Jack Vance at the helm of his boat on San Francisco Bay in the early 1980s
|Born||John Holbrook Vance
August 28, 1916
San Francisco, California, USA
|Died||May 26, 2013
Oakland, California, USA
|Genre||Fantasy, science fiction, mystery|
|Notable works||Dying Earth series|
1963, 1967, 2010
and career honors
These are just the tip of the iceberg, because I read and read and read. I read everything.
But I'm so slow on it because I find it terribly hard writing blind on computers. The computer speaks to me, but it's just so slow, I'm so terribly slow using it.
I got done writing Ports of Call and suddenly realized I have far too much material for the book.
Right now I'm so old that if I had a big gush of money, I don't know what I'd do with it. I don't travel anymore. I don't need anything, don't want anything. I'd give it to my son, I guess, and let him enjoy it.
So I'll write it, and then I'll find out that I actually wrote something that is utterly useless. You can't use it in the story and it doesn't fit. So I just throw it away. I've done that countless times.
I do read books. I suppose it's more or less the same thing, but at least I'm alone and I'm an individual. I can stop anytime I want, which I frequently do.
It seems to limit you; when you're working in an office, you're a creature in a small cell under somebody's supervision and surveillance.
There was a writer in the '20s called Christopher Morley, who I remember a little bit of, who had some influence on me, but I couldn't tell you what it was.
The story was such that I couldn't make a graceful ending and then make a graceful new beginning. I could have, but I didn't want to. So, it isn't the most graceful way of writing a story. This new story is, I think, is pretty good stuff. I'm pleased with it anyway.
I haven't sold to the movies. In other words, I haven't gotten any enormous checks yet.
A reader is not supposed to be aware that someone's written the story. He's supposed to be completely immersed, submerged in the environment.
Then there was Clark Ashton Smith, who wrote for Weird Tales and who had a wild imagination. He wasn't a very talented writer, but his imagination was wonderful.
I was an omnivore at reading, so that everything I ever read contributed.
I thought that automobiles were going to have mufflers and go fast and airplanes were going to fly fast.
But, for instance, when I was awfully young, I read all the Oz books. They were an enormous influence on me.
Sometimes some of these little side excursions are useful and I manage to fit them in the book somewhere.
I worked for half a cent a word. I'm not a fast writer to begin with, so for the first few years I had do other things.
This flattery has been rather slow in coming. I think all of sudden late in life now I'm getting some credit for what I've done. Which is gratifying, but it's kind of a little late.
I haven't been to a movie since somebody gave me free tickets to Star Wars, which I went to.
Well, I think everything I've ever read contributes to the background from which I write.