The look of Vance…

I’ve been engaged in discussions, considerations, and deliberations about all maner of things to do with Jack Vance of late (as regular readers will now). There’s been the matter of stories to be shortlisted, read, interstitial materials to be considered etc etc as the structure of The Jack Vance Treasury is sketched out.

Now, while the important details are known – it’s a 175-200,000 word book with a cover by Tom Kidd, an intro by George Martin and a foreword by Jack Vance – there are other details that I have been chatting with my co-editor about. The major one today is the illustration of Vance’s stories by Jack Gaughan.

As many of you will know, the late Jack Gaughan was a well-known and well-respected artist who did a lot of science fiction illustration in the ’50s and ’60s for the magazines, pulps etc etc. He illustrated a number of Jack Vance stories and novels, perhaps most famously both “The Dragon Masters” and “The Last Castle” for Galaxy in the 1960s. My question for Coode Streets with a Vancean bent is what are your thoughts on the appeal of the Gaughan Vance illustrations? Are they spot on, or do they miss the mark today? I’m curious to hear as many opinions as possible, so let me know and feel free to fire up the Vance telegraph and have the Vancephiles post to the comments thread.