Roger Zelazny discussion

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message 1: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Some friends & I decided that Roger Zelazny deserved his own group. Please join us in discussing his books & let us know you're here.


message 2: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I've created a bunch of folders & tried to add a topic or two to each one to get them started. Please feel free to add your own.

If you're not sure what folder a new topic belongs in, give it your best shot. I wasn't sure with some of them. Zelazny never fit into the normal categories from what I can tell.

Most of all, please relax, enjoy & discuss one of the best authors of all times.


message 3: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 7 comments Long overdue accolade, good going Jim!
I have loved Zelazny's writing for a very long time, and have many of his first editions, bought new, from way back.

People are always saying this or that new author is "so original" - well, this man deserved the praise more than any.


message 4: by Becky (last edited Aug 08, 2009 09:03AM) (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Hello hello! Hi Jim! Thanks for the invite.

I haven't yet read anything by Zelazny, but as you know, I have The Great Book of Amber and several short stories here at home.... and one day I hope to read them! :)

I also have several other books, This Immortal, Roadmarks, and Damnation Alley, on my TBR from your recs, Jim.

Maybe now I'll have incentive to buy them!


message 5: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 7 comments Becky you are in for some truly wonderful, thought provoking, MIND BENDING reads.


message 6: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Janny wrote: "Becky you are in for some truly wonderful, thought provoking, MIND BENDING reads."

I certainly hope so! :)


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments Hey everyone...thanks for the invite, Jim....this looks like a cool group, and I've been wanting to try Zelazny for awhile now.


message 8: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Hi! Thank you for coming. I agree with Janny & envy those of you who haven't read many of his books yet.


message 9: by Misha (new)

Misha (ninthwanderer) I read a lot of Zelazny books when I was in high school in the late 80s/early 90s and Zelazny, Bradbury and Asimov were my holy trinity of SF writers. The Amber series and Lord of Light are eternal favorites. There's much of his work I haven't read. I look forward to discovering more.


message 10: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Welcome, Misha. Put in a vote for the group read for September, then. I think "This Immortal" has been nominated so far.

I think the October read should be A Night in the Lonesome October, though. It's just too perfect.


message 11: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Great idea. I haven't read as much of Zelazny as I'd like. I'm hoping to get good recommendations.


message 12: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Hi, Jackie. Thank you for coming by.


message 13: by Grimward (last edited Aug 09, 2009 12:44PM) (new)

Grimward | 20 comments For those of you who might want "ALL" of his stuff (or, at least, most of it), the new Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny series released this year is a great opportunity to get your wish. Each story is accompanied by notes surrounding its submission, publication and other such peripherals that give insight into what was going on in Zelazny's life when the story was published, etc. There are 6 books in all, and the first 4 have been released. I'm on book 3, and have loved all of it so far!

Jim, a very good idea. I love reading, talking and learning more about RZ, so kudos for giving me yet another avenue to do so.


message 14: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Thanks for the tip Grimward! :)


message 15: by Grimward (new)

Grimward | 20 comments You betcha, Becky. The books are published by NESFA press, and (by this point) the first 4 should also be readily available from a certain mega on-line bookseller, too...;-)


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

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I have the first two of the collected stories, but haven't cracked them yet. I probably should have been reading them while on vacation, but wound up reading a lot of other stuff instead. Thanks for the news about the next two. I did put them in my cart, so I wouldn't forget (unlikely!).


message 17: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 23 comments Thanks for the invitation, Jim. I have not read much Zelazny, but "The Doors of his Face, the Lamps of his Mouth" is among my favorite handful of short stories, as well as being one of the first sci-fi stories I ever read. This should be an interesting group.


message 18: by Libby (new)

Libby | 9 comments Hi all - I've not read Zelazny but am excited to try him due to the high praise he gets from other readers. Where is the best starting point for a newbie?


message 19: by Erich (new)

Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann (erichfranzlinnerguzmann) | 22 comments I am really excited about this group! I have read Lord of Light and it instantly became one of my top five favorite books. Then Jim recommended This Immortal to me and that is all it took! I am hooked on Zelazny! Dan recommended A Night in the Lonesome October but am not sure if I should wait until October or not.


message 20: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I just made a new topic for the October group read. Guess what I nominated?


message 21: by Grimward (last edited Aug 11, 2009 10:43PM) (new)

Grimward | 20 comments Hi Libby.

Do you prefer to read an author in the order they published their stories, are you just looking for a good story, or do you want to get into a series?

If you're looking for something like the the order in which he published, Zelazny's widely praised for A Rose for Ecclesiastes. This wasn't his very first published work (and yes, my hat's off to the editors of the Collected Stories for imparting this knowledge!), but it's generally regarded as the one that first won him wide recognition.

If you're just looking for a good story, Nick's reference to Doors/Lamps is a great one. I personally love Damnation Alley and And Call Me Conrad/This Immortal.

If you want to jump into a series (which most who are trying a new author don't normally want to do, at least until they've "sampled"), his seminal work are the two Chronicles of Amber series, but that's a lot of pages. Maybe something like Dilvish the Damned/Madwand, as it's shorter?

These are just ideas, of course; he's got tons of other stuff, most of which could easily pass muster for you to get exposed to him.

Hope you like whatever you do choose!


message 22: by Mohammed , Dilvish The Damned (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) | 83 comments Hi Grimward are you the same Grimward from SFFchronicles ?


JG (Introverted Reader) Hello! Chris and Jim pointed me to this group when they saw that I want to read Nine Princes in Amber. I haven't read any of Zelazny's work yet, but after hearing so many people rave about him, I'm very curious to try him out.


message 24: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Welcome, JG. What a long, strange & interesting trip you're in for!


message 25: by Libby (new)

Libby | 9 comments Grimward wrote: "Hi Libby.

Do you prefer to read an author in the order they published their stories, are you just looking for a good story, or do you want to get into a series?

If you're looking for something ..."


Thanks for the recommends. I prefer to start with an author's stronger works to get a taste for their style etc. and then move into a series.

I recently bought Lord of Light which seemed quite interesting. I'm also trying to track down the first Amber book for the September read. I found an omnibus edition of all the books but it was pretty hefty and would be tough to read unless you were sitting at a table.


message 26: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Thanks for inviting me, Jim. I've not read much of Zelazny yet, other than Jack of Shadows which was surprisingly good and one of the most unusual vampire stories I've read, and Damnation Alley which was kind of cheesy, but satisfied my need for mindless action and fun.


message 27: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Glad you made it, Nancy. Our first group read, in September, is going to be Nine Princes in Amber. It's the start of one the best fantasy series ever, IMO.

Jack of Shadows is one of my favorites, too.


message 28: by Mohammed , Dilvish The Damned (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) | 83 comments How is Damnation Alley cheesy ? Just because Mad Max and its rip offs look cheesy in film ?

I think Damnation Alley was a well written and fun post apocalyptic story. I was impressed Zelazny could do a character like Tanner well.


message 29: by Nancy (last edited Aug 27, 2009 10:35AM) (new)

Nancy Maybe that was the wrong word to use. I really enjoyed the book, hence my 4-star rating. It's just that after I was done reading, I had the feeling Damnation Alley was not the best, most original, or most mind-blowing example of Zelazny's work. But it was lots of fun.


message 30: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments The movie with George Pepard was certainly cheesy. I haven't seen it in 30 years, thank the PTB.

I did think the book was kind of cheesy, but was supposed to be. It was part of its charm. Heroic biker thug saves the world & then flips it off. Giant spiders, bats, snakes & lizards. Kind of James Dean takes on all the grade B SF movie horrors, like "Tarantula" or "Attack of the Killer Shrews" & wins.

I think I rated it with 4 stars, too. Well done cheese isn't bad, it's fun.


message 31: by Greyweather (new)

Greyweather | 63 comments Hi all. My journey started with Lord of Light, which instantly became a personal favorite, and since then I've been slowly reading through more of his books in the hopes that at some point he surpassed even that masterpiece.

I haven't found such a book yet but I'll keep at it until I've read them all.


message 32: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Jim wrote: "The movie with George Pepard was certainly cheesy. I haven't seen it in 30 years, thank the PTB..."

I've never seen the film. Should I bother?


message 33: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Welcome, Greyweather!

Nancy, I don't know your taste in movies, but I certainly would get two movies to watch that night & be prepared to turn this off. Think of George Peppard in "The A Team" & then screw up a good book Hollywood style.


message 34: by Mohammed , Dilvish The Damned (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) | 83 comments Nancy wrote: "Maybe that was the wrong word to use. I really enjoyed the book, hence my 4-star rating. It's just that after I was done reading, I had the feeling Damnation Alley was not the best,..."

I agree not the best of Zelazny but a good book of its type. Thats why i too rated it 4 stars.

For me cheesy is a bad thing unless its some intentionally cheesy,funny.



message 35: by Libby (new)

Libby | 9 comments It's Sunday, the dishes are not done, the laundry is piling up and the dust bunnies are rioting in the corner . . . . but it doesn't matter because I have found Amber! Thanks to all for bringing this writer into my life. Picked up my The Great Book of Amber yesterday and can't seem to stop! It's a great blend of creative adventure, fascinating characters and humor.


message 36: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Uh oh! Another family suffers a 'starve for yourself' night. Oh well, they'll survive it. ;-)

Glad you're liking it, Libby! Wait until you read some of his other stuff. Amber is good, but it's certainly not his most powerful work.


message 38: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Hi, Bradley. Have any games based on Zelazny stuff?


message 39: by Mir (new)

Mir | 21 comments My first encounter with Zelazny was the original Amber series. It was the summer between 5th and 6th grade and my mother gave me the two-volume set, which she had picked up used and without the dust jackets. So I had no idea what they were about when I started -- very interesting reading them that way, the fantasy stuff is unexpected after the more mystery-ish beginning. I thought they were one of the best "grown up" books I'd ever encountered and probably did nothing but read until I made it through all five.


message 40: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Wow! Fantastic find by your mother.


message 41: by Mir (new)

Mir | 21 comments Oddly, she doesn't even read much fantasy, but she introduced me to several of my favorite authors: Lewis, Tolkien, L'Engle, Zelazny, and a few others.


message 42: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Happy Thanksgiving to all!


message 43: by Kara (new)

Kara (sterlink) Hi Everyone! =)

I just put The Great Book of Amber on hold at the library and I can't wait to go pick it up. I have been hearing about the world of Amber (all good) for a while now, and I already have this feeling that I will love the book and should just go ahead and buy it... but then, I wouldn't get that extra feeling of character that comes from the beat up, old hardback, likely smelly, library book.


message 44: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Welcome, Kara. The Great Book is pretty big for a paperback. It only lasts for a few good readings. If you really like the series, you can pick it up used fairly inexpensively on Ebay.


message 45: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) Hello,
I'm Hugh, and I'be been a Zelazny fan from way back. I haven't read some of his most recent writing, but I really liked the Chronicles of Amber!

As for me, I'm old (to some) and grumpy (to most) glad to find the group, Jim.


message 46: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Welcome, Hugh. Have you read Doorways in the Sand, Today We Choose a Face, or Damnation Alley? All are SF works of his rather than fantasy, but I think you'll like them quite a bit. I've reviewed all of them without spoilers, if you're interested.


message 47: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) You bet I'm interested. I pushed the books until my friends read them when I was just out of High School, the Chronicels of Amber that is, and they read his Sci-fi stuff and recommended it to me... well, it's high time I repay the favor and read some. (since the reader is who benifits mostly anyway.)


message 48: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) I wouldn't worry about it. I think that when people read a work so rich in lots of different themes and ideas like the Amber Chronicels, everybody focuses in on what they like, then, when they writea "Source Book" or a "Companion" nobody ever likes it because it doesn't focus on those things that they thought were wonderful. There's too much to like.

I'd say if you haven't seen where it strays, then it's probably written by a like mind and, worth the time reading it.


message 49: by Reg (new)

Reg (tock) | 37 comments Hey Jim and welcome Hugh (always nice to see a fellow curmudgeon)! I see some Zelazny SF recommendations being made (including one of my all-time favorites "Doorways in the Sand") and thought I'd toss Lord of Light on that list. I just re-read it not too long ago and it's still pretty brilliant. Cheers.


Brenda ╰☆╮    (brnda) | 36 comments Hi, just starting to find my way around Goodreads. Glad to find some fellow Zelazny readers.
Most people I am in touch with are not interested in fantasy or science fiction.
( Oh, what they are missing.)

Anyway, I've been reading his books since I was a teen. He is dearly missed.
It's about time I read some Zelazny, that I never got to.
Afraid I got stuck on Amber. Just love the characterization so much.
Any suggestions as to my next are welcome.
I've also read Changeling
and Madwand.


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