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This Immortal

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,364 ratings  ·  167 reviews
Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he'd rather not talk about. And, as arts commissioner, he's been given a job he'd rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a guided tour of the shattered remains of Earth is not something he relishes - especially since it is apparent that this places him at the center of high-level intrigue that has some bearing on ...more
Published June 3rd 2008 by Audible Frontiers (first published January 1st 1966)
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This is a lot of fun to read & one of my favorite books of all time. Post apocalyptic earth is being toured by an alien, whose species helped save us after we mostly blew up our home. The tour guide, Conrad, who tells the story from his POV & most of the trip is through a surreal blending of SF & diverse mythology brought to life by radiation. It's short, quirky, & simple on the surface, but there are offhand references, names & partial quotes that make this story a bit of a ...more
May 03, 2015 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Jim MacLachlan
It’s embarassing that this is my first read of Zelazny. I’d always pictured his work as quirky fantasy, not something that would appeal to my decades long affinity for hard sci fi over the decades. But I am more open to fantasy now, and, besides, this one is science fiction, and a delightful one at that.

The setting is a post-nuclear apocalyptic Earth where the remaining humans, numbering only in a few million, are divided between those who live a utopian life under the support of an advanced al
6.0 stars. I just re-read this classic by Roger Zelazny and I was very impressed. Not quite as good as Lord of Light (then again how many books are), but still a smart, well written and original science fiction story combining elements of post-apocalyptic science fiction, alien travelogue and mythic fiction.


Many hundreds of years following a devastating nuclear war call "The Three Days," the Earth has a population of only four million and is infested with a variety of mutated
Dan Schwent
As you can tell from the title, This Immortal is about an immortal. The Earth is in bad shape after a three day nuclear exchange and most people have fled Earth for Vega where they are second class citizens. Conrad, the immortal of the title, is tasked with escorting a Vegan on a tour of various Earth ruins, accompanied by several other people, most of which want the Vegan dead and the Earthlings on Vega to come home.

Despite the length of time it took me to read this, I liked it a lot. The char
I wish that I could give this book a higher rating, I do. But as it is, I think that "It was OK" sums it up perfectly for me.

This was my very first Zelazny, and it may not have been the best one to start with. But I just love post-apocalyptic books, and I had wanted to read this one since I heard that it was one. I won't let the fact that this didn't get a higher rating turn me off of Zelazny though. :)

There were a few things that made this book less than great for me.

First, I was under the im
What Roger Zelazny did best was short stories, but he certainly wrote a lot of novels too. There was a period in the late 60s when his formula was to take a classic set of myths, and rework them as SF. He did Hindu and Buddhist mythology in Lord of Light (very good), and the Egyptian gods in Creatures of Light and Darkness (dull).

This Immortal is an SF retelling of the Hercules legend, and quite decent. It doesn't have the epic scope or the poetry of Lord of Light, but the Hercules character is
[Originally read September 20-21, 2010]

I should start by noting that I didn't read the full version of this novel -- instead, I read the abridged one that first appeared in two parts in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This is the actual version which won the Hugo Award, and as much as I would have liked to find the full version, my library system didn't have it, so I had to settle for the abridged one, found in Volume 2 of the Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny: Power and Light.

This 5 star rating is more about this book than about how much I enjoyed it. This book is set in a post-apocalyptic Earth. It has a basic---if epic---journey as its central plot, with only one truly interesting character. But what a Kallikanzaros he turns out to be!

Conrad, the narrator, comes back to the radioactive Earth to lead an alien Vegan on a tour of Mediterranean ruins. The mutations and alien species introduced after the nuclear conflagration has made most of the world inhospitable. Man
To begin, this book should not be called This Immortal. It's a terrible title, and by all accounts Zelazny himself preferred the name he used when he serialized the novel: ...And Call Me Conrad. You can see why.

Zelazny is remembered as one of SF's cleverest, most exciting writers. His heroes are larger than life, the adventures they find themselves in are even bigger, and they're surrounded by richly imagined settings and supporting casts. None of this matters. What does is that he was a masterf
I've worn out several paperbacks of this book. It's brilliant & well worth multiple re-reads. There's always a new tidbit to find, but it's also just a wonderful journey. Zelazny poetically & subtly uses classical references to draw a 'fantastic' post-apocalyptic world. On its face, the book is a good, straight SF story with a bit of PSI powers tossed into the radioactive mix. The subtexts & foreshadowing are so masterful, all set to prose that is often poetic.

When I saw there was an
Although this is a classic, it's one of the few older sci-fi stories that isn't too dated, as the setting is a post-nuclear war Earth at some indefinite point in the future and all the technology is vague and generically futuristic (like "skimmers"). It's the characters where Zelazny exercised his imagination. Earth is now overrun by mutants who resemble creatures out of myth, and the main character, Conrad, appears to be an immortal and may even be a god. He's a typical Zelazny main character: ...more
Cedric Nye
I have read this book countless times, and still I love it!

Nomikos, how old are you?

This tale takes us on a wild ride through a post-nuclear war earth, that has been ravaged by not only war, but also an alien species.

Nomikos is the star of this show. He moves slowly, until it is time to act. Even Hassan the Assassin fears the hard hands of Nomikos!

He broke an alien bat's neck, and fell hundreds of feet, and he survived all the ravages of a harsh and unforgiving world; yet still he fights for his
Amy Sturgis
This novel tied with Frank Herbert's Dune for the 1966 Hugo Award, and although it's no Dune (an unfair comparison for almost any work), it holds up remarkably well. Every time I read Roger Zelazny, I remind myself that I should seek out more of his work.

This Immortal takes place on a post-apocalyptic earth where "hot spots" are the lasting gift of a nuclear war and mutant humans who resemble creatures out of myth are reclaiming the land. The main character, Conrad Nomikos, seems to be immortal
Kat  Hooper
4.5 stars
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The Earth has been mostly depopulated as humans have discovered more sophisticated and comfortable cultures elsewhere in the universe. Much of its infrastructure was destroyed during “The Three Days,” and most of the mainland areas are still “hot.” Genetic mutations have caused the birth of creatures previously thought to be only myth. Now Earth is a strange and dangerous place, fit only as a tourist attraction and a vacation spot for the Vegans.

Detaylar için

Bu Ölümsüz, 1950-1960’lı yıllara ait bilimkurgu kitaplarını okumam sırasında okuduğum farklı kitaplardan bir tanesiydi. Öncelikli işlenen tema ve genel tarzını çok farklı buldum.

Felaketler sonrasında yaşanmaz bir hale gelen ve bir süre sonra bir şekilde kendini toparlamış olan bir dünya ve bu dünyaya kontrol amaçlı gelen uzaylı bir grubun ölümsüz bir adam olan ana kahramanımız Conrad’ın tur rehberi ile olan dünya gezisi anlatılmakta.

Bilimkurgu temalı olan hik
Joy H.
_This Immortal_ was my first sci-fi book. At first I had trouble getting into it (too many strange names and places), but once I did, I found that it was a good story. Zelazny's writing style takes some getting used to. He makes quite a few references to classical literature or mythology. Much of it went over my head. However, once I got into the story I found that his dialogue was well done, much of it with humor. His descriptions were vivid. The story is full of strange other-world characters. ...more
Couldn't decide between 3 and four stars. Maybe a little more than 3. The novel is enjoyable, but I felt that Zelazny could have done more with the plot. Conrad (or the Kalikantzaros) is in charge of preserving the treasures of the Earth, but finds himself protecting a visiting Vegan (that's a person from the star system Vega, not one who avoids good food) during the Vegan's tour of Earth. The Vegan's have purchased most of the Earth after humans almost destroyed it along with themselves after a ...more
I can usually understand why a text wins a Hugo--but not here. What starts as pausanian travelogue for an extraterrestrial ends up apollonian struggle with neo-mythical creatures arising out of a nuked wasteland. Random adventures in wilderness, hints of deep past, never realized. Pointless encounters like an RPG. Narrator may be a mutant or a demigod; it's all very nebulous. But either way, who cares? Ultimately and expressly affirms feudal property tenure over revolutionary politics. Barf.
May 29, 2014 Robert added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is Zelazny's first novel - and, unfortunately, it shows. There's enough plot for a taut novella but this is bulked up to twice that size by lengthy, dull conversations and superfluous or overly emphasized fight scenes. The characters are not particularly interesting and the plot, such as there is of it, is basically incomprehensible until explained by a pile of exposition at the end. I can't really recommend this even to Zelazny fans.
I wanted to like this book, about an immortal warrior forced to tour an alien about post-apocalyptic Europe (it makes sense in the book). There's just a few too many deus ex machinas to forgive, and the resolution is straight-up zany. Next!
Conrad Nomikos is not what he first appears. On the outside he seems to be in his thirties, walks with a limp, one side of his face is disfigured, and he has a government job working with Earth's antiquities. Dig a little deeper and you learn that he's been working that job at least twenty years, he knows the most powerful and influential people on a first-name basis, and he talks about historical events in a more intimate way than most.

THIS IMMORTAL, by Roger Zelazny, is told from Conrad's PoV,
Still intermittently working my way through the Hugo Award Winners for Best Novel, I happened upon my first bit of Roger Zelazny's work in "This Immortal".

When you get to the end of this book, it's rewarding. When you see the whole idea come together and wrap up rather nicely, it's a decent work. It's just the getting there that's a bit of a tough part.

Conrad Nomikos, human (?), or Earthling, anyway is hired to lead Vegan explorer Myshtigo on a tour of an all but destroyed planet Earth. There ma
This book shared the '66 Hugo award with Dune, which is quite an honor by itself. In contrast to Dune, it's a quick 200 pages. But like Dune (and like most Zelazny books), it thrusts you into a story without any introduction and expects you to learn about the characters and history that led up to the storyline by clues you pick up along the way.

Zelazny has created something like a Greek epic. It takes place in Greece, has Greek Hero's and Monsters. What's missing from a typical Greek epic are th
Absolutely stunning. Considering this novel was written in 1966, it still has a very modern feeling narrative voice. I really enjoyed the post-apocalyptic setting; with myths come to life, a ruined earth and a fragmented human population. It is not all bleak though, as Zelazny manages the very hard task of imbuing his vision of a devastated earth with a beauty that is frankly quite breathtaking.

The characterization is brilliant and I really felt the alien-ness of Cort Mishtigo. I particularly e
This is one of Roger Zelazny's two Hugo nods--in this instance he shared the award with Frank Herbert's Dune (and yes, that means I will have to try to read that stinker before this project is done. Ugh.) In any event, Zelazny is a total stud, or would become one eventually with his series, The Chronicles of Amber. Not yet in possession of his nimble facility for weaving modern dialogue and characters into traditional sci-fi and fantasy milieus, Zelazny doesn't quite hit on all cylinders in This ...more
Darya Conmigo
Все же Зилазни (Зелазни, Желязны, вариации) - отличный писатель и расказчик. Жонглировать цитатами из Шекспира на фоне древнегреческого мифа, прикрываясь жанром вроде-как-научной-вроде-как-фантастики - высший пилотаж.

Отрывок про два оттенка белого, невидимых земному глазу, я прочла лет в пятнадцать и запомнила на всю жизнь вне всякого контекста. А сейчас перечла - и стало ясно, что это вообще одна из лучших известных мне литературных сцен. Потому что в ней - всё. Ну хорошо - всё, что имеет какое
Books that are not mainstream will be 'unmainstream'. Just saying.
I got this for... Oh, must have been like, $.20 at my library, if not less. It's fun to buy random books there and read them; one never knows what one will get. (Box of chocolates, folks)
So, Greeks, aliens, and sci-fi? Yes.
The characters have personalities, and it does have a plot. Other than the Greeks/aliens/sci-fi, that's most of what it has going for it. It is not written... badly... per say, but that's not to say it's written
In 1966 the Hugo Award for best SF novel was a tie between this book, Zelazny's debut novel, and Frank Herbert's "Dune". In retrospect this is possible a slightly surprising decision since one of those books has been significantly more influential than the other, but while this isn't as genre-defining a work as Dune is, it is still a fine novel.

It's also a lot shorter than Dune, but Zelazny does manage to pack a lot into what by modern standards would be a very brief novel. The premise of a see

So you’re cruising Genreville, looking for something unique. You dismiss Best Seller Highway, Bodice Ripper Boulevard and Thriller Trail out of hand as too commercial. You pull through SF Junction and Western Way, Fantasy Circle and Horror Lane, but don’t find anything to your liking. You drive and drive and drive until you find yourself in a section of town you aren’t familiar with. The asphalt is full of potholes, the surrounding blocks underdeveloped. You stop and co
This book seemed new to me again, it had been so long since I last read it.

Zelazny most definitely has a distinctive "style," though I'm hard-pressed to define just what that is. In part, his descriptions are short, and concise. He uses dry wit to get some points across. his characters are always fallible -- even the infallible ones.

Here, "Conrad" has a history that goes back further than anyone can really trace. He has the strength that others can only imagine, and he is very subtle about all o
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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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