GRRM, DOZOIS TO EDIT JACK VANCE ANTHOLOGY
September 13, 2007
Jack Vance has been one of my favorite writers since I first read Big Planet back in grade school. A master of both science fiction and fantasy (and mystery novels as well, as his Edgar Award will testify), multiple Hugo winner, and a SFWA Grandmaster, Vance is one of the great stylists of the field, a unique voice, wonderfully inventive. He has been a huge influence on modern fantasy, and deserves to rank with J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, and the others who shaped the genre as it exists today.
My good friend and sometime collaborator Gardner Dozois is as big a Vance fan as I am, and of course Gardner is also one of the premiere editors and anthologists in the field… so the idea of putting together an original anthology to honor Vance was a natural for both of us. I’m thrilled to be able to announce that we have just sold Songs of the Dying Earth, a tribute anthology dedicated to the genius of Jack Vance featuring brand new stories from twenty-one of today’s leading fantasists, set against the sinking lands and swollen red sun of Vance’s Dying Earth, a universe that ranks with Tolkien’s Middle Earth and Howard’s Hyborian Age among fantasy aficionados.
We’ve assembled an all-star lineup of contributors for the book, we think. Songs of the Dying Earth will feature original stories from Dan Simmons, Robert Silverberg, Michael Moorcock, Tanith Lee, Elizabeth Hand, John C. Wright, Glen Cook, Jeff Vandermeer, Neil Gaiman, Paula Volsky, Tad Williams, Howard Waldrop, Michael Shea, Mike Resnick, and a host of other terrific writers and hardcore Jack Vance junkies, some of whom offered us their firstborn children for the chance to be a part of this project. And yes, I plan on doing a story for the book myself (after I finish A Dance With Dragons). Jack Vance and his representatives have been so kind as to give us permission to use Jack’s characters as well, so longtime fans can expect to appearances from Cugel the Clever, Chun the Unavoidable, T’sain and T’sais, and other favorites.
Tor will be publishing the trade editions in the United States, and HarperCollins Voyager in the United Kingdom. In addition, Subterranean Press will produce two special editions for the collector’s market — a deluxe illustrated hardcover of 1500 copies, and an even-more-deluxe signed, numbered, limited, illustrated, slipcased edition of 500 copies. The numbered edition will be signed by both editors, all the participating writers, and Jack Vance himself. And I’m delighted to be able to announce that both Subterranean editions will include extensive interior illustration by the award-winning artist Charles Vess. A Dutch edition is also in the works, and we expect many more foreign editions; Jack Vance has fans and readers all over the world.
A project this big can’t be put together overnight, of course. Look for Songs of the Dying Earth some time in 2009. Until then, do yourself a favor and try some of Jack’s own work, the originals that inspired this project. The Dying Earth is the place to start, but don’t neglect Eyes of the Overworld and Cugel’s Saga (all available in the collection Tales of the Dying Earth).
This one should be a lot of fun, for readers, writers, and editors alike, and we look forward to it being one of the most talked-about anthologies of 2009.