The Complete Vance Integral Edition, Reviewed

Your comments here are appreciated. And I’ll send wavering potential buyers here to see what you’ve said.


  1. Rebecca Stefoff said,

    July 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I left a comment earlier on a different thread, Bob, but I’ll say it again for the Reviews thread: I am delighted to have these volumes. I know that they are going to be a pleasure to read for years to come. They look fine, too–you made good production decisions.

    That said, I’m hanging onto all of my old, well-worn editions, including the battered old issues of F&SF from the 1970s, in which some of the novels appeared, and even a photocopy of Vandals of the Void, which I made, illegally, years ago when the only copy I could afford to obtain was through Interlibrary Loan.

    I’m Looking forward to the rest of the set

  2. Captain Cugel said,

    July 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Yes, very nice. I am reading volume one. I appreciate corrections from past reading that seem a result of the work done in VIE. There are not many authors like Jack Vance who rate enough for a high quality complete collection like this. I like the cloth bookmark thread and the gold gilding. The binding work and materials are made to last. I love it!

    Sure you can use my name, or reprint this comment.

  3. Reader 7 said,

    July 2, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I enjoyed looking over my copies when they came in over the past couple of days. The production standards are very high– binding should hold up for many years and is supple enough to open flat without scaring me. The pages were consistently in order and the count was missing no pages. Contents page matched up 100% with titles and pages. These are large, fairly heavy books, a good “lapdesk” copy for reading in an easy chair.

  4. Gary Morris said,

    July 6, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I’ve just started delving into these volumes. They are beautiful — elegantly, really, and clearly built to last. They’re substantial without being overwhelming (like, say, some of the amazing Centipede Press books or Tim Lucas’s monumental study of Mario Bava). I can actually read them in bed without getting a pinched nerve or neck strain. The font (and size) is quite readable, the paper is of fine quality, and Paul Rhoads’ illustrations, with their “antique print” feel, go perfectly with Vance’s prose. Of course, ultimately, the main thing here is Vance, and to have 1/3 of the complete oeuvre of this incomparable writer, in the most textually sound versions available (even more so than the Vance Integral), is incredibly exciting. I’m already jumping into hitherto-unknown (to me) Vance wonderlands and revisiting beloved familiar ones. Heartfelt thanks to Bob and the gang for their outstanding work on this project. I hope it will win Book of the Year(s) award from somebody. Looking forward to the next installment!

  5. Drake Maynard said,

    July 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I have been reading and collecting Jack Vance stories and novels since BLUE WORLD. Like other commenters I have lots of old paperbacks and magazines, and not all of Vance’s work by any means. The COMPLETE JACK VANCE is not just a dream come true for me, but it’s a gilded dream come true – every Vance story and novel, in 6 beautifully produced, readable volumes.

    Many thanks to Bob and everyone involved in this effort. I am now even more eager to see the remaining volumes.

  6. dfan said,

    July 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I am beyond pleased with these books.

    The physical quality of the volumes is outstanding. I’ve read about a third of Volume I and the paper and binding basically show no sign of ever having been read. For a large book like this that is opened many times in many different places, this is really important.

    The main thing that really pleasantly surprised me is how literally readable, physically, the books are. I had figured that I would use these copies more for reference than for relaxed reading, but despite having the equivalent of 10 novels jam-packed into every volume, the experience of reading the books is extremely pleasant. The paper is white and thick, the font is very easy on the eyes, the double-column format keeps the number of characters per line reasonable, and the book, while modestly hefty, is no more difficult to carry or read than a decent dictionary.

    Many thanks to Bob (and of course everyone involved in the massive amount of VIE work that was a prerequisite for this). This is worth every penny.

  7. TH said,

    July 14, 2010 at 7:45 am

    The books are much lighter than I expected; easy to read. Apart from the semi-moderate wound on my thumb I inflicted on myself in my excitement, receiving the package and opening it left a very positive impression. I echo the praise for overall quality of the books. That said, it’s so hot and humid here I haven’t dared to perform a proper inspection yet (to see if all the pages are there etc). Alas, actually reading them in a rare weather like this is out of the question.

    • rclacovara said,

      July 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      I am pleased that they arrived in good condition, and that you like them.

      Sorry about your thumb… you should see my hands. I packed all of the books myself, although they come to me from the printer in the brown inner boxes. Oh, and yea, hot glue gun burns… Still, that packing seems to work pretty well.


  8. Tony said,

    July 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I agree completely-the books are very well constructed and a joy to handle. Was I the only one surprised by the green binding cloth? The pictures previously posted look like they’re black, although one is a bit ambiguous. this is not a complaint-they are still beautiful.

  9. TH said,

    July 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I would call the books green. Pictures are notoriously unreal in their relation to the subject depicted. All sorts of color blindness are also rather common.

    Anyway, I want to add that the printing quality is on the level of Medieval plate printing. I wouldn’t expect a page printed using modern convenience techniques to produce books that look like this.

    Also, checked the pages etc, and all was in order. The dollar has been dropping in value, and for good reasons, so I’ll give it a few weeks or so to drop further before sending the money.

  10. wrycur said,

    July 18, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I would concur with all the above positive comments on the production. The only, very minor, defect I’ve seen is that one of the place-holding ribbons started to unravel. My wife, a seamstress, tied it to fix it, but now it’s unraveling inside of the knot.

    What I might add is how much I like the format, the way it’s composed. Every novel, novelette, or novella starts on an odd-numbered page, that is, the right-hand page. The facing page is always blank, and the page before that has the distinctive lacit (curly drawing), of which there are about 25. So if a story finishes on an even-numbered page, the next page is blank, the one after has just the lacit, and when you turn the page, the left-hand one is blank, then the next story’s text starts. If a story ends on an odd-numbered page, there is still one blank page after the lacit page before the next story starts. I find this a very felicitous arrangement that imparts a lot of class.

    Another rare thing is that very few separated (by a dash) words end a column. I did a little statistical check and it’s about 5-10% of all lines, of which there are 53 per page, double column. This is due to Joel Anderson, the composer, and really impressed me. When he has to expand or contract the typeface to avoid end-of-line dashes, you can hardly tell.

    The endboards must be about 4 mm thick, very substantial. And the paper is a nice and heavy bond.

    • töff said,

      July 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      > “the place-holding ribbons started to unravel”

      I took a lighter to the ends of the ribbons. They cauterize well. This is a common technique amongst mountaineers, I believe, for the ends of their nylon ropes and straps. I’d prefer a knot; but, as you say, it doesn’t stop the unravelling.

  11. wrycur said,

    July 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I was going to add that only about 5%-8% of each book is short stories, which can start on an even- or odd-numbered page (these come after all the longer works), and all the short stories use the same lacit, which on its special page appears once, when the short stories start. There is also one common lacit for the mysteries.

    Some of the mysteries also have a Paul Rhoads etching, as do many of the novels.

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