Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I will include your name in my present work

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Celebrated science fiction author Jack Vance has written over 60 novels during his career, accumulated numerous prestigious awards for his work, and in 1997 was named a Grand Master by the SFWA. However it's good to know that such acclaim hasn't affected his good nature, as can be seen in this reply to a piece of fan-mail in 1999; specifically point number five. Indeed, Vance kept to his word and in 2004 when his new novel - Lurulu - was eventually released, a delighted Hans van der Veeke found his name inside:
An omnibus conveyed the four men along a scenic boulevard to the central plaza: an immaculate area, paved with slabs of polished granite. At the center, fountains played around the base of a heroic statue celebrating the legendary locator Hans van der Veeke who had first set foot upon the world Archimbal. He was depicted wearing a black frock coat and a flat black hat. His pose was portentous, with one great arm raised on high, saluting generations of the future.
Transcript follows.



Transcript
Jack Vance
[Redacted]

April 16, 1999

Dear Hans van der Veeke —

Thanks very much for your letter.

1. Regarding my eyesight. I use a large font on my computer but it doesn't help much. I rely more on my voice synthesizer box.

2. I use Holland occasionally, when mentioning Old Earth, because I'm familiar with it.

3. I had to give up the mystery genre because the books were not making any money; Science Fiction did better.

4. My health is improved, but I'm not currently planning any visits to Holland. Thanks for your offer to show me around the north.

5. I will include your name in my present work.

Sincerely, Jack Vance

(Signed)

(Written by my wife, Norma)