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The Black Throne

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  233 ratings  ·  13 reviews
As children, Perry, Annie, and Edgar Allen Poe met on a mystical beach out of space and time. Fifteen years later, Perry discovers that he is living the stones written by his alter ego, Edgar Allan Poe, as he encounters a world of reality gone mad.
Paperback, 278 pages
Published April 10th 1993 by Baen Books (first published October 1990)
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The concept is good, but unfortunately the book isn't. It initially promises to be something like a Tim Powers story, but never really achieves either the clever world-building of Powers, or much of anything else.

There's a bit of ingenuity in the way that the authors manage to pack in so many references to Poe stories, but unfortunately none of these develops into anything. The characters whose peculiar backgrounds are drawn from Poe never go beyond being plot devices, the scenes that allude to
I probably would have given this 3.5 stars (and rounded it up to 4), but after reading a few Goodreads reviews I sort of came to agree with them on some matters. (Particularly about the ending being sorta lackluster.)

On the one hand, I loved seeing all the Poe references because I like Poe. On the other hand, there were times during which I felt like we were straight-up reenacting a Poe story without any real change; this made the book, unfortunately, a little predictable. (And it sorta made it
Michael McClung
I don't know if I can do this. It was painful to read; how much more painful will it be to write about? But my conscience tells me I must, lest someone else accidentally picks up this book under the impression that it might actually readable. Do not, I beg you! Learn from my mistake!

You would think that when Roger Zelazney and Fred Saberhagen get together to write a book it would be worth reading. I mean, these are two of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy. Zelazney rose to immorta
I admit that I struggled some with this book at the beginning, but I believe that this is because Zelazny tends to start a story right in the middle, forcing the reader to catch up to him.

I am not at all familiar with Fred Saberhagen, so I'm not sure what his influences are with this book.

Once I was caught up with the story, this was the type of read that is difficult to put down. I always wanted to read 'just one more chapter.'

Although the book managed to hold my interest through to the end, th
Joel Flank
The Black Throne by Roger Zelazny and Fred Saberhagen is a quirky book by two of science fiction's masters. The story is based around the question, "What if all of Edgar Allen Poe's stories and poems were based on fact?" In this case, the book features a Poe that is from an Earth that has elements such as trained orangutans, mesmerism, magic, alchemy, pits and pendulums, masques of the red death, and more. Unfortunately for Poe, he is switched with his real world Earth analog, a soldier named Ed ...more
Elliot Fleming
I hated reading this. I'm a fan of Saberhagen's Berserker stories and Dracula series, but I gave up on the Swords series. I loved Zelazny's early writing and the Corwin half of the Amber books, and thought the Merlin stories disappointing. So this is two inconstant geniuses writing a pastiche of a third inconstant genius, Edgar Allan Poe. It serves no one well, especially the reader. Others have commented on the story, the characters, and the writing, roundly berating all. This reads as though t ...more
I am starting to wonder if reviewing fantasy paperbacks is even worth it. Just about every single one I have ever picked up has suffered from the same problems.

A band of some sort, complete with a short ugly strong guy, a thin, sexy woman, an animal or two and a protagonist of some sort come together and discover whatever maguffin they need to retrieve. What follows is several hundred pages of barely (or not at all) connected vignettes that must contain violence and magic of some sort, each conv
Reasonably good science-fantasy book (dealing with psychic powers and parallel worlds) interspersed with a lot of Edgar Allen Poe references. (Poe even features as a character in the novel and is the thematic inspiration). Entertaining, and has a lot of hallmarks of both Zelazny's and Saberhagen's styles.
Howard Brazee
I love Zelazny & like Saberhagen, and like Poe, but this dreamlike book didn't work for me.
Based on the concept that Edger Allen Poe writing stories from visions he was seeing of an alternate reality that he was actually from. Fun but somewhat dark, but look it is about Poe so go figure.
It's a weird adventure that uses settings, characters and events from the works of Edgar Allen Poe and weaves them together into something fun and strange. I cannot help liking it.
A rather bizarre novel featuring Edgar Allan Poe, a goldbug, a raven, Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether, a pit and a pendulum, a cask of amontillado, etc.
Richard Gombert
Not a bad book.
Enjoyed all the EA Poe scattered throughout.
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Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is 'A Rose for Ecclesiastes' in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels d ...more
More about Roger Zelazny...
Nine Princes in Amber The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber, #1-10) Lord of Light The Courts of Chaos The Guns of Avalon (Amber Chronicles, #2)

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