The past few FFBs, I’ve been reviewing faux-Jack Vance novels from Matthew Hughes (the best practitioner!) to Ray Aldridge to L. Warren Douglas. But this week, I’m reviewing the Real Deal: Magic Highways: The Early Jack Vance, Volume Three. Most of these stories were published in the 1940s and 1950s when Jack Vance was learning his craft. I’m a huge Jack Vance fan, yet half of the 16 stories in this wonderful just published collection were new to me. Subterranean Press and editors Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan should be commended on publishing these collections of Jack Vance’s early work. The glimmers of Vance’s genius appear on every page!
Phalid’s Fate
Planet of the Black Dust
Ultimate Quest
Men of the Ten Books
The Planet Machine
Dover Spargill’s Ghastly Floater
Winner Lose All
Sabotage on Sulfur Planet
The House Lords
Sanatoris Short-cut
The Unspeakable McInch
The Sub-Standard Sardines
The Howling Bounders
The King of Thieves
The Spa of the Stars
To B or Not to C or to D

8 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #212: MAGIC HIGHWAYS By Jack Vance

  1. Stan Burns

    I was interested when reading an interview with George RR Martin that when he was asked who was his favorite current author he said Jack Vance. I bought a lot of his mysteries on Kindle and I am slowly working my way through them. Most of them seem to be written in the 50s and are very week entrees in his universe of work.

    It is interesting to note that Vance’s Edgar was for best first novel for Man In The Cage from the 60s but Take My Face (The Flesh Mask) was published under a pen name in the 50s so he really didn’t qualify for best ‘first’ novel. Not that I am knocking Cage, it is a terrific novel -one of his best mysteries, though I prefer the Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels.

    1. george Post author

      Stan, I’m with you on the Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels. I can believe that George R. R. Martin loves Jack Vance. Martin’s early short stories had a touch of Jack Vance in them especially “Sandkings.”

  2. Richard R.

    I saw this was on the verge of release, figured you’d have it as soon as anyone. Good job, George. How many volumes do you think Sub Press is planning?

    1. george Post author

      I’m guessing Subterranean has enough Jack Vance material to do a couple more volumes, Rick. And, of course, I’ll buy them!


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