Wednesday 4 January 2012

Current Reading: The Face

I took advantage of the SF Gateway special offer over the Christmas period to stock up on some old favourites on my kindle. Amongst them were the last two of the Demon Princes novels by Jack Vance; The Face and The Book of Dreams.

The beauty of Jack Vance's prose is in its wit and its understated elegance. Consciously anachronistic even when it was written in 1979 it exhibits a timeless appeal in much the same way that Bradbury does.

Vance's cool, strangely fragile, protagonists have to negotiate their way across some gorgeously delineated landscapes and cultures. They are as likely to settle their disputes through verbal dexterity as violence which makes them a refreshing change from the hyper-violent ubermensch that populate modern SF (angst ridden or not).

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