I figured I might as well spin this reply off from the originating post, since I so seldom post about Zelazny's work any more, I might as well give it as much exposure as possible and try to get a conversation going.
Zach: However, I had a similar issue with LORD OF LIGHT: I'd read about how
amazing it was before I ever read the book, so I couldn't figure out if
that's why I liked it so much. But when I read it again a year or two
later, I realized that, yes: the book is just phenomenal, and not
because of any preconceived notions I had about it.
Josh: It's funny. Your reply got me thinking about an old Zelazny group of which I'd been a member. (Well, technically, I'm still a member, but not even the spambots post there any more.)
The Forests of Arden Zelazny Group
Another member was Van Allen Plexico. I had no idea who he was at the time, but apparently he's a fairly renowned sf author whose work is heavily influenced by Zelazny.
I thought I remembered him saying that he found Lord of Light "turgid", but I couldn't find him saying that after I poked through the archives, so I must be mistakenly attributing someone else's quote to him. So, apparently, there is at least one person out there who doesn't like it. I don't agree with it, but I can understand why someone might hold that opinion, as it's not an easy read.
I did have fun poking through the archives, however. In 2007, everyone was really excited by the "Announcement of a multi-volume Zelazny collection" post, which was, of course, the Collected Stories.
Zach: The reverse of this is true for "The Doors of his Face, the Lamps of his
Mouth," which might be my favorite sub-novel-length Zelazny story. I'd
never heard of that one before I read it, and I though it was
FANTASTIC. Then, when I did some research and found it was one of
Zelazny's more popular stories, it seemed to reinforce my opinion on the
Josh: I always loved that one, and fictional Venus never bothered me as much as fictional Mars. My favorite line from the story: And I dream about those eyes. I want to face them once more, even if their finding takes forever. I've got to know if there's something inside me that sets me apart from a rabbit, from notched plates of reflexes and instincts that always fall apart in exactly the same way whenever the proper combination is spun.
Zach: As far as *my* version of "popular Zelazny story that I never really got
into" goes, I'd have to go with Dilvish. I'm not sure why, exactly,
but his stories didn't much appeal to me.
Is Dilvish all that popular, though? I like the stories okay, and I appreciate the variety (I loved REH's Conan stories, but I bought a big collection of them for a long plane ride, and it seemed like he only had three stories to tell), but I don't think I could ever see anyone becoming a lifelong fan of his work after reading it in the same way they might after reading Amber or Lord of Light.
Zach: And, to close on a comment that's actually somewhat related to your
post, I'll say this: it's okay not to like "Rose," Josh. Especially
when you're willing to analyze your opinion in an interesting manner!
Josh: :) I don't think I'll ever "like" the story all that much, but I'll always "appreciate" it, if you can dig the distinction.