Roger Zelazny discussion

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Amber > Amber - General comments - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (last edited Aug 21, 2009 03:37AM) (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Change: This is now the general Amber topic. Discuss anything about the overall series here, but
No spoilers please! Use the Amber general spoiler topic for that. It's here:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

Old: The book [Nine Princes in Amber:] that started one of the best fantasy series I've ever read. Please discuss it here.


message 2: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments Nine Princes in Amber was the first Zelazny I ever read. The part that hooked me was that it was more mystery than straight up fantasy. It did a good job of setting up the next four books without giving away too much.


message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) With Jim's wonderful and informative help, I bought the entire 10 book series in omnibus form for my boyfriend for Christmas last year, as his uncle had loved the series and had played the computer game based on it, and had shared both with Thomas when he was a kid. (Thomas couldn't remember the exact name of the series, so Jim was able to help me figure it out, among other things, like emailing me some short stories that went along with the series.)

Unfortunately, my boyfriend isn't much of a fiction reader, so I think I will end up reading these before he does again. But he still loves them simply for the fact that it reminds him of a favorite uncle who's passed away.

So, thank you again Jim! :D


message 4: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments You're more than welcome, Becky. I think the Amber series was one of the early Zelazny books for me, too. "Jack Of Shadows" & "Four For Tomorrow" may have come first, though.


message 5: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments There are a lot of books & stories in the Amber series. The main ones are:
1. Nine Princes in Amber (1970)
2. The Guns of Avalon (1972)
3. The Sign of the Unicorn (1975)
4. The Hand of Oberon (1976)
5. The Courts of Chaos (1978)
6. Trumps of Doom (1985)
7. Blood of Amber (1986)
8. Sign of Chaos (1987)
9. Knight of Shadows (1989)
10. Prince of Chaos (1991)

There are also some short stories that were published in Manna from Heaven.
The Trumps of Doom prologue (wasn't included in the Avon paperback I have).
"The Shroudling and the Guisel"
"Blue Horse, Dancing Mountains"
"Coming to a Cord"
"Hall of Mirrors"
I'm not sure of the reading order of them. I figured it out once, but don't have my cheat sheet on me.

Does anyone else know their exact order & where they should be read to fit in chronologically?

There's one last short story, "A Secret of Amber" which is a partial, co-written in alternating sections with author Ed Greenwood, published in Amberzine #12-15, March 2005.

There is also Visual Guide to Castle Amber. As I recall the intro, that was Zelazny & several other writers badgering him into it, so it's written by several, but had his stamp of approval.


message 6: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments If you're still hungry for Amber when you finish the saga, why not go back to the well Zelazny drew from and read some of the works that inspired Amber?

Philip Jose Farmer's World of Tiers
Henry Kuttner's Dark World





message 7: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I really liked the first World of Tiers, but wound up disappointed with the finish of the series. I waited for decades for the last two books & then wished I'd never read them.

I haven't read any of Kuttner's stuff. I guess I'll have to put him on my list, too. Thanks, Dan. Just what my tottering to-read pile needs...
;-)


message 8: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments I haven't read the Kuttner either but it's on my watch list.

The World of Tiers is one of my favorites but I skipped Red Orc's Rage after reading a couple reviews. The ending of the saga wasn't bad but could have been better. Kickaha never did find Jadawin or find out who his father was, did he?


message 9: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I think he did find Jadawin, or at least knew where he was. Didn't find his father, as I recall. I was so disappointed by then that it was work to finish the book. I'd been waiting for the books for 30 years though. I guess I quit looking a few years before the 4th came out (I know, a mere decade is nothing!) & missed them until last year.

I wish I'd skipped 'Rage'. I guess Farmer's quirky sense of humor got the better of him. I never could figure out if it was true or not that a psycho therapy was based on role playing that universe. Seems too far out, but shrinks are very weird people. My SIL is one. Nice gal, but stranger than fiction.

Did you ever read 'Lord Tyger' by Farmer? Updated Tarzan story. Excellent!


message 10: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments I own Lord Tyger but haven't read it yet. It's on the pile.


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

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Move it up! I may need to skim through it since I just read Tarzan & Return of Tarzan for another group. It would be fun to read Farmer's take while they are still fresh.


message 12: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments Jim wrote: "Move it up! I may need to skim through it since I just read Tarzan & Return of Tarzan for another group. It would be fun to read Farmer's take while they are still fresh."

Man, make a guy Keeper of the Pattern and he starts giving orders...


message 13: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments It's all your fault.

;-)


message 14: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Is everyone ready to read Nine Princes in Amber? It looks like it will be our September read.

I wonder how many will be able to read just this & not the rest of the series?




message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) I will be ready by September. For me, I can never stop at the first book of a series, unless I really really hate the first book and that's never happened yet.


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments I've got it at the top of my to-read pile. It's in a volume with the rest of the first 5, so might be tough to stop at the end of Nine Princes....


message 17: by Brandon (last edited Aug 18, 2009 02:50PM) (new)

Brandon | 4 comments "The Shroudling and the Guisel"
"Blue Horse, Dancing Mountains"
"Coming to a Cord"
"Hall of Mirrors"
I would read them in this order.
1. Blue horse
2. shroudling
3. coming to a cord
4. hall of mirrors
I believe that these stories are the first few chapters in the beginning of the 11th book of amber. It would be very exciting if zelazny was still alive.


message 18: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Thanks, Brandon. You said they all take place after the 10th book, so they're like the first couple of chapters of an 11th. Wish he'd lived to write it.


message 19: by Gregory (last edited Aug 19, 2009 02:18PM) (new)

Gregory (gregamused) | 2 comments Been a long time since I read Nine Princes in Amber. But I recall it fondly. Enough fondness that I bought The Great Book of Amber not to long ago so that I wouldn't have to hunt down the individual volumes. But it's really a tome and won't travel well. I guess it will be a bedside companion once I start it. Wonder if others own it and if it has stayed in one piece over time as it looks a bit fragile.


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

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I've bought 2 copies of The Great Book of Amber & read each once. One copy was read at least once before I read it & is still in one piece, but it probably doesn't have more than a couple more reads in it. I prefer the individual books since I like to carry a book to read at lunch.

I gave one copy of The Great Book of Amber to Brandon a couple/few years ago. He mentioned today on the phone that it had fallen to pieces, but I don't know how many times he read it. When I have a question about Amber, I ask him. He seems to have it memorized.


message 21: by Dan, Jack of Shadows (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) | 55 comments I've got The First Chronicle of Amber from the Science Fiction Book Club. It's fairly sturdy and easier to transport than The Great Big Honkin' Book of Amber that I see at Borders.


message 22: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Dan, that's where I got my copy from, same one as you. I plan on getting The Second Chronicles of Amber before I finish this one.
I love sci fi book club, I get tons of books for free and decent deals on others.


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

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments The First & Second Chronicle books are hardbacks, aren't they? The Great Book is a paperback, at least both editions that I've had. A bit much to ask out of that binding, IMO.


message 24: by Gregory (last edited Aug 20, 2009 07:11AM) (new)

Gregory (gregamused) | 2 comments Now that you guys mention it, I had that SFBC edition (vol. 1) years ago. It was this cool cover: The Chronicles of Amber 1 Nine Princes in Amber/The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny

I believe that I donated it to my local library at a time that I needed to move and shed some stuff. Lost many great old SFBC editions in that move.


message 25: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Yes, Jim, Hardcover.


message 26: by Chris (last edited Aug 20, 2009 03:56PM) (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 84 comments Greg, the one you pictured there is an old one, only having the first two amber novels. The newest one has the first 5 books, and the Second Chronicles has the second series of 5:

The First Chronicles of Amber (Books 1-5) by Roger Zelazny

The First Chronicles of Amber
The Second Chronicles of Amber (GR doesn't have a picture for the Second)


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

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I've renamed this topic from 'Nine Princes in Amber' to a general topic, since that's what it is. No spoilers here, please. I'll set up another general with spoilers. We'll also be setting up 2 topics for each Amber book, spoiler & non-spoiler. Another 2 topics for the short stories & other Amber related books. That will still give us over a couple of dozen to wade through & choose from.


message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) That's an excellent way of doing spoilers/no spoilers, Jim. I like it.


message 29: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Thanks, Jackie. Thanks most of all to all who helped us figure out how to do it.


message 30: by Mohammed , Dilvish The Damned (new)

Mohammed  (mohammedaosman) | 83 comments I didnt know the connection beteween Kuttner Dark World and Zelazny's series. I knew alot SFF greats rate Kuttner highly.

I was gonna get that book already since i find Kuttner interesting.


message 31: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 4 comments Greg wrote: "Now that you guys mention it, I had that SFBC edition (vol. 1) years ago. It was this cool cover: The Chronicles of Amber 1 Nine Princes in Amber/The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny

I believ..."


Dad/Jim gave me this set. The first book has two stories in it and the second had the remaining three. I like them, the artwork is cool, but I have a hard time fitting them in with all my paperbacks. Also its true my copy of the great book of amber is in sad sad shape. I think I may get the individual paperbacks.


message 32: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments You never sent me a list of the Zelazny books you have, Brandon. I have an extra copy of "This Immortal" on the way & you can have my copy of "The Great Book of Amber". I do have all the individual books in good shape.


message 33: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) I love it that your kids are such avid readers, Jim. Mine looks at books like a vampire looks at a cross, LOL
Hi Brandon!


message 34: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 4 comments Hi Jackie!



message 35: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Thanks, Jackie. The oldest one, James, doesn't care for fiction much, but but even he has read "This Immortal" by Zelazny. Otherwise all the rest of us read pretty much the same things which is nice. Makes it easier to keep a collection of books up.

It's not all roses, though. Now that they're out of the house, they tend to whine about not having access to their library & they swipe books when they come over, then take months to return them! The only defense is to get them their own copies & that gets expensive.

It always amazes me to find a paperback I got for a dollar or two now sells on Amazon for $50 used. Several of Zelazny's books are like that. I've never found a copy of his poetry, "Spin the Miracle Cat" for a reasonable price.

My old "The Illustrated Zelazny", which has a little known Amber story & a Jack of Shadows story in it, is now incomplete. I've seen copies of it as high as $125!!!


message 36: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Doesn't that drive you crazy? There was a book I wanted, can't remember what, but they wanted over $300 for it USED on amazon. Obviously I put THAT out of my brain.
The price of new books blows me away too, it's getting where I can't even afford new books. It's a shame, really.


message 37: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments I'd think with such high prices on some of the used books, publishers would re-issue them. Karl E. Wagner's books are a good example, too. One of his books of short stories commands astronomical prices as does his biography.

Thank goodness for BookMooch & PaperBackSwap. I often pick up copies of expensive books from them for the cost of shipping another book, about $3. I got a nonfiction hardback by Donald Hamilton that way. Amazon had one copy & they wanted $80 for it.


message 38: by Greyweather (new)

Greyweather | 63 comments Becky wrote: "With Jim's wonderful and informative help, I bought the entire 10 book series in omnibus form for my boyfriend for Christmas last year, as his uncle had loved the series and had played the computer game based on it..."

Are you referring to Zangband, or is there another such game?


message 39: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Jim wrote: "...My old "The Illustrated Zelazny", which has a little known Amber story & a Jack of Shadows story in it, is now incomplete. I've seen copies of it as high as $125!!!"

I know this is weird, quoting myself, but I found another copy of the book & just read through it. I was wrong about the Amber story. It's an 'Amber Tapestry', just pictures of scenes from the first 5 books. I paid under $10 for it, too.

It does have a Jack of Shadows story in it that precedes the book of that name.



message 40: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 1 comments i havent yet read any of his books but have bought The Chronicles of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1-5 omnibus) by Roger Zelazny which i plan to read in a few weeks.

Im really looking forward to it as thre few fantasy books ive read have been quite similar (LOTS, Magican, Memory, Sorrow, Thorn) so im hoping for something a bit different.


message 41: by Jim, Keeper of the Pattern (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 975 comments Well, Zelazny is certainly different. The Amber series is one of his more mundane works. I don't say that in a bad way, though. It's a good introduction to his writing. Some of his other stuff is pretty esoteric. Until you get an idea of where he's coming from, they can be hard to follow.


message 42: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 5 comments Yes, if you like the Amber books and are ready for something that will mess with your head a little more (but is still a lot of fun), try Doorways in the Sand next.


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