A few years ago I suggested that I wanted some day to write a longform piece on the sociology of Jack Vance. Unless I get funding from some unexpected source (e.g. some Vanceophile billionaire) to take time out from my more traditional academic responsibilities, that probably isn’t going to happen. However, I have drafted a few short blog posts (a couple of which are yet to be completed), primarily for my own entertainment over the last few years. I’ll be publishing them over the summer lull, for the edification of those four or five of you who share my paired interests in f/sf fantasy writers with baroque prose styles and social science theory. A final post, “The Feminist Jack Vance” (consisting of 20 lines of carriage returns, followed by a note in eight-point type explaining “This page intentionally left blank”) is probably better described than written. Vance has few female characters indeed who cannot immediately be categorized as waifish love-pixies, self-centered sexual manipulators or plain-faced man-hating harridans (there are women such as Paula Volsky who clearly like Vance’s work and are influenced by it, but far fewer, I imagine, than there might be were he even slightly more enlightened).
Forthcoming at Irregular Intervals:
I – The Spirit of Market Capitalism in Master Twango’s Establishment at Flutic.
II – Positional Goods and the Column-Sitters at Tustvold.
III – Robust Action among the Breakness Wizards.
IV – Informal Institutions and the Old Tradition of the Perdusz Region.
V (to be completed) – The Stationary Bandits of the Tschai Steppes
VI (to be completed) – Class, Status, Party, Distinction, Clam Muffins.