I picked up a new book the other day: Dragon Masters by Jack Vance. I've not started reading the novel proper, but have been reading about the author and fandom.

Interestingly enough, there's a website for the Vance Integral Edition at The project's goals?

1. Create a complete and correct edition, in 44 volumes, a permanent, physical archive of Vance's oeuvre disseminated world wide, doubled by a digital archive (already being made available to commercial publishers).
2. Promote the universally appealing work of Jack Vance through library donations. Funded by the Paul Allen Foundation, and private individuals, dozens of libraries around the world are receiving V.I.E. book sets.

According to the site, Vance's literary works include "150 novels, novellas and stories. Vance is mostly known as a science fiction writer; a definition he rejects. In his long career he has written books in several genres, including the fantasy classic 'The Dying Earth' (the true title, Mazirian the Magician, is restored in the V.I.E.). He has also authored a dozen novels which are categorized as mysteries."

Not familiar with his work (which by the way influenced the D&D style of "fire & forget" style of magic), it's interesting to see the fan categorization of his work: "His 'fantasies' are closer to L. Frank Baum than to Tolkien. His 'mysteries' are closer to Thackery than to John D. MacDonald. His 'science fiction' is closer to Cervantes, Dante, Swift, de la Fontaine or Rabelais than to Asimov or Herbert."

I'm looking forward to reading his works...
I must save up to buy my other Iain Banks books from Fully Booked. GAH!
Books to Read
I've been wanting to dive into reading fiction again, but alas there is scant time for it. Work intrudes upon my schedule like a giant specter on the horizon casting its chilling shadow over all..

.. er, well. I think about work. And getting my games ready. And wanting to watch TV and movies. And writing!


In any case - I'd like to actually tackle the rest of the Song of Ice and Fire series. Then I'd like to dip back into Science Fiction again, hunting down some of Asimov's stuff. Or into Fantasy again with Sean Russell's other novels. Or something funky like Jennifer Government.
Ylaya My Ylaya
Yet another update of The Incorporated States of Ylaya... now a Right-Wing Utopia!

The Incorporated States of Ylaya is a large, environmentally stunning nation, renowned for its compulsory military service. Its hard-nosed, hard-working population of 29 million are free to succeed or fail in life on their own merits; the successful tend to enjoy an opulent (but moralistic) lifestyle, while the failures can be seen crowding out most jails.

The large, pro-business government juggles the competing demands of Education, Social Welfare, and Defence. Citizens pay a flat income tax of 22%. A powerhouse of a private sector is led by the Soda Sales, Information Technology, and Gambling industries.

The government covers the basic health care of its citizens, small businesses are gobbled up almost daily by corporate giants, it is illegal to make racist remarks in public, and people reciting Shakespeare have become a common sight. Crime -- especially youth-related -- is totally unknown, thanks to a well-funded police force and progressive social policies in education and welfare. Ylaya's national animal is the Ylayan Maya, which frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests, and its currency is the Rizal.
The New Doctor
For gaming-related reasons I've been thinking about the Dr. Who series, and guess what I find out?

Eccleston is new Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston will become the ninth Doctor Who
Shallow Grave actor Christopher Eccleston has been named as the new Doctor Who to front the cult BBC sci-fi show when it returns next year.

Eccleston, who starred alongside Nicole Kidman in the horror movie The Others, will be the ninth TV Time Lord to control the Tardis in a 13-part series.

The 40-year-old has starred in Flesh and Blood, The Second Coming, and TV series Our Friends in the North.

The BBC said the Salford-born actor would take "a fresh, modern approach".

Well, I certainly hope the writing is improved to match some of the "behind the couch" horror of the early series, and the trippy, unnerving atmosphere of another british series Sapphire and Steel.