This is the sixth poll, with another list of 5 questions. Pick your favourite, knowing that Jack will probably address more than one question, but nevertheless we need some sort of "ranking" !


Asked by Habeascorp 7/10

I noted your family interest in tarzan. Did your parents ever have the opportunity to read your work and what did they think?


Asked by Aldi 3/8

The question Matt suggests is a good one; I've often wondered as to the development of Jack's style, that inimitable voice which sounds through all of his works, save for the earliest. (Although, having said that, it's always amazed me that Dying Earth was written at such an early point in his career.)

For my own question I'd like to ask Jack how important he considers humour as an element of his work. His sense of playfulness and fun is evident in the great majority of his books, sometimes breaking out in the most unexpected of places. It's one reason why I love his stuff so much.

Reformulated later:
How important do you consider humour to be as an element of your work? (The wit and verbal dexterity of your characters are, for me, one of the major reasons your books are such a delight to read.)


Steve Sherman 8/8 6:24 pm

In Freitzke's Turn, you refer (in a footnote) to the starmenter Yane Cargus, who raided the Convent of the Divine Prism at Blenny, on Lutus, capturing two hundred and thirty novitiates.

In Suldrun's Garden, Aillas' two most trusted confererates, with whom he escapes from the Ska, are Yane and Cargus. Did you intentionally reuse this name, divided up into two characters, or is this simply a particularly remarkable instance of long-term memory in action?



Paul Penna 3/9 7:53 pm

Do you find yourself identifying with any of the characters you create? If not in full, at least with some of their traits? Alternatively, do any of your characters exhibit traits which you wish you possessed yourself, or possessed in greater degree? If so, which characters and which traits?


Asked by Matt Hughes 15/9:

Also: did he read Thorne Smith as a young man, and did Smith have an influence on his style (there are similarities in the dialogue).
Reformulated by Matt (I think he'd forgotten he'd asked that one already, in fact...) 2/10:
This question is just an instance of a writer wanting to know if the writer he likes likes another writer he likes. You know what that's like.

Asked by Sam Salazar 6/10:

I don't see any particular Thorne Smith influence but I do see definite points of similarity between C.L.Moore's Jirel of Joiry stories from the 1930s Weird Tales and
the Dying Earth stories and I know JV read Weird Tales at one time; I wonder whether he remembers these ones...?

Jirel Discovers Magic
The Dark God's Shadow
The Dark God's Kiss, etc.

Asked by Joe Gottman 9/10:

Is Lens Larque's name a tribute to the sci-fi writer E. E. "Doc" Smith? Smith is best known for two series of novels, the Lensman series and the Skylark series.

Asked by Dan Gunter 12/10:

Some ignorant sot who occasionally stumbles onto the Jack Vance Message Board has suffered a hallucination in which your prose vaguely resembles (to his margarita-damaged brain) that of James Branch Cabell. Although one hesitates to believe anything spoken by said dolt (i.e., the Poster at the Board*), could you set our minds at ease by disclaiming any influence by M. Cabell?

* Think of "The Lurker at the Threshold," folks.