Which single Jack Vance book do you rate as his best?

This thread is inspired by Alessan’s post in the NPR 's top 100 list thread:

[RIGHT](italics added)[/RIGHT]
I’ve decided to test what I’ll dub The Alessan Hypothesis.

So fellow dopers, if forced to choose one single work (no you can’t nominate all of The Demon Princes or the Tales of the Dying Earth or any other of Vance’s series) from Vance’s career which one would you choose and why?

I’ll start by putting up Suldrun’s Garden (the first book of the Lyonesse series). While it suffers from being only the first instalment of a trilogy its merits outweigh this and it gets my vote for the rich setting, well drawn characters and interesting plot.

I am very partial to the Lyonesse series myself, but I think The Moon Moth is the quintessential Vance story. It is lyrical, eloquent, intelligent, erudite and exotic and a good mystery as well.

Cugel’s Saga

Ha, I’d never have guessed from your username ;).

The Alessan Hypothesis has yet to be disproved!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! After 11 years on this board, someone finally names something after me! I guess I can die happy now.

(Incidentally:either *The Dying Earth *or Araminta Station.)

I’m going to be different and say To Live Forever.

Gotta go with my first exposure - The Dragon Masters, with the Gaughan illustrations from the August 1962 Galaxy. (Great Ghu, that sucker’s only a year shy of half a century old!)

I’ll go with two of the suggestions already put forward.

The Dragon Masters was also my first Vance and I’d nominate it, except it is really more of a novella and in this case I think it suffers as a story just a bit for it. Suldrun’s Garden is a much more developed work and probably the better choice, even the though I have more sentimental attachment to the novella.

  • Lyonesse * was my first thought, so I’ll go with that.

QFT, me too. Hands down.

All my Vance books are in storage now, but I would vote for the first book featuring Miro Hetzel, Effectuator. I can’t recall the title.

That would have been The Dogtown Tourist Agency.

I vote for my first as well, from back in the late 60s - The Eyes of the Overworld.

Cugel’s Saga. One of the iconic characters in all of SF/fantasy, which is some achievement seen as the trickster is such a common archetype.

The Dying Earth is a fine choice because of its influence and primacy in the series, but it’s not really a novel IIRC.

It’s the only series of his I read, so I have to list it, but it made me laugh, which for that alone makes it memorable.

I’d have to go with the Planet of Adventure series, so whichever one was first. (Chasach?) Aramintia Station as a second choice.

Cugel’s Saga

The Languages of Pao

City of the Chasch. (Although I like the last, The Pnume better, if only to watch man-of-action Adam Reith attempt to impose his will on the shadowy and elusive Pnume, and for a lovely scene set on a cog during a storm at sea.)

Myself, I’d pick The Dying Earth, although I have a certain fondness for the goofy Showboat World.:slight_smile:

I will choose The Dying Earth, and note we were asked for a book, not a novel.

Well my first Jack Vance read was “The Last Castle”, so I have to nominate it because it got me hooked on Vance.