Book Collecting

Jack Vance – First Edition Books: Identification Guide

Jack Vance
Jack Vance

John HolbrookJackVance (August 28, 1916 – May 26, 2013) was an American mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writer. Though most of his work has been published under the name Jack Vance, he also wrote several mystery novels under pen names.

Jack Vance made his debut in print with “The World-Thinker”, a 16-page story published by Sam Merwin in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Summer 1945. His lifetime output totals more than 60 books—perhaps almost 90. His work has been published in three categories: science fiction, fantasy and mystery. Among Vance’s earliest published work was a set of fantasy stories written while he served in the merchant marine during the war. They appeared in 1950, several years after Vance had started publishing science fiction in the pulp magazines, under the title The Dying Earth.

When asked about literary influences, Vance most often cited Jeffery Farnol, a writer of adventure books, whose style of “high” language he mentions (the Farnol title Guyfford of Weare being a typical instance); P. G. Wodehouse, an influence apparent in Vance’s taste for overbearing aunts; and L. Frank Baum, whose fantasy elements were directly borrowed by Vance. In the introduction to Dowling and Strahan’s The Jack Vance Treasury, Vance mentions that his childhood reading including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, Robert W. Chambers, science fiction published by Edward Stratemeyer, the magazines Weird Tales and Amazing Stories, and Lord Dunsany.

Jack Vance won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984, and he was a Guest of Honor at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 15th Grand Master in 1997, and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers.

Jack Vance – First Edition Identification Guide

Note: This list only includes works published prior to 1977.

How to Identify First Edition books by Jack Vance Guide.
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/Printing Identification Points
1973THE A NOME[New York}:A Dell Book, [1973]Wrappers. First printing-March 1973 on © page. Dell 0441 (95¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1974THE ASUTRA[New York]: A Dell Book, [1974]Wrappers. First printing-May 1974 on © page. Dell 3157 (95¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1973BAD RONALDNew York: Ballantine Books, [1973]Wrappers. First Printing: September, 1973 on © page. Ballantine Books 23477-4-125 ($1.25).
1976THE BEST OF JACK VANCENew York: Published by Pocket Books, [1976]Wrappers. May, 1976 on © page. Pocket Books Sci-Fi 80510 ($1.95). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1957BIG PLANETNew York: Avalon Books, [1957]No statement of printing on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1966THE BLUE WORLDNew York: Ballantine Books, [1966]Wrappers. First edition: May, 1966 on © page. A Ballantine Science Fiction Original U2169 (50¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1966THE BRAINS OF EARTHNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1966]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double M-141 (45¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with THE MANY WORLDS OF MAGNUS RIDOLPH by Vance.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1975], Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1973THE BRAVE FREE MEN[New York]: A Dell Book, [1973]Wrappers. First printing-August 1973 on © page. Dell 1708 (95¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1968CITY OF THE CHASCHNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1968]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. An Ace Book G-688 (50¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1975]. Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1969THE DEADLY ISLESIndianapolis and New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, [1969]First printing 1969 on © page.
1969THE DIRDIRNew York: An Ace Book, [1969]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Book 66901 (60¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1975]. Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1963THE DRAGON MASTERSNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1963]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double F-I85 (40¢). Jack Vance. pseudonym. Bound with THE FIVE GOLD BANDS by Vance. ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1965]. Boards. First published in Great Britain 1965 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1950THE DYING EARTHNew York: Hillman Periodicals, Inc., [1950]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. HP No. 41 (25¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
ALSO: San Francisco, California/Columbia, Pennsylvania: Underwood-Miller, 1976. Three issues, no priority:
  • (A) 11 copies lettered A-K signed by the author and illustrator George Barr;
  • (B) 111 numbered copies signed by author and illustrator;
  • (C) 1000 unnumbered copies. Trade issue. First cloth edition--September, 1976 on © page.
First hardcover edition.
1969EIGHT FANT ASMS AND MAGICS[New York]: The Macmillan Company, [1969]First printing so stated on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1969EMPHYRIOGarden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1969First edition so stated on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1966THE EYES OF THE OVER WORLDNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1966]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Book M-I49 (45¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Boston: Gregg Press, 1977. First Printing, June 1977 on © page. First hardcover edition. Note: Not issued in dust jacket.
1962THE FIVE GOLD BANDSNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1962]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double F-185 (40¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with THE DRAGON MASTERS by Vance. Longer version issued earlier as THE SPACE PIRATE.
1964THE FOUR JOHNSNew York: Published by Pocket Books, Inc., [1964]Wrappers. 1st printing ... March, 1964 on © page. Pocket Books Edition 6229 (35¢). Ellery Queen, pseudonym.
Notes: (1) A reprint identical in all particulars save for change of stock number to 4706 and price increase to 45¢ has been observed. (2) Edited and rewritten by the publisher. Issued later in Great Britain as FOUR MEN CALLED JOHN.
1976FOUR MEN CALLED JOHNLondon: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1976Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Ellery Queen, pseudonym. Issued earlier in the U.S. as THE FOUR JOHNS.
1966THE FOX VALLEY MURDERSIndianapolis New York Kansas City: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., [1966]First printing, 1966 on © page.
1964FUTURE TENSENew York: Ballantine Books, [1964]Wrappers. First printing: June 1964 on © page. A Ballantine Science Fiction Original U2214 (50¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1974THE GRAY PRINCEIndianapolis /New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., [1974]Boards. First printing so stated on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1964THE HOUSES OF ISZMNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1964]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double F-265 (40¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with SON OF THE TREE by Vance.
1957ISLE OF PERILNew York: Mystery House, [1957]No statement of printing on © page. Alan Wade, pseudonym.
1964THE KILLING MACHINE[New York]; Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, [1964]Wrappers. November, 1964 on © page. Berkley Medallion Fl 003 (50¢). Jack Vance. pseudonym.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson. [1967], Boards. First published in Great Britain 1967 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1955THE LANGUAGES OF PAONew York: Avalon Books. [1955]No statement of printing on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1967THE LAST CASTLENew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1967]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double H-21 (60¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with WORLD OF THE SLEEPER by Tony Wayman.
1966THE MADMAN THEORYNew York: Published by Pocket Books. [1966]Wrappers. 1st printing ...August, 1966 on © page. Pocket Books 50496 (50¢). Ellery Queen, pseudonym.
Note: Edited and rewritten by the publisher.
1960THE MAN IN THE CAGENew York; Random House, [1960]Boards. First printing so stated on © page.
1966THE MANY WORLDS OF MAGNUS RIDOLPHNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1966]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double M-141 (45¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with THE BRAINS OF EARTH by Vance.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1977). Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1977 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1975MARUNE: AL ASTOR 933New York: Ballantine Books, [1975]Wrappers. First Printing: September, 1975 on © page. Ballantine Books SF 24518 ($1.50). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1976MASKE: THAERYNew York: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, [1976]No statement of printing on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1965MONSTERS IN ORBITNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1965]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double M-125 (45¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with THE WORLD BETWEEN by Vance.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1977]. Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1977 ... on © page. First hardcover edition.
1976THE MOON MOTH AND OTHER STORIESLondon: Dennis Dobson, [1976]Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym. Issued earlier in the U.S. as THE WORLD BETWEEN. Note: Whitaker's Cumulative Book List records month of publication as February 1976.
1967THE PALACE OF LOVE[New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, [1967]Wrappers. October, 1967 on © page. Berkley X1454 (60
1967THE PLEASANT GROVE MURDERSIndianapolis * Kansas City * New York: The Bobbs- Merrill Company, Inc., [1967]First printing so stated on © page.
1970THE PNUMENew York: An Ace Book, [1970]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Book 66902 Jack Vance, pseudonym. ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1975]. Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1965A ROOM TO DIE INNew York: Published by Pocket Books, Inc., [1965]Wrappers. 1st printing ...July, 1965 on © page. Pocket Books 35067 (35¢). Ellery Queen, pseudonym.
Notes: (1) A reprint identical in all particulars save for change of stock number to 50492 and price increase to 50¢ has been observed. (2) Edited and rewritten by the publisher.
1969SERVANTS OF THE WANKHNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1969]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Book 66900 (504)-Jack Vance, pseudonym.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1975], Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1975SHOWBOAT WORLDNew York: Pyramid, [1975]Wrappers. March 1975 on © page. Pyramid V3698 ($1.25). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1958SLAVES OF THE KLAUNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1958]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double Novel Books D-295 (35¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with BIG PLANET by Vance.
1964SON OF THE TREENew York: Ace B ooks, Inc., [1964]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double F-265 (40¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with THE HOUSES OF ISZM by Vance.
1965SPACE OPERANew York: Pyramid Books, [1965]Wrappers. First printing, February 1965 on © page. Pyramid Books R-l 140 (504)-Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1953THE SPACE PIRATE[New York]: A Toby Press Book, [1953]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym. Shorter version issued later as THE FIVE GOLD BANDS.
1964THE STAR KING[New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, [1964]Wrappers. April, 1964 on © page. Berkley Medallion F905 (504)-Jack Vance, pseudonym.
ALSO: London: Dennis Dobson, [1966]. Boards. First published in Great Britain 1966 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1957TAKE MY FACENew York: Mystery House, [1957]No statement of printing on © page. Peter Held, pseudonym.
1956TO LIVE FOREVERNew York: Ballantine Books, [1956]Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Cloth. Two variants, priority, if any, not established:
    • (1) Dark blue cloth, spine lettered in dark red;
    • (2) Light blue cloth, spine lettered in dark red.
  • (B) Wrappers. Ballantine Books 167 (35¢). No statement of printing on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1973TRULLION: ALASTOR 2262New York: Ballantine Books, [1973]Wrappers. First Printing: June, 1973 on © page. Ballantine Books 03308-6-125 ($1.25). Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1953VANDALS OF THE VOIDPhiladelphia * Toronto: The John C. Winston Company, [1953]Two bindings, priority not established:
  • (A) Cloth;
  • (B) Boards.
First edition so stated on © page. Jack Vance, pseudonym.
1965THE WORLD BETWEEN ANDOTHER STORIESNew York: Ace Books, Inc., [1965]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Double M-125 (45¢). Jack Vance, pseudonym. Bound with MONSTERS IN ORBIT by Vance. Issued later in Great Britain as THE MOON MOTH AND OTHER STORIES.
1973THE WORLDS OF JACK VANCENew York: Ace Books, [1973]Wrappers. First Ace Printing: December 1973 on © page. Ace 90955 ($1.25). Jack Vance, pseudonym. All stories reprinted from earlier Vance collections.

Jack Vance – First Printing Dust Jacket Identification Points

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • L. W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction.

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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