Science fiction grand master Jack Vance rockin' a uke and a kazoo

The video description says it all, really:

Science fiction legend and grand master Jack Vance, 96, owns you completely with his ukelele and kazoo. He plans to sell music from his Go For Broke Jazz Band as well as the e-books already for sale on his website. Vance sings and plays harmonica, kazoo, ukelele and jug, and his friend Kevin Boudreau plays string bass and the washboard. Taken during a recent interview with Vance, for Locus Magazine. The Vance interview will appear in the August 2012 issue of Locus.

(Thanks, Spontaine!)


  1. Ukuleles are crazy fun.  If you don’t own a uke, you should absolutely go get one right now.  They are easy to learn and there’s no limit to how good you can get if you practice a bit. 

    You can find a really decent uke for well under $100.  Beginners should get either the concert size or tenor size (as Mr Vance is playing), because the soprano can be a little cramped for big ol’ hands like mine.  There are tons of how-to videos online that will get you going.  You’ll be watching the humuhumunukunukuapua`a go swimming by in no time.

    You will be the life of any party and studies show chicks dig musicians.

  2. Thank you, Boing Boing, that was exactly what I needed.  Well, CLOSE, but not exactly– can Gene Wolfe play any instruments?  A duet would be EXACTLY what I need.

  3. I had read stories and books from Jack Vance before, but I bought ‘Tales of a dying earth’ rather recently.   It’s brilliant.  It took me by surprise how present-day and how fascinating the stories still were. 

    The irony with which he observes hypocrisy and immoral human traits, is very amusing.  The worlds he describes are of an incredibly bizarre and colorful diversity.

    His books simply must have been an inspiration for many modern movies and fantasy stories.

  4. Great sense of humor! Appreciated Vance for his literature and now another reason to bow in the direction of the Bay Area. Nice going, Cory & Boingboing!

  5. One of Vance’s novels “The Killing Machine”  was the first or second SF novel I ever bought.  Took me two weeks to save up the 35 cents from my allowance (yes it *was* a while back) while hoping the book would still be on the spinner rack at the grocery store.  I still have that copy.

    It is good to see him hanging in there, I hope he lives a good dead longer.

  6. When you’ve loved someone’s books for over thirty years and then you find out they also play a mean kazoo – well, it doesn’t happen every day.

  7. There’s a tavern just ahead on the road. I’m sure that we will find some hearty food, fine wine, interesting company, decent lodgings, and a change of clothes. Do we have any money? I only have a deck of cards with me…

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