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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dear Roger

I have mentioned before what a major inspiration the late writer Roger Zelazny was in my life. I first discovered him while attending boarding school. The book was Creatures of Light and Darkness.

In the ensuing years I devoured every Zelazny book I could get my hands on. The recipient of multiple Hugo's and Nebula Awards, Roger wrote the best science fiction of his or to my taste, any time.

Lord of Light, Nine Princes of Amber, Jack of Shadows, Mana from Heaven, Home is the Hangman, the list is endless.

When I was young and wandered into a bookstore and was lucky enough to find a new Amber book, an event that happened about once a year, it felt like christmas every time. No matter where I was in my life, it meant a stop, a time out so that I could find myself in the comfort of Zelaznyland again.

Roger missed occasionally, who doesn't? But he had an appreciation for the intricacies of the human condition, an ear for language and a literary batting average that towered above the great majority of his peers.

I was lucky enough to meet my literary inspiration, several times in fact. Had an opportunity to tell him how much he meant to me. Never will you find a more humble and wonderful artistic hero.

I was in the library the other day and chanced upon a book by Roger that I had never seen, Threshold Volume 1: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny. It is first of a completed six volume set, everything the man ever wrote. This volume covers work from his early years through the mid 1960s including The Doors of his face, the lamps of his mouth.

I am in heaven. There is stuff in here that I have never seen. Yippee. For more information about the New England Science Fiction Association's Zelazny Project, click here.

1 comment:

island guy said...

Congratulations, what a find! Alas, some of the science fiction writers I loved as a teenager no longer are satisfying reads, so I couldn't enjoy a new (to me) story fully. I know Zelazny is good at any point in one's life. Reading this post, Alfred Bester's great story, 'The Stars My Destination' (also titled 'Tiger Tiger') came to mind. You might enjoy a reread of that one when you run out of new Zelazny, Robert.