Sunday, April 17, 2016

17: Roger Zelazny Quote of the Day: It looks as if white flowers fall upon my shroud...

    "It looks as if white flowers fall upon my shroud. Your hands are so pale."
    "To leave the world in spring, with flower guards to honor: it must be peace."

The Context: Archie, the killer cyborg arrives to assassinate Red Dorakeen, only to find that that he has been preceded by Timyin Tin, another assassin.  They have a mixed martial arts/koan contest/ haiku rap battle to decide how gets to kill him.
     Archie chuckled.
    "It's silly to argue over who kills him."
    "I am glad you think so. I will bid you good night, then, and be about the thing."
    "That is not what I meant."
    "What, then?"
    "I have my orders. I have even been conditioned to hate the man. No, the job is mine. You go your way. It will be done."
    "Alas I cannot. With me, it is a matter of honor."
    "Do you think you are the only one who might feel that way?"
    "Not any longer."
Timyin Tin pitches Archie off the roof (He survives in my head canon. I like to think Toba and Sundoc were waiting there to pick him up*) but spares Red because he could not answer Archie's final koan.

Why I like it: Because I love Roadmarks. It was my first Zelazny book, my first review here, and the haiku battle was the direct inspiration for Zelazny Haiku month. It's perfect for a movie adaptation; the book is less than 200 pages long, exactly the right length, and you could end the trailer with the  Marquis de Sade on a T-Rex.

*Also part of my head canon, Red Dorakeen was named for Dora Keen, the traveler and philanthropist.

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