Which Jack Vance stories are written in the first person?

I can't personally recollect any, unless it was one or two of John Holbrook Vance's ‘straight’ mystery/adventure novels.

  • Vance has a very considerable catalogue; isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?136. I'm assuming there will be more than one.
    – Valorum
    Aug 27 '19 at 21:37
  • 2
    I only have a couple of dozen Vance books, but the only first-person story I found in a quick search is "Where Hesperus Falls" in the collection The Narrow Land.
    – DavidW
    Aug 27 '19 at 22:35
  • The short story "Noise" is also mostly told in the first person. Not many of Vance stories were, but I've never read his mystery books.
    – Alith
    Sep 3 '19 at 18:20
  • "I am Jack's medulla oblongata" Sep 11 '19 at 21:47

The investigation and reading that I've undertaken suggests that very few of Vance's works were written in the first person.

So far the ones I've been able to identify as such are as follows:

Where Hesperus Falls - short story told from the persective of Henry Revere, a man who wants to die but is not allowed to due to his unique circumstances. A short quote appears in an Amazon review for "The Narrow Land" Where Hesperus falls, 1956 - "my servants will not allow me to kill myself." But I can try!

Noise - a short story told as a journal kept by a marooned spacer, mostly first person because of the journal but not exclusively.

Strange People Queer Notions - One of Vance's mystery works, the review on Amazon states that it is the first perspective, but I've been unable to find a copy to verify that myself, the bold in the quotes are my own.

"Strange People, Queer Notions" pretty much encapsulates Vance's writing, but this is one of his mysteries, not SFF. It's unusual for Vance in that it's told in the first person, and of course it doesn't have some of his more outre elements. It does, however, have a Vance standard in a clever, resourceful protagonist who is, through no fault of his own, accused of ill deeds. It's an appealing mystery with a large, but interesting cast in a Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None setting.

Will continue to look and add any others that I remember or come across during the research undertaken.

Further research has found:

The Phantom Milkman - another short story from the first perspective

Female protagonist in the first person. A woman tries to find the secret behind the milk that keeps appearing on her doorstep.

  • The Amazon page you linked to has a free Look Inside. The little bit I read was indeed in the first person.
    – user14111
    Sep 11 '19 at 13:13
  • I mean the Amazon page for Strange People, Queer Notions.
    – user14111
    Sep 12 '19 at 4:39

I looked through the whole Vance Integral Edition and found just one story other than those listed by Alith: “The Absent-Minded Professor” (1954) aka “First Star I See Tonight”.

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