Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Zelazny by the Numbers:1937

Roger Zelazny was born in 1937. Despite that, his stories never seemed in any way dated. Sure, Legion deals with punchcard computers, but the societal issues of an information culture were remarkably prescient.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Zelazny by the Numbers: About 2,960,000

About three million hits on Google for Zelazny.

Roger Zelazny  returns 1,830,000 and "Roger Zelazny"  gives about 1,100,000.

Not too shabby.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Zelazny by the Numbers: Seven

For the seven linked novellas composing Lord of Light. I tend to like novellas. You don’t see them as much anymore. Stephen King called them "an ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic."

My interest in the novella as the ideal length for a story has always been something of a chicken or egg situation. Do I prefer it because Roger Zelazny wrote stories of this length and I tend to look favorably on everything he did, or do I like the length and format novellas themselves and I became such an enthusiast of Zelazny because of this preference? I suspect it’s a bit of each, but mostly the former. To put it another way, and at the risk of being reductionist, the stories are the length Zelazny needed them to be.  It’s not important that they were of the particular length they were; that’s just how things worked out. After all, his stories were hardly exclusively of this length, and on several occasions, he expanded shorter works into full-length novels. (Though it’s worth noting that I generally do prefer the shorter versions more, with the notable exception of Wilderness.)

I do think Lord of Light is the exception to this general rule, and the format is crucial to its appeal. The novel would not have worked as well as it did if it had been written in another way. It’s interesting to note that this was born of practicality. Zelazny wrote it in that fashion in order to be able to sell the story piecemeal if he couldn’t sell the entire book.  They stand on their own, but the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Zelazny by the Numbers: Three

Piggybacking off of yesterday's post, Zelazny had three Nebula wins out of his fourteen nominations. 

  • The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth
  • He Who Shapes
  • Home is the Hangman

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Zelazny by the Numbers: Fourteen

Fourteen Nebula Nominations!

The Nebula awards recognize the best science fiction or fantasy works of the previous calendar year. Roger Zelazny's works were nominated for the Nebula award fourteen times in total.

  • 24 Views of Mt. Fuji  by Hokusai
  • A Night in the Lonesome October
  • Devil Car
  • Doorways in the Sand
  • He Who Shapes
  • Home is the Hangman
  • Isle of the Dead
  • Lord of Light
  • Permafrost
  • The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth
  • The Engine at Heartspring’s Center
  • The Keys to December
  • This Moment of the Storm
  • This Mortal Mountain

Orders close tonight for Defending Earth: The Adventure of Sarah Jane Smith

Orders close tonight. Get your copy at this link before they're gone forever.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Zelazny By The Numbers: Nine

Nine Princes in Amber

 Amber! There was something there, something electrical and potent!

I was a prince of Amber. It was true. There had been fifteen brothers and six were dead. There had been eight Sisters, and two were dead, possibly four. We had spent much of our time in wandering in Shadow, or in our own universes. It is an academic, though valid philosophical question, as to whether one with power over Shadow could create his own universe. Whatever the ultimate answer, from a practical point we could.

There is something talismanic about the title. Would it have become the genre-defining series it is without that title, with its fairy tale overtones and hints of something grand and majestic just out of reach? I don’t think so. At the very least, I picked up the book in my high school library based on the power of the title. The prose kept me reading, but it was those words that drew me close initially.

Introducing Zelazny By The Numbers!

April, the month when this blog comes briefly back to life. Since last year’s Zelazny A to Z feature worked out so well, I will be doing Zelazny By the Numbers, where each post ties a number to a fact about Roger Zelazny’s career.