Tales of the Dying Earth

Tales of the Dying Earth

by Jack Vance

Paperback(First Edition)

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Jack Vance is one of the most remarkable talents to ever grace the world of science fiction. His unique, stylish voice has been beloved by generations of readers. One of his enduring classics is his 1964 novel, The Dying Earth, and its sequels—a fascinating, baroque tale set on a far-future Earth, under a giant red sun that is soon to go out forever.

This omnibus volume comprised all four books in the series, The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga and Rialto the Magnificent. It is a must-read for every sf fan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312874568
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 12/01/2000
Series: Dying Earth Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 195,878
Product dimensions: 5.61(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.47(d)

About the Author

Jack Vance is one of the greats of science fiction. He has been writing for more than 60 years, and in 1997 was honored as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. He is the author of dozens of science fiction and fantasy novels, including the World Fantasy Award winning Lyonnesse series, and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning The Last Castle. He lives in Oakland, California.

Table of Contents

The Dying Earth

The Eyes of the Overworld

Cugel's Saga

Rhialto the Marvellous

Customer Reviews

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Tales of the Dying Earth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jack Vance is simply the best writer of fantasy and space opera alive today. All of his books are gems, especially 'The Eyes of the Overworld,' and his language is utterly intoxicating. No one else even comes close to the scope of his imagination and language.
apilgrim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Collection of 4 fantasy collections of short stories made into novels. The Dying Earth and Eyes of the Overworld are fantastic and great imaginative fantasy (Clark Ashton Smith good recommendation if you like those).The second pair of novels isn't as good and is just entertaining.The book itself gets a high rating because of content and completeness. 1-star deduction for an awful cover. A shame because all of the original paperback covers are well done.
saltmanz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Of the four books collected in this omnibus, I can only recommend the first: The Dying Earth contains a set of enjoyable short stories set in a world infused with an atmosphere of magic and mystery. The additional volumes, though at times entertaining, more often than not were a chore to get through, and often felt internally inconsistent. The first volume is definitely worth a read, though, and if you can find the omnibus edition at a decent price, go for it.3-1/2 stars for The Dying Earth2-1/2 for the rest
veritatem.dilexi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
- The Dying Earth, four and a half stars- The Eyes of the Overworld, four stars- Cugel's Saga, three stars- Rhialto the Marvellous, three starsA necessary read for sci-fi/fantasy fans! I didn't realize how much had been borrowed from Jack Vance's series until I read them. Still poignant and awfully hilarious all these years later.
Ilirwen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three stories from the first book (The Dying Earth) were good, I've thought so from the time I first read it, but the rest of the book was just terribly disappointing. What a waste of money. :(
BruceCoulson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An absolutely terrible cover for this collection. The Dying Earth is a classic in the field. The other stories show the progression of Vance's writing; they aren't as good, since he's going over ground already covered, but still have that prose-poem feel.
pahoota on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've previously read (and reviewed) Eyes of the Overworld so I checked this book out to read the first "novel". As noted, the novel is simply a collection of short stories. Vance's style was much more accessible here than in his later Dying Earth works. I can see how his work was unique among the fantasy world back in the 50s and can appreciate his influence, but after reading "he Dying Earth" I'm not impressed enough to seek out anything else by Vance.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I purchased this novel immediately after reading and enjoying the author¿s Planet of Adventure series. Much like Planet of Adventure, this book consists of four related novellas, set on far future Earth. While Planet of Adventure would be best labeled as science fiction, Tales of the Dying Earth is purely fantasy.The first novella, The Dying Earth, is actually a collection of six short stories which are only very loosely related. Pure fantasy, lots of magic and sorcery, a few interesting life forms and moderately entertaining story lines.In the second novella, Eyes of the Overworld, we meet our protagonist for the next 500 pages, Cugel the Clever. Cugel is a rapscallion of sorts, not a particularly good person, except by comparison. He is certainly clever, as he survives adventure after adventure solely by virtue of his wits and willingness to suspend all moral value. The third novella, Cugel¿s Saga, is simply a continuation of the previous story. Cugel is transported to the far reaches of the known world and must find his way home again. On the way, he meets and outsmarts many species of humanoid and animal specie, as well as sorcerers and mythological creatures. As in Planet of Adventure, the author does a masterful job of creating strange life forms and imbuing them with mores, cultures and traditions. His sense of imagination is stunning and highly entertaining. The final novella in the quartet, Rhialto the Marvelous, is essentially three short stories, focused on a consortium of 20-30 minor magicians and their often adversarial relationships. The first of these, I found virtually unreadable. The second and by far the longest was quite enjoyable. The third, while not as engaging as the second, was entertaining nonetheless.As mentioned before, Vance is a master of imagination and excels in the creation of landscapes, cultures and alien life forms, while avoiding stereotype. As another Amazon reviewer so perceptively put it, when commenting on these creations:"Fictional characters definitely, but also vehicles for Vance to express his sharply perceptive take on the human condition in all its extremes of exaltation and debasement, hilarity and wickedness.¿For fans of science fiction and fantasy, I cannot recommend Vance¿s work highly enough.
BobbyMcV More than 1 year ago
This book is like a series of short stories, all related in the fact that they take place in an extreme far future when the Earth's sun has turned red, mankind is waiting for the end to come, and magic and sorcery has become common place. It seems the Earth has spawned quite a few different races and demonkind during the ages, and our multiple main characters interact with many of these, usually to their deserved or undeserved demise. The main characters of the multiple stories are not always virtuous, and some are more likable than others. In one short story time travel is even magically induced and leaves one wondering if the end is so near, why not move into the past a few eons? All in all the stories are entertaining and imaginative with the use of many big words you may need to break out the dictionary for...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hasenbusch More than 1 year ago
I learned about Jack Vance via REH Forum. Mr. Vance was highly recommended with praise and adulation! I was pleasantly surprised as I didn't know his writing would be this good! I couldn't put the book down until I finished the first story as it was that good. Highly recommended this book to all. It's better than Harry Potter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago

to humourless fantasy;

to plot at the expense of characterisation;

to novels weighed down with leaden prose;

to novels with One Big Idea and no other inspiration;

to self-conscious attempts at writing 'alien' manners.

Vance is one of the great witty stylists of the 20th Century - genre-independent. You cannot count yourself well-read if you haven't read him.

Guest More than 1 year ago
I was just about to pay $10 for the first volume alone from used collectors sources. This is a great book, of the rare genre of science fiction so far into the future that the sun is a red giant in the sky. It's very profound and also enjoyable to read. Also, if you play D&D, the magick system for characters is derived from this author's stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vance is perhaps the last of the Golden Age fantasy writers. His intelligence, style, and wit all make him a classic, and the Dying Earth stories are the best work he's done (together with the first two Lyonesse books).