← Back

Mazirian the Magician

Author: Jack Vance
Year written: 1944
Author’s age at the time: 28
Year published: 1950
Year revised: 1969
Author’s title: Mazirian the Magician
Other title(s): The Dying Earth
Dutch title: De stervende aarde
Series: The Dying Earth
Genre: short story, novel, collection, fantasy

Published as a book, all stories original to the publication. (ref) It contains the following stories:

  • Turjan of Miir
  • Mazirian the Magician
  • T’sais
  • Liane the Wayfarer
  • Ulan Dhor
  • Guyal of Sfere

According to Foreverness, the original title of the collection (The Dying Earth) was strongly disapproved by Vance. Later published under the title Mazirian the Magician. Vance also preferred a different order (starting with the similarly titled “Mazirian the Magician”) for the stories from the one originally used.

Vance wrote the stories while serving in de Pacific as a merchant seaman, during the Second World War. Foreverness writes:

Thought to be influenced by various writers; influences actually mentioned by author include: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jeffery Farnol, P. G. Wodehouse and L. Frank Baum; from The Emerald City of Oz: The Phanfasms were Erbs, and so dreaded by mortals and immortals alike that no one had been near their mountain home for several thousand years. Other interesting Oz echoes occur. (ref)

Jackvance.com asserts that the stories have...

...inspired generations of fantasy writers- from Gene Wolfe and Michael Moorcock, to Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin- and has deeply influenced today’s realms of graphic novels, comics, and fantasy role-playing games (in particular, Dungeons & Dragons). (ref)

See also the Wikipedia article.

Republished as Mazirian the Magician, Spatterlight, 2012