SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH: STORIES IN HONOR OF JACK VANCE
Edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
From Adam Whitehead’s review on The Wertzone:
Millions of years hence, the Sun has grown old, bloated and red and is about to go out. In these dying days humanity, now capable of great feats of magic, shares the much-changed Earth with hostile races such as the deodands and pelgranes. This is the vivid setting of Jack Vance’s Dying Earth series, four books (now usually published in one volume, Tales of the Dying Earth) which now stand as one of the cornerstones of modern fantasy.
Songs of the Dying Earth is an all-star ‘tribute album’ by some of the biggest names in modern SF and Fantasy, featuring twenty-three stories set in the Dying Earth setting. . . .
“The Lamentably Comical Tragedy (or The Laughably Tragic Comedy) of Lixal Laqavee” by Tad Williams is another highlight of the book. Fake wizard Lixal Laqavee, having tired of his life as a conjurer in a circus, decides to learn some real magic, with troublesome results that force him into a highly hazardous alliance with a deodand of dubious reliability and a ravenous hunger for human flesh. Simply put, brilliant.
Songs of the Dying Earth (****½) is an exceptionally strong collection, a rich and sumptuous banquet of tales from the end of time. The weak links here are not enough to dilute the impact of the best stories in the collection, and the best stories are thought-provoking, memorable and sharply funny. The book is available now from Subterranean Press in the USA and will be published by HarperCollins Voyager in the UK on 1 October 2009.
Read the full review here: The Wertzone