Monday, September 15, 2008

Pulp Fantasy Gallery: The Dying Earth

To complete my artistic tour of the three authors whose influence on D&D cannot be underestimated, I present you with the cover to 1950's The Dying Earth by Jack Vance.


  1. I like that type of art, it reminds me of the style of Margaret Brundage - one of the artiest from Weird Tales magazine.

    The use of oil pastels on a black surface is vary evoking and moody. I have done a number of pictures in such a way, and they come out vary nice:

  2. I think I love this cover because at first glance it looks like a generic tale of lusty adventure, but Vance just isn't that kind of author. Then you notice the three guys in the foreground who seem to be arguing or negotiating about something and barely looking at the wonderment before them... that's Vance!

  3. Wow...

    Er, I should explain that "wow." I recently picked up The compleat Dying Earth, and seeing that girl makes me think, she's gotta be either T'Sais or T'sain. Which is interesting, because although they're played up a lot in the beginning of the book, they're not actually all that central.

    The Dying Earth is a collection of short stories, really, not all related, and not elaborated upon in later books. If you ever wanted to know what the hell Pandalume and his strange plane actually are, or what happens to the wizard from the opening chapter, or any of a number of other things, well, don't look for it in the books because it's not there.

    And that brings us to the girl in the cover. It doesn't really matter which of the T's she's be because they disappear halfway through the book, never to resurface.

    In that collection of the Dying Earth books I picked up, there's another young woman on the cover, although more conservatively dressed, and it makes even less senss, because now T'Sais and T'sain are two characters who only appear in the first half of the first of four books.

  4. The girl on the cover is neither T'sais or T'sain. It is I believe from the story of T'sais however. It is the scene from the night of the sabbath where the witch Javanne dances in from of the gathered cultists and demons. I have not yet finished the book but the description is unmistakable.