Jack Vance was one of the forerunners of modern science fiction, helping Michael Moorcock define the characteristic ambience of Science Fantasy and influencing many of the best writers in the science fiction/fantasy fields. Writers such as Jack L Chalker, Avram Davidson and Ursula K Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, George R. R. Martin and Gene Wolfe among many others.
Vance died four days ago on the 26th May 2013 but we’re only hearing about it now and I suspect that’s due to his intense privacy. Instead of attending conventions, talking a lot and answering lots of questions he’d get up on stage announce he would answer one question, this question was if he ever used personal experience in his books, he replied “I am not an egotist” and then started playing his ukelele.
He was well known for writing novellas and short stories, best remembered for his Dying Earth series and Lyonesse stories. You can see a larger list of his books here.
Vale, Jack Vance, you’ve been wonderful.