Saturday, May 23, 2009

Songs of the Dying Earth

This August will see the release of the much-awaited Songs of the Dying Earth published by Subterranean Press. The book collects stories written in honor of Jack Vance and includes work by a number of the leading lights of contemporary SF and fantasy, such as Dan Simmons, Robert Silverberg, Glenn Cook, Mike Resnick, Walter Jon Williams, and John C. Wright.

I have to say I'm really looking forward to the release of this volume. My fondness for The Dying Earth is very great, as it was for Gygax, and I consider it, along with the Big Three, to be one of the strongest influences over my personal interpretation of Dungeons & Dragons, as anyone who's encountered my eccentric NPCs can attest. It'll be especially interesting to see if any author other than Vance is capable of capturing the fantastic far future Earth he created in 1950.

Thanks to Hill Cantons for reminding me about this.


  1. Thanks for the heads up on this anthology!

    I like Vance's Dying Earth stories, but I think that his Lyonesse novels actually are superior, and strangely overlooked by fantasy fans. Lyonesse would make for a great FRPG setting.

  2. Thanks for the link; I hadn't heard of this. A pre-order has just been placed with Amazon. :)

  3. Thanks James for the nod to HC. I find it heartening that we steal from the same well for NPC material.

    I started to re-read Eyes of the Overworld last night with the eye of lifting material for the campaign. I was floored by the amount of fun, little quirky magic items, spells, and strange locales one can glean from only a few, choice sections in the book alone. A highly practical read for a GM in other words.

    Agree with Akrasia that there is some good mining for GM's of Lyonesse. I remember reading somewhere that a French outfit did publish it as an RPG setting. Is this right? And was it ever translated into English?

  4. I (sadly) ground to a halt about 100 pages into "Lyonesse". It was probably just the wrong book at the wrong time.

    That aside, Dying Earth pastiches by Dan Simmons, Robert Silverberg, Neil Gaiman and Tad Williams? I think I'll be all over that like a rash. Maybe G.R.R.M can get back to finishing his own book though... ;)

    wv: glamors - apposite, but insufficiently high-flown Vancian for the circumstances.

  5. Wow, and Glen Cook. Ok, I am going to re-read the Dying Earth books starting tonight. I never really liked them all that much, but they are an ok read, I just prefer Zothique as a dying setting, but I will start it off with a fresh mind.

  6. Yeah I'm looking forward to this one too. Should be a cracker. I'm keen to see what George RR Martin does with the Dying Earth (I spent most of last summer discovering his Song of Ice & Fire series).

    I've been considering re-reading the Lyonesse books recently..

  7. Anything with John C. Wright's name on/in it gets a hand wave (like, move along, not interested) from me.

  8. Can't wait for this.

    Dying Earth still has to take a backseat to Lyonesse in my pantheon of fantasy greats, but it's still awesome.

    Lyonesse & LotR are the two greatest fantasy series I've ever read. I go back and forth over which is better.

  9. I dearly love The Dying Earth. It's one of the strongest influences on my own gaming and writing.

    I'm really looking forward to this one.