Tributes from the great and good of the science fiction writing world have been pouring in the light of the death of Jack Vance, best known for his Dying Earth stories. Vance died in his sleep aged 96 at his home yesterday (May 29, 2013) according to his family, and homages have been pouring in.

Described as "one of the grandmasters of our genres,” by Game Of Thrones author George RR Martin, Vance apparently “had a huge influence” on Martin. “For the past 50-some years has ranked among my very favourite writers. Every time a new Jack Vance book came out, I would drop whatever else I was doing and read it. Sometimes I did not mean to, but once you cracked the covers of a Vance book, you were lost," Martin wrote in a blog post."

The bestselling science fiction author John Scalzi meanwhile described Vance as "a genuine great in the field, one whose work captivated generations of science fiction and fantasy readers and writers, many of whom went on to be greats themselves". According to The Guardian he commented "To say he will be missed is obvious. To say his influence will continue to echo through the years is a reassurance. My thoughts to his family, friends and many fans today." Steve Gould, new president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, said Vance was "one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of the 20th century", and that his novel The Dragon Masters "seized me by the throat at a young age and has never let me go".

George Martin
George Martin led the tributes to Jack Vance