Fans of Dungeons and Dragons and role-playing games in general will surely remember him as the inspiration for so-called “Vancian Magic”, wherein magic spells, once cast, leave the mind of the caster and must be re-memorized.
However, his contribution to both gaming and the world of science fiction and fantasy writing is enormous both in quantity and quality. He is known for the Dying Earth, yes, but there were many, many more. Lyonesse, Space Opera, the Demon Princes, Planet of Adventure; he wrote more than 60 novels altogether.
I came to appreciate Vance as an author late in life, only a few years ago, but once I started to read his work I couldn’t stop, and now can’t imagine not having read it.
You will be missed, Mr. Vance.