Everybody has a blog…

… so I should, too.

I guess.

I’ve been fooling around with WordPress for a while, so it’s far easier now for me to set up the blog than to think of a title for it. Maybe in a week or three.

For today’s comment: spent a long time wandering around Barnes and Noble. Mainly the SF section, as usual. I almost left without a book today, but saw Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett’s latest in the new releases – for teens. It makes sense, I guess, the Tiffany series is intended for young adults, but that’s not where I expect to look for Pratchett.

On a slightly more serious note: I didn’t learn of Roger Zelazny’s death until at least a year after it happened. Before I knew, I’d regularly check the Z section of any bookstore in case there was a new anthology including something I may have missed; or, better yet, a novel. I’ve never been especially pleased with the last Amber book, and had always hoped there might be just one more… but no. I was dismayed to learn that there would be no more.

Today I looked again. There’s a new edition of Amber – all ten novels in one huge paperback – and two other books. That’s it, for a writer who used to have half the shelf. I understand why, and there really is no point in continuing to sell books that everyone who’d read them already owns. But it saddens me to see a great name fade.

Everyone who has even the vaguest notion that Science Fiction can be more than high-tech adventure stores owes it to themselves to read Zelazny’s “24 views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai.” It is one of the most beautiful pieces of fiction ever created. And even now, only twenty years after it won a Hugo for best novella, the collections which include it are out of print.

Rogher Zelazny died of cancer in 1995. As he’d have written about one of his characters, “we are all diminished by his passing.”


  1. Posted November 4, 2006 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    First of all, stunningly beautiful design. I like it very much.

    Second of all, I have only recently (since 2004, I think) discovered Terry Pratchett and I’m not rushing through his oeuvre but dipping into it with great pleasure from time to time. I plan to make this last.

    But I will have to find Zelazny’s work. Thanks for the heads up (which I’m pretty sure you’ve given before).

    You think you don’t have anything to say? See, already you’re saying helpful things. Yay!

  2. iain
    Posted November 4, 2006 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve definitely mentioned him in class – “24 views” is the story that begins “Kit is alive, though he is buried not far from here, and I am dead…” which I know we’ve talked about. It’s a long sentence, and I can’t do it justice without the story (and I just loaned it out yet again last week).

    My favorite opening line of any book ever, though, is also Zelazny. It’s from “Trumps of Doom”, the first of the second Amber series:

    “It’s a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you.”

    As for the site – I kinda cheated. I spent days looking around for a theme for a different WordPress site, and found this one. Since I liked it so much, I used it again :). For the other, it has a convenient feature called “asides” which I hacked into “don’t display this article at all.” Which just happens to be perfect for posting stories as blog entries but not having them show up on the front page…

One Trackback

  1. […] I think one of the reasons his books work so well is that you have to suspend so much disbelief that it leaves you open for unexpectedly touching moments or drama that, if you’d consider it outside of the Discworld context, would be clumsy. “Reaper Man” and “Soul Music“, for instance, are surprisingly moving stoies. The third Tiffany Aching book, Wintersmith, is probably the best I’ve ever seen him write. Even if it is in the teen section. While it might be being marketed as young adult, that seems due to its thirteen-year-old heroine rather than any attempt to write down to a junior market. There’s still plenty of boozing, innuendo (”is this about sex?” Tiffany asks Nanny Ogg) and musings on what the Nac Mac Feegle wear under their kilts. (Nanny doesn’t add any verses to “The hedgehog can never be buggered”, but she hasn’t done that in a while.) What do you need to make a man? […]

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