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Jack Vance
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    (August 28, 1916-May 26, 2013)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Author of sci-fi, fantasy and mystery stories
    Sci-fi titles include the Demon Princes series ('The Star King' [1964], 'The Killing Machine' [1964], 'The Palace of Love' [1967], 'The Face' [1979] and 'The Book of Dreams' [1981]), the Planet of Adventure series ('City of the Chasch' [1968], 'Servants of the Wankh' [1969], 'The Dirdir' [1969] and 'The Pnume' [1970]), the Cadwal Chronicles ('Araminta Station' [1987], 'Ecce and Old Earth' [1991] and 'Throy' [1992]), 'To Live Forever' (1956), 'Big Planet' (1957), 'Space Opera' (1965), 'The Blue World' (1966), 'The Gray Prince' (1974), 'Night Lamp' (1996), 'Ports of Call' (1998) and 'Lurulu' (2004)
    Fantasy titles include the Dying Earth series ('The Dying Earth' [1950], 'The Eyes of the Overworld' [1966], 'Cugel's Saga' [1983] and 'Rhialto the Marvellous' [1984]) and the Lyonesse trilogy ('Suldrun's Garden' [1983], 'The Green Pearl' [1985] and 'Madouc' [1989])
    Mystery titles include 'The Man in the Cage' (1960), 'The Fox Valley Murders' (1966), 'The Pleasant Grove Murders' (1967), 'The Deadly Isles' (1969) 'Bad Ronald' (1973) and 'The House on Lily Street' (1979)
    He twice changed his college major (from engineering to physics to journalism) before dropping out.
    He tried to join military intelligence during WWII, but washed out when he was unable to learn Japanese.
    He published his sci-fi and fantasy as Jack Vance and used his full name, John Holbrook Vance, for his mysteries.
    He kept such a low profile that in the 50s a rumor started that 'Jack Vance' was actually a pseudonym for author Henry Kuttner.
    'Bad Ronald' was adapted (not very faithfully) into a famously cheesy TV-movie.
    He joined the Merchant Marine in WWII and served on two ships that were torpedoed.
    He was married to Norma Ingold for 61 years.
    He was close friends with sci-fi authors Frank Herbert and Poul Anderson, with the three sharing a houseboat.
    He went legally blind following a botched operation for glaucoma, but continued writing, using special computer display software.
    His 'Dying Earth' series influenced the magic system used by Gary Gygax in Dungeons & Dragons.
    The New York Times called him 'one of American literature’s most distinctive and undervalued voices.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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