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Reviews by Contributor: Zelazny, Roger (5)

So Sincere

Nine Princes in Amber  (Chronicles of Amber, volume 1)

By Roger Zelazny  

11 Jun, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1970’s Nine Princes in Amber is the first volume in Roger Zelazny’s five-part Corwin Cycle, which is part of the ten volume Chronicles of Amber.

Despite amnesia, Carl Corey” has no problem understanding that he is being overmedicated or that if his minders have someone’s best interests at heart, it’s not his. The patient bullies his way out of the medical facility in which he has been immured, blackmailing the staff into providing him with funds and information.

Destination one: the home of Corey’s alleged sister Evelyn Flaumel. Since she has been footing the bills for his treatment, perhaps she can provide more information.

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Nearer My God to Thee

Creatures of Light and Darkness

By Roger Zelazny  

12 Jul, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Roger Zelazny’s 1969 Creatures of Light and Darkness is a standalone science fantasy novel.

For a thousand years, a nameless servant has served Anubis in the House of the Dead. His reward is a personal name and a task. To the nameless servant’s surprise, the name Anubis gives him is not his former name, which would grant him access to his former self, but a new one, Wakim.

His task? Find and kill the Prince Who Was A Thousand.

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Cruel Cosplay

Lord of Light

By Roger Zelazny  

6 Mar, 2016

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


I am afflicted with Zelazny-memory-loss syndrome: I have read many books written by the late Roger Zelazny, but for some reason retain little memory of them. It’s not because they are bad books, or even boring books; they’ve been lauded by fans and pros alike. For example, Roger Zelazny’s 1967 standalone novel Lord of Light won the Hugo and was nominated for the Nebula (losing to Delany’s The Einstein Intersection)1. Did I remember anything about it before I picked it up for a reread? Not really.

Well, that’s not completely true. There’s a truly wretched pun in the book: that I remembered, because apparently my brain hates me. And the beginning has always stuck in my mind.

His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the ‑atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god, but then he never claimed not to be a god. 

Sam’s former friends and allies, on the other hand, have been positively eager to claim divine status. 

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Appropriate for Halloween

A Night in the Lonesome October

By Roger Zelazny  

27 Oct, 2015

Graveyard Orbits


A Night in the Lonesome October is not Roger Zelazny’s final novel1, but it was written in a decade when he mainly focused on collaborations. It was the last novel he wrote without a partner. 

It’s also pretty good, which is fortunate for me because I would hate to have to write a Graveyard Orbit review of an author’s last book if that book was … ah … not up to their usual high standards. 

Every year, in the month leading up to the last full moon in October, two factions — the Openers and the Closers — gather to determine the course of the world for the next year. It is in their power to determine which eldritch gates will be opened or very firmly closed. 

In 18872, that last full moon fell on Halloween, which, one must admit, is a very good date on which to determine the fate of the world. 

The participants are not always named, but they are all archetypes with whom readers will be familiar: the brilliant professor and his Monster, the Balkan aristocrat with an affinity for bats and a dislike of sunshine, the mad Russian Monk, the Great Detective, and of course the Londoner Jack and his marvellously sharp knife.

But this story isn’t about Jack. It’s about his dog, Snuff.

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According to the record, you have been an undergrad here […] for approximately thirteen years”

Doorways in the Sand

By Roger Zelazny  

10 May, 2015

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


I get the impression that his star has dimmed somewhat since his untimely death in 1995, but during his prime — from the 1960s to the 1980s — Roger Zelazny was considered one of the great authors of science fiction. Corner a group of SF fans of the right age, reveal the implements of questioning,and they will fall all over themselves revealing which of Zelazny’s works they admire most.

My great shame is that not only did I miss some of his most famous stories — it took me until the 2000s to get around to A Rose for Ecclesiastes” — but I didn’t care for such later-considered-classic books as I did encounter (like the early Amber novels). Worse yet, due to a quirk in my memory, I’ve forgotten almost entirely the contents of many of the books on my Zelazny shelf [1]. Lord of Light: forgotten! Creatures of Light and Darkness: forgotten! Nine Princes in Amber, except maybe for that first chapter: forgotten! But there are a few books that for some reason, I both liked and remembered. 

First among them is Doorways in the Sand.

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