Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Steven Brust’s top five Zelazny picks

Over at tor.com, this post from Steven Brust caught my eye: Five Roger Zelazny Books that Changed My Life by Being Awesome

I mean: (a) Steven Brust writes a lot of awesome books; and (b) I’ve read a good many books by Zelazny and have Opinions about many of them, so I was instantly curious. Would my picks line up with Brust’s?

Let’s see:

You always get asked, “When did you know you wanted to be a writer?” And, of course, there’s no answer, or a thousand answers that are all equally valid. But I usually say, “In high school, when I read Zelazny’s Lord of Light.”

Well, now. I wouldn’t personally argue that Lord of Light is a flawless book (and Brust probably wouldn’t either). Some plotting elements really confused me when I first read it. If I read it again now, I kinda think I might still find some of those elements confusing. And yet . . . it is a wonderful book. I too had all the Feels when I read this book.

What other Zelazny books does Brust pick? Looks like This Immortal, Isle of the Dead, Bridge of Ashes, and Creatures of Light and Darkness Click through to read all Brust’s comments about them.

And . . . it turns out I either haven’t read any of those, or I didn’t like the first time I read them and never re-read them.

But after reading Brust’s comments, I think I have to revisit those. Especially Creatures of Light and Darkness.

Roger Zelazny is one of those writers who wasn’t afraid to experiment with odd structures. Remember Doorways in the Sand — not one of Brust’s picks, but imo one of Zelazny’s most interesting works. It starts every chapter in media res, then shows you how the main character got into that fix, then gets him out. Does this work as a device? Maybe, maybe not. Is it a neat thing to try to do? Absolutely.

Anyway, I’m glad to be reminded of Zelazny. His books don’t seem to be available as ebooks, but I think I’ll pick up Creatures of Light and Darkness in paperback and give it a try.

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4 Comments Steven Brust’s top five Zelazny picks

  1. Allan

    Zelazny’s one of my all-time favorite authors! I hadn’t thought about some of these in years. Lord of Light is a classic. I remember reading This Immortal in high school and having a Greek teacher of mine comment that a lot of the names sounded like they were created by a non-Greek trying to make Greek names. But still an enjoyable book.

  2. Steve Hubbell

    Roger Zelazny is the reason I discovered Steven Brust way back in the early 1980’s. His cover blurbs convinced me to buy Jhereg, Yendi, and To Reign in Hell.

  3. Rachel

    Reign in Hell wasn’t my favorite, but Jhereg and Yendi … ! I love nearly that whole series. I know another is coming out this fall, which is great.

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