Poking around the internet, I found a podcast featuring an interview with Jack Vance. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time is aware that Jack Vance is one of my all-time favorite writers. Besides the awesomeness of hearing a 93-year-old-but-still-with-it Jack Vance (he's 95 now), I dig the Newcastle accent of Tony C. Smith, the interviewer.
Mr Smith tries to keep Jack on the subject of science fiction, but it turns out that Mr Vance really isn't a fan of science fiction (though he does praise the criminally underappreciated C.L. Moore). Jack prefers to characterize his work as portrayals of human beings attempting to adapt to and cope with exotic locales, such locales as could never be found on Earth. As far as the topics go, he'd rather discuss music and travel than science fiction... happily, Mr Smith has the good manners to "step back" and let the man address the topics he prefers to discuss. Even cooler, Jack invites Mr Smith to bring his whole family to Casa Vance in Oakland, California in the course of the interview. I think I'm going to have to set up an interview with Jack Vance myself... Perhaps the best part of the interview is Vance's discussion of Frank Herbert, especially a hilarious anecdote about Frank's piano virtuosity. As an aside, Jack told Frank that his idea for Dune was silly while the two of them were staying at a house in Mexico, but Frank was too absorbed in the scenery to pay attention, and ended up thanking Jack for his input at a later date.
For a briefer taste of pure Vancian awesomeness, here's a recent video of Jack Vance playing the ukulele and kazoo: