authors, highlighting his blending of genres, forward-thinking and prophetic science, and careful craft. In the title story, a problem solver applies Holmes-like logic. The Masquerade of Dicantropus invokes psychoanalysis, while in Abercrombie Station, a strong female lead encounters an unusual subculture. Shape-Up is a classic locked room mystery, and The Phantom Milkman is pure horror. Each tale, though occasionally dated, is as fun to read today as it was 50 years ago, and longtime fans will especially enjoy the accompanying excerpts from Vance's autobiography and a 1995 interview. (July)
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Hard Luck Diggings
Publisher: Subterranean
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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