I will include your name in my present work

Celebrated science fiction author Jack Vance has written over 60 novels during his career, accumulated numerous prestigious awards for his work, and in 1997 was named a Grand Master by the SFWA. However it’s good to know that such acclaim hasn’t affected his good nature, as can be seen in this reply to a piece of fan-mail in 1999; specifically point number five. Indeed, Vance kept to his word and in 2004 when his new novel – Lurulu – was eventually released, a delighted Hans van der Veeke found his name inside:

An omnibus conveyed the four men along a scenic boulevard to the central plaza: an immaculate area, paved with slabs of polished granite. At the center, fountains played around the base of a heroic statue celebrating the legendary locator Hans van der Veeke who had first set foot upon the world Archimbal. He was depicted wearing a black frock coat and a flat black hat. His pose was portentous, with one great arm raised on high, saluting generations of the future.

Transcript follows.


Jack Vance

April 16, 1999

Dear Hans van der Veeke —

Thanks very much for your letter.

1. Regarding my eyesight. I use a large font on my computer but it doesn’t help much. I rely more on my voice synthesizer box.

2. I use Holland occasionally, when mentioning Old Earth, because I’m familiar with it.

3. I had to give up the mystery genre because the books were not making any money; Science Fiction did better.

4. My health is improved, but I’m not currently planning any visits to Holland. Thanks for your offer to show me around the north.

5. I will include your name in my present work.

Sincerely, Jack Vance


(Written by my wife, Norma)