Roger Zelazny


Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) was a famous science-fiction author in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. His style was unusual because he often wrote “science fantasy” stories but also sometimes wrote crime novels and other genres too. Zelazny’s genre was hard to pin down but he won award after award and was enormously popular.

I was first introduced to Zelazny by a co-worker and friend through Zelazny’s classic Lord of Light where people from Earth use advanced technology to live forever as self-styled Hindu gods. The premise sounds a bit silly, but Zelazny’s character of Sam (the Buddha) and the author’s wit makes this premise into an awesome book that’s hard to stop reading.  It was the first of many Zelazny stories I have enjoyed in quiet nights at home or on the bus: some science-fiction, some fantasy, some both, some neither (his one crime novel is pretty good).

My collection is fairly extensive now:

I have most of the mainstream books and novels, but I’m still missing rarer books or collections.  I am not in a hurry to flesh out the collection.  Instead, I like to occasionally drop by certain used-book stores I respect highly and see what’s there.  Sometimes I find a treasure, oftentimes I don’t.  That’s the fun of used bookstores and why I always go back.  🙂

Anyhow, I wrote this page both as a tribute to a great author, but also as a way to help raise awareness of Roger Zelazny to younger generations who grow up in a digital age and may not realize some of the great books you can still find at used bookstores in good ol-fashioned print.  Compared to science-fiction and fantasy novels today, Zelazny’s writings can seem naive at times (astronomy has come a long ways), but at the same time it has a gritty wit and brilliance of prose you just won’t find elsewhere.

Also, as a reference for myself, I also collected a list of books I have and books that are still missing. I update this last as I pick up more treasures. 🙂

Here are the books I’ve collected so far:

  • The Chronicles of Amber:
    • 1) Nine Princes in Amber (1970)
    • 2) The Guns of Avalon (1972)
    • 3) Sign of the Unicorn (1975)
    • 4) The Hand of Oberon (1976)
    • 5) The Courts of Chaos (1978)
    • 6) Trumps of Doom (1985)
    • 7) Blood of Amber (1986)
    • 8) Sign of Chaos (1987)
    • 9) Knight of Shadows (1989)
    • 10) Prince of Chaos (1991)
  • This Immortal (1966) (Also known as …And Call Me Conrad, the author’s preferred title)
  • The Dream Master (1966)
  • Lord of Light (1967)
  • Four for Tomorrow (1967), a collection
  • Damnation Alley (1969)
  • Creatures of Light and Darkness (1969)
  • Isle of the Dead (1969)
  • Jack of Shadows (1971)
  • The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth, and Other Stories (1971)
  • Today We Choose Faces (1973)
  • To Die in Italbar (1973)
  • Doorways in the Sand (1976)
  • Bridge of Ashes (1976)
  • My Name is Legion (1976)
  • The Illustrated Roger Zelazny (1978), hardcover (differs from paperback)
  • The Illustrated Roger Zelazny (1978), paperback
  • Roadmarks (1979)
  • Changeling (1980)
  • The Last Defender of Camelot (1980, Pocket Books and SFBC)
  • Madwand (1981), A sequel to Changeling
  • The Changing Land (1981)
  • Dilvish, the Damned (1982)
  • Eye of Cat (1982)
  • Unicorn Variations (1983), a collection
  • A Dark Traveling (1987)
  • Wizard World (1989) , an omnibus containing Changeling and Madwand
  • Frost & Fire (1989), a collection
  • A Night in the Lonesome October (1993), illustrated by Gahan Wilson
  • The Last Defender of Camelot (ibooks, 2002). This collection has the same name as earlier collections, but different contents.
  • The Dead Man’s Brother (2009), a mystery/thriller novel completed in 1971, finally published in 2009)
  • The Great Book of Amber (2010), an omnibus of all 10 Amber novels.

Also, I’ve picked up some collaboration books too:

  • The Visual Guide to Castle Amber (1988), by Zelazny and Neil Randall
  • The Black Throne (1990) (with Fred Saberhagen)

And here are the books still missing:

  • The Chronicles of Amber, short stories:
    • A Secret of Amber (2005) [story fragment co-written with Ed Greenwood between 1977 and 1992, published in Amberzine #12-15]
    • Prolog to Trumps of Doom (1985)
    • The Salesman’s Tale (1994)
    • Blue Horse, Dancing Mountains(1995)
    • The Shroudling and The Guisel(1994)
    • Coming to a Cord (1995)
    • Hall of Mirrors (1996)
  • A Rose for Ecclesiastes (1969) (the UK hardcover title of Four for Tomorrow)
  • The Last Defender of Camelot (1981, Underwood-Miller) (contains 4 stories not in the Pocket Books version)
  • Alternities #6 (1981) (Special issue devoted entirely to Zelazny, contains rare stories and poems)
  • Here There Be Dragons (1992) (written 1968/69 and illustrated by Vaughn Bodé; delayed publication until 1992)
  • Way Up High (1992) (written 1968/69 and illustrated by Vaughn Bodé; delayed publication until 1992)
  • The Graveyard Heart/Elegy for Angels and Dogs (1992)
  • Gone to Earth / Author’s Choice Monthly #27 (Pulphouse, 1992)
  • Manna from Heaven (2003), contains 6 of 7 Amber short stories listed above.
  • The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth, and Other Stories (ibooks, 2005) (adds two stories from Four for Tomorrow)
  • The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny (NESFA Press, 2009) which contains 6 volumes:
    1. Threshold
    2. Power & Light
    3. This Mortal Mountain
    4. Last Exit to Babylon
    5. Nine Black Doves
    6. The Road to Amber

Also, here are his collaborations or posthumous collections. I’m not really interested in these but I’ve listed for reference:

  • Deus Irae (1976) (with Philip K. Dick)
  • Coils (1982) (with Fred Saberhagen)
  • The Mask of Loki (1990) (with Thomas T. Thomas)
  • The Millennial Contest series (with Robert Sheckley)
  • Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming (1991)
  • If at Faust You Don’t Succeed (1993)
  • A Farce to Be Reckoned With (1995)
  • Flare (1992) (with Thomas T. Thomas)
  • Wilderness (1994) (with Gerald Hausman)
  • Psychoshop (1998) with Alfred Bester
  • Donnerjack (1997), completed by companion Jane Lindskold
  • Lord Demon (1999), completed by companion Jane Lindskold

4 thoughts on “Roger Zelazny”

  1. Probably my favorite fantasy author and the Amber Chronicles my favorite series. Just re-reading them now and they’re timeless


  2. Yeah, me too I picked up Zelazny when I was a univ. student Lord of Light was a great influence on me until I read C.S. LEwis, SF trilogy.


  3. I have Dues Irae which Zelazny wrote with Philip K. Dick. It is quite good actually. Years and years ago I read a book by Zelazny that was about these robots battling in outer space. That’s my very vague memory of it anyway. I’ve never been able to figure out which book it was.


  4. It’s interesting that you bring up Zelazny on a Buddhist blog, because I think often of the Amber series. The reason why I think of the series is that I am on the Path of enlightenment, and just walking around, perceiving the world as an illusion or a dream, reminds me of reading about Zelazny’s protagonist walking through the shadowland Earth. His initiation, tracing some pattern, is like a recurring dream I have had many many times before my first awakening, in which there was some vast intelligence in the ground under my feet, which in one dream was an interactive thing. At first I couldn’t tell whether the intelligence was malignant or not, but I was always struggling to figure it out, to break the code.


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