Archive for the ‘zelazny’ Category


11/30/2009 Leave a comment



Wait….this is not right.  This was not how it looked when I read it when I was 14.

There.  That is better.  For me this will be the cover I summon to mind when I think about this book.  I loved this book.  It touched me, made me laugh, and it made me cry.  My buddy Chad and I read it several times.

Steven had his own battle with the publishers that is in detail at his site:

I am just pleased that Elegy Beach is here:

It had the same magic from the very first sentence.

Even though I had a good inkling where this was headed once I found out the main character’s name, I read it in one sitting last night.  Crawled into bed at 3:00am.

This book did not dissapoint.  There were fewer ‘laugh out loud’ moments than Ariel but had more polish and maturity to it….go figure 20 someodd years had passed in Real/Change worlds.

My wife was at a loss as she did not understand my excitement at seeing it in the book store.

She was understanding as I departed the bedroom to be in peace while I devoured this long awaited treasure.

I cried when Pete and Ariel reunited.

I felt betrayed to learn of Ariel’s lying manipulation…

But then…this is Fred’s tale.  He has a different view of Ariel for how broken his father was at her loss in his life.

I just hope more is to come.

Tuneage:  My Home is the Sea – Bonny Prince Billy

Categories: books, glee, rave, review, zelazny

Lord of Light

09/10/2009 Leave a comment

Ahhh Roger….

I still miss seeing your name on new books.

Lord of Light:

I personally love this book and cannot go with impartiality on this.

Even some of the finest authors we have today love it:

“I was pleased to get a copy of Roger Zelazny‘s novel Lord of Light the other day. It’s one of my favourite books (I think the first thing author Steve Brust ever said to me was “Let’s have an argument.  Roger Zelazny‘s Lord of Light is the best book anyone’s ever written.” “Ah,” I said, “If you make it best SF book of the 1960s, I’ll go along with it.” “Oh. Fair enough.” It was the first of a long line of failed arguments.) It’s got a blurb from me on it, which I hope sells many copies.”

Neil Gaiman in Neil Gaiman‘s Journal (29 May 2004)

This magnificent opus opens with:

His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could.

It jumps about in time, delivers puns, and explores man in relation to himself and the divine.

Zelazny as Sam delivering the goods in a sermon:

I have many names, and none of them matter.

Names are not important… To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important.

A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying, ‘What is it like, this thing you have seen?’ So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world. He tells them, ‘It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.’ Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times.

More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it ‘fire.’

“If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. ‘As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only a part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, ‘fire’ does not matter, ‘earth’ and ‘air’ and ‘water’ do not matter. ‘I’ do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming. The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle. The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the world, excreting the ash of the world, and being none of these things I have named and at the same time all of them, and this is reality — the Nameless.

Lord of Light:

Lord of Light tracks Sam’s journey in his strife with Heaven and his quest to bring it down due to its many abuses of the people. Sam is a beautifully painted, flawed hero.

It ends, bittersweet, and leaves you longing to know Sam better.

This is Zelazny in his best, and unfortunately, early period. He tackled the big beasts early on.

He was always good but never better than in the late 60s to mid seventies. As I said earlier:

“I still miss seeing his name on new books.” You could always count on him delivering you a quick, sparely written, book that would pack more of a punch than any other author in the genre in a 1/3 of the pages…and this, along with Creatures of Light and Darkness, is him at the pinnacle of his ability.

Everything’s Going On – LA version by Dead Meadow

Categories: books, rave, review, zelazny

Today We Choose Faces

01/15/2008 Leave a comment

I finished a book by my favorite author I had never read.
Roger Zelazny.
The man was incredible and I still have a small huddling of his books I dole out so as to not have read everything.
I like to savor them.
Today We Choose Faces was on par with some of his greats in my mind. It hearkens a bit of my three favorites:
Lord of Light
Creatures of Light and Darkness
The Changing Land
A man awakens (COLAD) to find himself somewhere unexpected and set out to kill another (COLAD). It then departs from the familiar and begins telling the tale from the view of people who are dying yet are tied together.
As with most of his stuff we see glimpses of magnificence outside the scope of the characters but glimpses only. His tales are about people and this one is fantastic.
I may be biased but….

Categories: books, rave, review, zelazny