Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Necromancy in Damnation Alley

Thread necromancy, that is!

Promoted from the comments.

Q: Sorry about this necromancy of reviving the old comment thread after so many years, but, re-reading Damnation Alley, I have an idea I can't get rid of, and perhaps someone could share their view on it, too…

So, can't that pre-final scene, where Hell sees a pilgrim priest in his delirium dream, besides being a reference to the Japanese Noh theater (as Carl Yoke suggests here https://bit.ly/35Kcked), be also an allusion to A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr., a famous post-apocalyptic science fiction novel dedicated mostly to the Catholic church in the post-nuclear world (that is, having a lot of monks, priests and pilgrimage in it)? That came to my mind after I had read the both books within a year.

A: My first instinct would be to say no, as Zelazny rarely referenced other fictional work in that fashion. However, it's certainly not impossible, as the Grimjack cameo in the Merlin series shows. That said, I don't know Leibowitz nearly as well as I know Zelazny's works, so I'll have to qualify my opinion as uninformed. 

Chris I? Chris II? Any insight that you would care to share?