Roger Zelazny discussion

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Amber > Betancourt's Amber - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (last edited Aug 20, 2009 04:42PM) (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments I liked John Gregory Betancourt's prelude to the Amber series. Others hate it & say he got too much wrong. John said the 5th book would have wrapped up a lot of the inconsistencies, but we may never know. The publisher folded before he wrote it & the new publisher isn't interested. (Jerk!)

What do you think about it?

No spoilers here, please. Use the "Amber - General comments - Spoilers" topic.
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...



message 2: by Grimward (new)

Grimward | 20 comments Here's my two cents (if worth even that! ;-) ):

I think Betancourt made about as good a stab at writing an Amber novel (several, of course!) as anyone who isn't Zelazny could reasonably expect to. That having been said, they're a far cry from the original stuff. I miss Zelazny's almost unique ability to turn words on their heads and make them do tricks in conveying an image. That sharp, rapier-like strike of his wit also is mostly lacking in Betancourt's works. I gave much allowance for his interpretation of the characters and their (lack of?) continuity, so that didn't bother me as much. Perhaps what bothered me most is that he didn't really introduce much that was new or memorable in the stories, and so the books in turn don't establish themselves as good stories in their own right; they need the original works to stand at all...


message 3: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments I'd still like to read the 5th book, but I do agree, it isn't to Zelazny's standards. Few, if any are. The way he described the color of the dawn in "Lord of Light" is a good example of his writing:

"The day of battle dawned pink as the fresh-bitten thigh of a maiden."

Now how can you top that?


message 4: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Shea | 6 comments I would like to see the Sword of Chaos published and for someone to continue the saga taking up after the tenth book.


message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Thomas, I'd like that too. I think there's still a lot more to Amber and it's story has plenty of life left.


message 6: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments Did you read all the short stories too, Jackie?


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) I'm in the middle of them. I don't want the story to end.


message 8: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Shea | 6 comments Jim wrote: "Did you read all the short stories too, Jackie?"

What short stories are you referring to? Have I missed aome Amber stories beyond the 14 books?


message 9: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Blue Horse, Dancing Mountain
The Salesman Tale
Coming to a Cord
Hall of Mirrors
The Shroudling and the Guisel
Prologue to Trumps of Doom


message 10: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Shea | 6 comments Where would I find these stories?


message 11: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments I think they're all in Manna from Heaven, a collection of short stories by Zelazny. If not, Chris will know. He included them all in the volumes of Zelazny's Collected Works that he edited. I'm not sure if they're all in one volume or not, though.


message 12: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Shea | 6 comments I did find them in Manna from Heaven. Thanks.


message 13: by ckovacs (new)

ckovacs | 125 comments Jackie wrote: "Blue Horse, Dancing Mountain
The Salesman Tale
Coming to a Cord
Hall of Mirrors
The Shroudling and the Guisel
Prologue to Trumps of Doom"


You're missing "A Secret of Amber," the story fragment co-written by Zelazny and Ed Greenwood.


message 14: by ckovacs (new)

ckovacs | 125 comments Jim wrote: "I think they're all in Manna from Heaven, a collection of short stories by Zelazny. If not, Chris will know. He included them all in the volumes of Zelazny's Collected Works that he ..."

Those stories, the prolog, plus the story fragment "A Secret of Amber" are all in volume 6, THE ROAD TO AMBER.


message 15: by ckovacs (new)

ckovacs | 125 comments Jim wrote: "I think they're all in Manna from Heaven, a collection of short stories by Zelazny. If not, Chris will know. He included them all in the volumes of Zelazny's Collected Works that he ..."

Forgot to add that the five Amber shorts are in the wrong order in MANNA FROM HEAVEN, but in the correct order in V6: THE ROAD TO AMBER. Together with the story fragment and prolog, the correct sequence is:

"A Secret of Amber"
"Prolog to Trumps of Doom"
"The Salesman's Tale"
"Blue Horse, Dancing Mountains"
"The Shroudling and The Guisel"
"Coming to a Cord"
"Hall of Mirrors"


message 16: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments You can find "A Secret of Amber" on the Amberzine site, I think. It's a PDF of that issue. I didn't think it was all that great since it is a fragment. Apparently Greenwood wrote a bit, then Zelazny would when Greenwood presented it to him at a convention. Unfortunately, it was never finished.


message 17: by Dev (last edited Jan 07, 2012 01:39PM) (new)

Dev Null | 5 comments Bleah.

I didn't dislike these because they weren't Zelazny, I disliked them because I thought they were _bad_.

It would probably be too wordy of me to repeat my original reviews here, so lets see if I can link to them:

The Dawn of Amber
To Rule in Amber

I'll admit to only reading the first 3, but how many chances am I supposed to give the guy?


message 18: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence Sweeney | 4 comments I would like 2 say that while Mr.betancourt's novels may not = Mr. zelazny's picture,I feel he did a credible job bringing the "Founding Fathers" of Amber to life for us. He also gave us an Oberon who had the feel of ganelon 2 him which is what Oberon SAID was the closet 2 the real him. (@ least the way I feel ganelon would be)Would there be THAT MUCH harm in letting those of us who ENJOYED the series so far get 2 have some CLOSER? I ALSO liked the relationship between Dworkin & the Unicorn. Was truly priceless.


message 19: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments I agree with you Lawrence. I enjoyed them & sure wish the final one would be written.


Brenda ╰☆╮    (Brnda) | 35 comments I lost track of Betancourt's Amber, a few years back, when I couldn't easily get the books. The third book seemed to have come out and became unavailable at the same time..... weird....

I liked them well enough. Though as others have said...he is no Zelazny.

I kind of looked at them as a different series of stories all together. I guess that helped.


What is the fourth book called? I couldn't find it, just the first three.


Brenda ╰☆╮    (Brnda) | 35 comments Thank you, Chris.
:)


message 23: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments You might want to stop on #3, Brenda. #4 ends on a horrible cliff hanger & it is very doubtful #5 will ever be written.


Brenda ╰☆╮    (Brnda) | 35 comments Ah... figures...

It would be a while before I get to 4, with my list of to reads. At this point I'd have to start over. I suppose I could hope for an e-book version of #5.

Thanks for the heads up.
:)


message 25: by Lawrence (last edited Jan 06, 2013 01:20PM) (new)

Lawrence Sweeney | 4 comments Ummm,adds new thought 2 WHERE Llewella came into the picture... (sigh) Ok,I'll behave & hope 4 the best from now on,BTW,book 4 leaves U hanging,but won't hurt if you DO read it.it helps pull the first three together & maybe a little insight into other chaotic realms... :)


message 26: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (last edited Jan 06, 2013 02:31PM) (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments Brenda, the publisher went out of business & the one that bought the business has no interest in publishing book 5, so Betancourt never wrote it. He told me he offered to do it as a novella for the HB edition of book 4, I think, but nothing came of it, so he's dropped it.

Maybe if we all wrote to him, we could irritate him enough to try again. It's been quite a while & ebooks weren't really around back then.


Brenda ╰☆╮    (Brnda) | 35 comments :)

:)


Brenda ╰☆╮    (Brnda) | 35 comments Back then......


How time flies...........


message 29: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence Sweeney | 4 comments (sigh)My worry was that Zelazny's estate had revoked the permission. @ least there's still a crumb of hope. LOL,he can always create an ACTUAL internet book (ibook)or as we so fondly know them,an e-book. (SHOCK!)((bad joke about the ibook publishing company is a hazard..)) & if U are having trouble finding the betancourt books,try amazon & hastings. Both have been helpful 2 me. :)Also have an originol guide to Amber on amazon.


message 30: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence Sweeney | 4 comments Well,maybe somebody else knows where to whine to betancourt @,I just spent an un-eventful 45 mins trolling wildside presses site trying to find a link 2 him,and after signing up for the forums I'm STILL awaiting approval. (Maybe they want 2 do a back-ground ck 2 make sure I'm not TOO annoying??) lol,If U can pass on my begging,I'd appreciate it to no end. :)


message 31: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 903 comments Odd, my message didn't post last night. It is John Colby/Brownstone Books who bought the bankrupt iBooks & is the one that has to be nagged, not Betancourt. When we last corresponded, Betancourt had given up even after making several generous offers to finish.

That was 5 years ago. Amazing how much the industry has changed in that time, isn't it?


message 32: by Casey (new)

Casey | 10 comments Well, this is a year and a half later, but what the heck... I for one hope he never does get it published. I wish every copy that ever was would spontaneously combust. (not damaging actual good books nearby).

It is a travesty that anyone got to play in that universe. That Betancourt was the one is even worse. Not just for the lack of style that RZ has, but for taking everything one knows of Amber and throwing it on its ear. As some have said there is a missing volume that supposedly brings it back together, alas, I have a hard time believing that since he would basically have to ignore his first 3 books at the least.

I for one do NOT consider them Amber books. When I read Amber they do not cross my mind. I think I got rid of my copies because I will never give them the time of day and want no part of them.

Am I being harsh? Perhaps. I was honestly surprised to find as many positive statements here as I did. But then we all like different things. I still weep at times that Amber will have unfinished questions... (among all the other things Roger has not been around to write) but after 20 years of that, I've come to realize that nobody else could finish it, or in this case, begin it.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Manna from Heaven (other topics)
Roger Zelazny's The Dawn of Amber (other topics)
Roger Zelazny's Chaos and Amber (other topics)
Roger Zelazny's to Rule in Amber (other topics)
Roger Zelazny's Shadows of Amber (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

John Gregory Betancourt (other topics)