Friday, November 13, 2009

Banjos and Decaying Civilizations

I've been burning through Jack Vance books lately. I was greatly entertained by the Tschai series and now I am just finishing up the Durdane trilogy. Next up are Demon Princes books. I love Vance's variations on the theme of civilizations evolving in isolation, usually in various states of drift, decay, and decadence. The character dialogue in his books is amazing, often hitting a chill-inducing sweet spot between hilarity and beauty.

Actually the main reason I like Vance is because he plays jugband music on his banjo, much like myself. I love the space jazz musician protagonist of the Durdane books.

I was surprised a few months back when the NY Times published a laudatory article on Vance.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. "Burning through Vance" is right - that's exactly my feeling about reading this author. I just finished "burning through" the Lyonesse trilogy (for the third or fourth time) and the Durdane trilogy (for the first). If you liked Durdane and Tschai (and really, who couldn't), you will love the Demon Princes series. They are stunners from start to finish, as is Lyonesse if you haven't read that one.


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