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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Dying Earth or Mazirian the Magician


Interesting series of semi-related stories.  Had the series not had similar characters, I'd have been hard-pressed or surprised to learn that they were connected.  They don't elevate one another on a plot level and very little on the character level.  They do share commonalities in tone, mood, style, and theme.

The title The Dying Earth fits the overall theme or mood of the series better than Mazirian the Magician, who is an unlikeable protagonist in one tale.  I'm not sure sure why it was retitled although the book cover that depicts a scene from that tale (see above link) best depicts Jack Vance's stylistic flavor.

An overall decadence unites the series which the original title captures, giving into amorality or perhaps a self morality.  Moreover, although the unseen underpinning of this world is technology, the abandonment of such and knowledge may have led to its "dying."

Later books have accentuated the baroque flavor and stylistic tendencies.

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