Mr. Vance is at least self-aware enough to put “Or more properly, This is I!” on the title page, so I feel better about the book and him as a person. Apparently he’s really well-known and has been publishing books and short stories for about sixty years; despite his prolific output, occasional convention appearances, and friendships with other major writers (Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert), his personal life is apparently rather unknown. However, he has written in three major genres (science fiction, fantasy, and mystery) and has won two Hugos, a Nebula, a Jupiter Award, an Edgar (mystery equivalent of a Hugo), and two World Fantasy awards. In addition to that, he’s a SFWA Grandmaster.

This isn’t a novel, actually — it’s an autobiography. It’s 208 pages of Jack Vance being relatively candid and actually talking about his entire life. It will be published by Subterranean Press later this year. He had the fortune to live during a very interesting time — he was born in 1916 — and has traveled to an insane amount of places. In some ways, the book is sort of a travelogue. It’s relatively chronological — it starts at the beginning and ends with him describing his current situation — but doesn’t necessarily follow every event in order. He rambles a bit, and digresses often, but it’s probably the only source for so much of the information one might want to know about Mr. Vance. (more…)