Author Jack Vance plays a banjo and kazoo. (CC/Hayford Pierce)
American mystery, fantasy and science fiction writer Jack Vance died at his home in California on Sunday, at age 96, according to his official website.
He wrote more than 60 books, most of them under the name Jack Vance but he also wrote 11 mysteries as John Holbrook Vance and three as Ellery Queen. He also used the pen names Alan Wade, Peter Held, John van See and Jay Kavanse.
The Hugo, Nebula, and Jupiter Award-winning author was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2001. Before that, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 14th Grand Master in 1997.
Vance graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1942, and worked as an electrician in the naval shipyards at Pearl Harbor, leaving about a month before the Japanese attack there.
He went on to work as a seaman, a surveyor and carpenter. Though his first book was published in 1945, he did not become an established writer until the 1970s. Legally blind since the 1980s, Vance continued to write with the help of specialized software, including his most recent novel, "Lurulu."
Vance's family and friends maintain his website and they have created a page called Foreverness where fans and friends can post notes about the author in perpetuity. There are already hundreds of messages from readers around the world, many recalling the first time they every picked up a Vance title.
"Five generations of my family loved your work. Last of the Golden Age authors, and the most creative, and my personal favorite," wrote fan Andrew Byro.