Log in

Damnation Alley's Journal
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Damnation Alley's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
12:55 am
If Tolkien was a poet like Zelazny...
I'm on volume 5 now of the Zelazny collection, and found these two gems there. I don't think they exist anywhere online, so I thought I'd share.

Song of the Ring (1964)

You wore me like a wound,
from Shire to Khazad-dum;
you bore me through Moria,
and the place called Shelob's Lair.
Now you stand dismayed,
before the Cracks of Doom

--Place me on your finger,
and let the world beware!

I wait to wear your finger.
Do not, do not delay!
Even now, the red red eye
is turning, turning-- this way!

For I am the Ring of Power---
A whole world lives in me!
A sing with your soul and mind;
I burn eternally.

You are the Lord of the Ring,
and might Sauron's bane.
Wear me now, forfend his will,
and his darkling reign!
End it here, begin your own,
revise a world this day--

I am the Ring of Power
That Will Not Pass Away.

I am the Cry in the Night,
and binder of the Three--
and the Seven, and the Nine--
then Dwarves and Elves
and men to me.
I rule the ninteen Rings,
from here in the Land of Shade.
I am the Wheel of Fire--
Be all the world afraid!

I am the song the Nazgul sings,
soaring high, on leathern wings;
and I the Shadow, and I the Smore;
I, the blackening of the day...

Place me on your finger now,
not in the flames below!

Yea! Place me on your finger, Lord,

my worthy Lord of the Rings!

Day of Doom (1966)

A very misunderstood person,
Lord Sauron,
in his time,
an incontrovertibly impossible feat:
i.e., the unification
of all nations and peoples
into a single, world body
(admittedly headed by himself)
for purposes of
eliminating national boundries,
abolishing war,
and assuring domestic tranquility.

He failed, of course.

It was that damnable Ring
that hung him up.
When cast into the flames
it showed its true colors:
like a donut--
hole surrounded by small substance
empty as an election promise
or an unloved woman--
it didn't rule and find
or bring and bind:
it flared brightly,
then went out,

taking with it
Lord Sauron
his mounted police
his Great Vision
and the Land of Mordor
where the shadows used to lie,

not to mention
the final gesture
of a finger slowly roasting,
right before the closed-circuit closing
of Mordor's bleak, Big-Brother bloodshot eye.

An Orc band began playing
the Mordorian natiunal anthem
when the lights went out in Khazad-dum
Saruman was heard to say
"Thus does Life repay its patrons."
Gamgee cried.
Gollum fried.
Gandalf blessed the troops.
A sad time was had by the trolls.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
11:50 am
The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny
So I just realized that NESFA published a 6 volume, 3500 page collection of every piece of poetry, short story, novella, and article that Zelazny either published, or had in his records but never got around to publishing. So I know I'm behind the times and everything, but I felt like I should shoot it out to you guys in case anyone else is as excited about purchasing this as me. Here is the link! http://www.nesfa.org/press/Books/Zelazny-Project.html
Saturday, May 6th, 2006
5:11 pm
May Books 1) Roger Zelazny
1) Roger Zelazny, by Carl Yoke

I have been looking for this book for some time. It was not easy to track down - an Amazon Marketplace order failed to find it in over a year, eventually I found a copy on eBay, and then even that took almost two months to reach me from the California dealer (plus I had to pay €10 customs on it).

It was worth the wait. This is easily as good as the other two and a half books I've read about Zelazny (by Theodore Krulik, Jane Lindskold, and a much shorter effort also by Yoke) put together. Unfortunately it was written in 1977, less than halfway through Zelazny's writing career, which was cut short so prematurely ten years ago next month. Fortunately, it still covers what are generally considered to be Zelazny's best works. There is a chapter each on "A Rose for Ecclesiastes", This Immortal, "The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth", The Dream Master, Lord of Light, "Home is the Hangman" (and the other two stories in that series), and the first five Amber books. Each of these is about ten pages long; I see that Yoke is an associate professor of English at Kent State University, so perhaps that explains why they read a bit like notes for a lecture course.

I found Yoke's exploration of the layers of myth and meaning behind Zelazny's early great work very enlightening. The most densely packed chapter is the one on The Dream Master and the Arthurian mythos. The most interesting, for me, was the one on "The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth", exploring its parallels with the Book of Job (which reminds me that I am still working on a piece on Ted Chiang's "Hell is the Absence of God" for my website). It was also interesting to have flagged up front the recurring symbolism of the rose in "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" and the Amber books, and other uses of dance, water, and rings. And I found his explanation of Zelazny's themes of form vs chaos, maturation and heroism, very convincing.

Having said that this is the best book I have found about Zelazny, there is surely scope for a better one. The prose is sometimes repetitive, and occasionally mises obvious points - for instance, while I am persuaded that it is important that Render, the name of the hero of The Dream Master, means "to represent or depict", surely it's also important that the word can additionally mean "one who tears apart"? Several chapters rely too heavily on a single authoritative theoretical source (Peters' Rilke, for instance for "A Rose for Ecclesiastes"). And I simply can't agree that Flora and Fiona are difficult to distinguish in the Amber books!
Saturday, January 14th, 2006
7:13 pm
'This Immortal'
I've been a fan of Zelazny for about ten years now, but I tend to reread his things instead of trying the ones I haven't tried yet - and there's a fair few, it seems. It's as though I'm leaving them for later. Today was probably one of those 'later' days since I picked up This Immortal in the library and within an hour I was well past the middle and loving it. It surprises me every time just how skillful his use of language is. I wanted to share a quote that really moved me and made me reread the paragraph again.

"It is our country. The Goths, the Huns, the Bulgars, the Serbs, the Franks, the Turks, and lately the Vegans [aliens] have never made it go away from us. People, I have outlived. Athens and I have changed together, somewhat. Mainland Greece, though, is Mainland Greece, and it does not change for me. Try taking it away, whatever you are, and my klephtes will stalk the hills, like the chthtonic avengers of old. You will pass, but the hills of Greece will remain, will be unchanged, with the smell of goat thigh-bones burning, with a mingling of blood and wine, a taste of sweetened almonds, a cold wind by night, and skies as bluebright as the eyes of a god by day. Touch them, if you dare."
(pp.91-92, Victor Gollancz, London, 2000.)

I just thought it was incredibly beautiful. Powerful too. You can feel the passion in it, I think, and I can very much relate to that, both in the sense that this is how I feel about my own birthplace and in the sense that I understand the motivation of the character.

Current Mood: contemplative
Friday, August 5th, 2005
9:43 am
hello, this doesnt update much by i have confidence that people are still out there

I am running an amber game and im trying to use the pattern blades, I know Corwin has Gryswandir, but I know there is at least one other mentioned in the books. I thought i rememberd the name werewindle, and that it belonged to brand and luke inherited it from him. When i look through the RPG book all i find is a golden pattern blad Bleys has with no name given. anyone know anything about the pattern blades or have stats for werewindle?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
11:57 pm
Zelazny: immortality vs suicide?
Having giggled a bit about the Onion's sf horoscopes earlier today, I'm now pondering the one about Roger Zelazny:
Even if you do find their unique combination of style, universal competence, ennui, and raw ambition strangely exhilarating, you'd probably be a lot happier if you stopped keeping company with suicidal types, immortals, and suicidal immortal types.
Zelazny musingsCollapse )
Monday, June 13th, 2005
12:54 pm
Good-bye and hello, as always.
So tomorrow the 14th of June it will be exactly ten years to the day when Zelazny passed away. Ten freaking years... damn it's been long. So what, if anything will you all do to commemorate this?

Me, I'll burn a candle for him, pour myself a glass of red wine and read Lord of Light again! Anyone up to joining this?

"His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could."

Current Mood: pensive
Saturday, April 30th, 2005
11:35 pm
The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth: review
I think this was Zelazny's first published collection? Mostly stories from his peak early years in the 1960s; includes perhaps his two best pieces from that era, the title story (which I didn't like at all on first reading it as a teenager, but which has grown on me since) and "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" which remains a favourite.

One of the things about keeping a booklog is that even if reading familiar material I'm considering it a bit more deeply than I used to. (Also, of course, I've read a couple of books about Zelazny and his works since last I read this collection.) So, for instance, the incredibly weak ending of "This Mortal Mountain" grates a bit more than before, and a couple of the other single-idea stories seem a bit overextended. But I liked rereading "The Keys to December", "This Moment of the Storm" and "The Man Who Loved the Faioli".

For some reason iBooks have decided to combine the stories published in the original collection of this name in 1971 with those included (along with "The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth" and "A Rose for Ecclesiastes") in Four For Tomorrow, a collection published in 1967. (They also transferred the dedication "To My Mother" from Four For Tomorrow rather than the original "To Alan Huff".) The two extra stories are "The Furies", which remains excellent (though knowing Zelazny's later works as we now do, we can see ideas recycled from it into both To Die In Italbar and Eye of Cat) and "The Graveyard Heart", an eccentric choice, eighty pages in which nothing much happens, and poorly proofread to boot (especially the few German phrases, which are horribly mangled).

Anyway, glad I put some time into rereading this.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Thursday, January 27th, 2005
3:28 pm
Damnation Alley
I was astonished to learn today that they made Damnation Alley into a movie. Perhaps this is old news to all of you. Anyone seen it? How terrible is it?

Current Mood: surprised
Wednesday, December 15th, 2004
2:12 am
Tuesday, November 30th, 2004
2:21 pm
Something new...
Well, at least it's new to me. Just picked up Manna from Heaven and read the first story. I loved it! Anyone else have any comments on this collection to share (hopefully no spoilers)?
Thursday, October 7th, 2004
11:02 pm
New to LJ, but not new to Roger Zelazny. First book I read and still my fav is Night In The Lonesome October. I own two hard back copies just to be safe ;) - but I first heard it on audio cassette! <shivers>  Have been a fan for many years, but just a few before ill-fated 1995. I have only a few autographs, but sadly, none of them were to me in person. I have not read the new prequel trilogy thing, it just kinda hangs out on the shelf. BTW, I have read Donnerjack but I cannot make myself read Lord Demon. It's kinda embarassing, but if i read it, I think that I will feel that it's over - there's nothing new ever again. So I am kinda reluctant to read it.  I do absolutely love Donnerjack, though.  I don't mean to sound melanchoy, but reading Zelazny's books helped me out during some tough times growing up, most especially in high school. But at least here somebody else may feel the way I do, so that can be a good thing. Anybody ever play the Amber dice/board game?
Friday, October 1st, 2004
11:44 am
It was night in the lonesome October of my most immemorial year
(X-posted to my own LJ)

October the 1st... time for my annual rereading of A Night In The Lonesome October. As before, the chapter of the day on the day itself (preferably at night, for which it's eminently suited). Drinking suggestion while reading it is a glass of port wine (adding Things from the Mirror to it is optional). Musical selection is more difficult, but with some soundtracks to old horror films you'd be on the right track. In fact, might I suggest the 1931 Dracula music version by Philip Glass & the Kronos Quartet?

Here is a little something from a review:

It's October, sometime in the late 1800s, and the fate of the world is at stake. Come the end of the month, a Ritual will be held, one that will determine once again whether the Great Old Ones break through into our reality. Who will stand there and champion civilization? Who will fight for life and love and liberty? Who will stand as a Closer when the Game comes to its conclusion?

Will it be the mysterious man known as Jack, who walks the foggy streets of London with his trusty knife, and his dog, Snuff?

Will it be the vampiric Count, who sleeps by day, and stalks the nighttime?

Will it be the Great Detective and his assistant? Or the mad monk, Rastov? Perhaps it's the Good Doctor, who's trying to build life out of dead parts. Maybe the savior of humanity is Larry Talbot, a werewolf.

What if it's really the Vicar Roberts, whose crusade against the rest of the players threatens them all? Or Crazy Jill? Or even the druid, Owen?

In the Game, nothing is for certain, and no one is as they appear to be. There are Openers, those who would open the way for the Great Old Ones, and the Closers, who would sacrifice themselves that the world might continue. And on October 31st, all bets are off.

Well, read the rest yourself, but preferably get the book itself and read that! So, anyone here feel like joining in reading it?

I am a watchdog. My name is Snuff. I live with my master Jack outside of London now. I like Soho very much at night with its smelly fogs and dark streets. It is silent then and we go for long walks. Jack is under a curse from long ago and must do much of his work at night to keep worse things from happening. I keep watch while he is about it. If someone comes, I howl.
We are the keepers of several curses and our work is very important. I have to keep watch on the Thing in the Circle, the Thing in the Wardrobe, and the Thing in the Steamer Trunk - not to mention the Things in the Mirror. When they try to get out I raise particular hell with them. They are afraid of me. I do not know what I would do if they all tried to get out at the same time. It is good exercise, though, and I snarl a lot.

Snuff (A Night In The Lonesome October)

Current Mood: enthralled
Thursday, June 10th, 2004
4:58 pm
Lindskold biography
You may be interested in the review of Jane Lindskold's biography of Roger Zelazny that I just posted on my livejournal.
Thursday, June 3rd, 2004
3:38 pm
Has anyone read the new books that Zelazny's estate is putting out, set in the Amber universe? Are they any good?
Thursday, March 25th, 2004
4:45 pm
Complete List of Works
Does anyone have a complete list of Roger Zelazny works, or a link to an online list?

I have read Amber and many of his sci-fi short stories (which I liked much better than Amber), and would be interested in see what else he had to offer.
Saturday, January 3rd, 2004
1:33 am
Wow. Been some time since this community has seen any action.

I'm a recent covert to Zelazny. I purchased Lord of Light this past summer, basically because I heard it dealt with religious themes, and the intersection of religion and SF is an interest of mine. I bought The Last Defender of Camelot last night and have read the first two stories in it. "For a Breath I Tarry"....wow. I could see a lot of parallels in it, particularly with The Book of Job.

So yeah, I'm a newbie, so here's my question to you more seasoned fans: does a lot of Zelazny's work deal with religous themes?

Just a bit about me: I'm working on my MA in English and my other fave sci-fi/fantasy/horror authors are Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Neil Gaiman and Octavia Butler.

Current Mood: tired
Monday, March 17th, 2003
6:30 pm
Well, first of all I love Roger Zelazny. But that was of course already a given. I have pretty much read every novel he has written and most of his short stories. In fact, I have a bunch of them in .txt format in case anyone wants some, as they are almost entirely impossible to find in their printed form. Hard to name favorite works, but Lord of Light, Creatures of Light and Darkness and Dorways in the Sand (I really identify with the main character) are obviously there as well as A Museum Piece (short story) as well as all the Devil Car Stories and Unicorn Variations (both the anthology and the short story itself.)

Furthermore, I have a question for the audience here. About a year ago I discovered Walter Jon Williams, who although is a cyberpunk author at times, reminds me very very heavily of Roger Zelazny. His protagonists could be striaght out of any of Zelazny's works, just as strong and arrogant and yet so very incredibly awesome. If anyone is interesteted, I reccomend checking out Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams, in my mind it comes close to the greatest Zelazny novels in terms of sheer imagery, wonderful characterization, and amazing ideas.

Current Mood: recumbent
Sunday, March 2nd, 2003
3:28 pm
Let's Cast "Amber: The Movie"
Imagine you woke up tomorrow and read somewhere that HBO / the Sci-Fi Channel / USA Network / someone who does this sort of thing is producing the Corwin series of the Amber novels (books 1-5) as a miniseries.

You've been hired as casting director. Your budget is nearly unlimited. Whom do you cast in each speaking role?

I'll get the ball rolling: Sean Connery as Ganelon (and all that that implies, for those of you who haven't read the series).

Alternately, for Zelazny fans who've never visited Amber, or didn't care for the scenery, which novella / novel would you most like to see adapted to the screen?

Current Mood: curious
Wednesday, January 8th, 2003
6:27 pm
Hi, everyone!

I was sifting through my interests and I found this group...I'm a huge fan of Zelazny.

Anyway, my favorite works by him are Lord of Light, Creatures of Light and Darkness, Jack of Shadows, A Rose for Ecclesiastes, For a Breath I Tarry, Today We Choose Faces, and I can't remember the name, but the book that featured Francis Sandow (Shimbo of Darktree).

I think as a general rule, I like his pseudo-mythological works more than, for example, the Amber series. Even though Amber was good I think it might be among my least favorite of his works (it was, however, better than To Die in Italbar).

Does anyone else agree, or am I just weird?
[ << Previous 20 ]
About LiveJournal.com