cover image Dream Castles: 
The Early Jack Vance, Vol. 2

Dream Castles: The Early Jack Vance, Vol. 2

Edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan. Subterranean (, $45 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59606-451-5

Dowling and Strahan follow 2010’s Hard-Luck Diggings with 10 more wide-ranging tales from the early career of lauded and much-awarded SF Grand Master Vance. “The Dogtown Tourist Agency” (1975) sets a mystery on a precariously balanced world jointly governed by three space empires. “Golden Girl” (1951) is the tragedy of a stranded alien spacefarer. The cryptic and frightening “The Narrow Land” (1967) is an alien point-of-view tale rare in the Vance canon. “A Practical Man’s Guide” (1957) is a short fable about an overeager publisher. The prescient “Cholwell’s Chickens” (1952) and disturbing “Freitzke’s Turn” (1977) warn of the dangers of biological science left in the hands of the unscrupulous. A highly capable hero unravels a web of interplanetary schemes in the space opera “Son of the Tree” (1951). The spare, concise, and clear writing of these adventurous classic science fiction stories is as enthralling today as when they were first published. (Mar.)