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.
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)