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Zer Netmouse
January 23rd, 2007
10:02 am


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Jack Vance Treasury
One of the fun things about proofing for Subterranean Press is I get to see my work come out in actual book-type things!

The Trade hardcover edition of the Jack Vance Treasury that I proofed this past Fall is reportedly shipping and 80% sold out. I think that's pretty cool.

I had never read much Vance before proofing this book, so it was an interesting experience for me. He was very creative in inventing aliens and cultures and languages (especially names!), and the dying world setting gets very well established over the course of a number of stories in the collection (not all of them).

I think my favorite bit in the book, to be honest, is probably the part in "The Last Castle" where the statement "The dogs have stolen our power-wagons, otherwise I’d be tempted to ride out and chivy the rascals home with a whip." is explained with this footnote:

*This, only an approximate translation, fails to capture the pungency of the language. Several words have no contemporary equivalents. ‘Skirkling’, as in ‘to send skirkling’, denotes a frantic pell-mell flight in all directions, accompanied by a vibration or twinkling or jerking motion. To ‘volith’ is to toy idly with a matter, the implication being that the person involved is of such Jovian potency that all difficulties dwindle to contemptible triviality. ‘Raudlebogs’ are the semi-intelligent beings of Etamin Four, who were brought to Earth, trained first as gardeners, then construction laborers, then sent home in disgrace because of certain repulsive habits they refused to forgo.

The statement of O.Z. Garr, therefore, becomes something like this: “Were power-wagons at hand, I’d volith riding forth with a whip to send the raudlebogs skirkling home.”

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:January 23rd, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that -- I just went there and preordered a copy!
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Date:January 23rd, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
Excellent! I hope you enjoy it!
Date:January 31st, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
Got it last night, and it looks great...
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Date:January 24th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
Jack Vance wrings true glory from the English language. One of my favorite passages is from The Face, part of his "Demon Princes" trilogy:

The seconds marched past, transversing that mysterious boundary that separates the future from the past.

If you enjoy rich language, read Vance.

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