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.