Jack Vance, sorted by year written
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Reprinted in Son of the Tree, Spatterlight, 2012
Two puzzles dominated the life of Jim Root. The first, the pyramid out in the desert, tickled and prodded his curiosity, while the second, the problem of getting along with his wife, kept him keyed to a high pitch of anxiety and apprehension. At the moment the problem had crowded the mystery of the pyramid into a lost alley of his brain.
“I suppose anything’s possible,” said Root. He had noticed the acquisitive twitch to Landry’s mouth, the hook of the fingers. “You’d better not get any ideas. I don’t want any trouble with the natives. Remember that, Landry.”
Landry edged slowly forward, keeping his light on the Dicantrops. He asked Root sharply, “Are these lads dangerous?”
Republshed in Golden Girl and Other Stories, Spatterlight, 2012.
Revised for The Augmented Agent and Other Stories, Underwood-Miller, 1986.
Reprinted in Chateau d'If and Other Stories, Spatterlight, 2012
Avery had been watching the dancing lights over his shoulder. “They’re like eyes watching us...Before a colony’s sent out here, these damn things will have to be destroyed. They’d be dangerous flying loose around electricity.”
Far down the beach, Avery and Jason saw the white flash of the explosion, saw the black gullies light up in a ghastly swift glare. Then came a rolling sound and a jar of concussion.
Two ideas in this early story I later saw elsewhere (in a book by Larry Niven, another in a book by Peter F Hamilton). (more)
Republished in Sail 25 and other stories, Spatterlight, 2012
The young man stared, taken aback. “Brotherhood?...You mean fraternity?” Enlightenment spread over his face. “Is this some kind of hell-week stunt?” He laughed. “If it is, they sure go all the way.”
After grounding his air-sled Ceistan sat a few minutes inspecting the dead city Therlatch: a wall of earthen brick a hundred feet high, a dusty portal, and a few crumbled roofs lifting above the battlements. Behind the city the desert spread across the near, middle and far distance to the hazy shapes of the Altilune Mountains at the horizon, pink in the light of the twin suns Mig and Pag.
Republished in The Moon Moth and Other Stories
“She’s okay,” said Carr. “It was that kapok stuff from Deneb Kaitos. Now let’s see I’ve got to set up this phony code. Hey, Scotty,” he called down to Allixter, “made your will yet? This is like stepping out of an airplane holding your nose and hoping you’ll hit water.”
Encouraged, Allixter proceeded to Step Two Enumeration. The screen depicted symbols representing the agglomerative numerals a series of lines, one dot in the first line, two dots in the second line, three in the third, four in the fourth, in such fashion up to twenty. Joe, alive to his task, made sounds for the numbers. Then the screen displayed a random multitude of dots and Joe created another sound.
The speaker made a bleating sound which once more seemed to carry near-human overtones. Allixter set his shoulder to the mobile unit.
Republished in Sail 25 and Other Stories
“Just wait till the noise of those accidents dies down... They’ll be back like flies. After all, we got a lot of publicity-” “Publicity! Huh! Nine bathers killed by sea-beetles the first day. The gorilla-things dragging those girls into the jungle. Not to mention the flying snakes and the dragons-Lord, the dragons! And you talk about publicity!”
It was a rude awakening for Magnus Ridolph. Eye to eye he stared at the dragon. The dragon opened its maw, darted its head forward, snapped. Magnus Ridolph rolled over, escaped by an inch.
Republished in Magnus Ridolph, Spatterlight, 2012.