Roger Zelazny in Paris, 1988
|Born||Roger Joseph Zelazny|
May 13, 1937
Euclid, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||June 14, 1995 58) (aged|
Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.
|Pen name||Harrison Denmark|
|Alma mater|| Western Reserve University (B.A.)|
Columbia University (M.A.)
|Literary movement||New Wave (although he denounced the term himself)|
|Notable works||Lord of Light , The Chronicles of Amber, Isle of the Dead , The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth, and Other Stories, Doorways in the Sand, Eye of Cat, Unicorn Variations, A Night in the Lonesome October|
Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber . He won the Nebula award three times (out of 14 nominations) and the Hugo Award six times (also out of 14 nominations), including two Hugos for novels: the serialized novel ...And Call Me Conrad (1965), subsequently published under the title This Immortal (1966) and then the novel Lord of Light (1967).
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".
The Chronicles of Amber is a series of fantasy novels by American writer Roger Zelazny. The main series consists of two story arcs, each five novels in length. Additionally, there are a number of Amber short stories and other works.
Roger Joseph Zelazny was born in Euclid, Ohio, the only child of Polish immigrant Joseph Frank Żelazny and Irish-American Josephine Flora Sweet. In high school, he became the editor of the school newspaper and joined the Creative Writing Club.In the fall of 1955, he began attending Western Reserve University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1959. He was accepted to Columbia University in New York and specialized in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, graduating with an M.A. in 1962. His M.A. thesis was entitled Two traditions and Cyril Tourneur: an examination of morality and humor comedy conventions in The Revenger's Tragedy.
Euclid is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is an inner ring suburb of Cleveland. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 48,920. In 2009, Euclid celebrated its bicentennial.
Case Western Reserve University is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio. It was created in 1967 through the federation of two longstanding contiguous institutions: Western Reserve University, founded in 1826 and named for its location in the Connecticut Western Reserve, and Case Institute of Technology, founded in 1880 through the endowment of Leonard Case, Jr.. Time magazine described the merger as the creation of "Cleveland's Big-Leaguer" university.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Between 1962 and 1969 he worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration in Cleveland, Ohio and then in Baltimore, Maryland spending his evenings writing science fiction.He deliberately progressed from short-shorts to novelettes to novellas and finally to novel-length works by 1965. On May 1, 1969, he quit to become a full-time writer, and thereafter concentrated on writing novels in order to maintain his income. During this period, he was an active and vocal member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, whose members included writers Jack Chalker and Joe and Jack Haldeman among others.
The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits. To qualify for most of these benefits, most workers pay Social Security taxes on their earnings; the claimant's benefits are based on the wage earner's contributions. Otherwise benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are given based on need.
Joe William Haldeman is an American science fiction author. He is best known for his novel The Forever War (1974). That novel, and other of his works, including The Hemingway Hoax (1991) and Forever Peace (1997), have won major science fiction awards, including the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.
His first fanzine appearance was part one of the story "Conditional Benefit" (Thurban 1 #3, 1953) and his first professional publication and sale was the fantasy short story "Mr. Fuller's Revolt" (Literary Calvalcade, 1954).As a professional writer, his debut works were the simultaneous publication of "Passion Play" (Amazing, August 1962) and "Horseman!" (Fantastic, August 1962). "Passion Play" was written and sold first. His first story to attract major attention was "A Rose for Ecclesiastes", published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction , with cover art by Hannes Bok.
"A Rose for Ecclesiastes" is a science fiction short story by American author Roger Zelazny, first published in the November 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction with a special wraparound cover painting by Hannes Bok. It was nominated for the 1964 Hugo Award for Short Fiction.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a U.S. fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in 1949 by Fantasy House, a subsidiary of Lawrence Spivak's Mercury Press. Editors Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas had approached Spivak in the mid-1940s about creating a fantasy companion to Spivak's existing mystery title, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The first issue was titled The Magazine of Fantasy, but the decision was quickly made to include science fiction as well as fantasy, and the title was changed correspondingly with the second issue. F&SF was quite different in presentation from the existing science fiction magazines of the day, most of which were in pulp format: it had no interior illustrations, no letter column, and text in a single column format, which in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley "set F&SF apart, giving it the air and authority of a superior magazine".
Hannes Bok, pseudonym for Wayne Francis Woodard, was an American artist and illustrator, as well as an amateur astrologer and writer of fantasy fiction and poetry. He painted nearly 150 covers for various science fiction, fantasy, and detective fiction magazines, as well as contributing hundreds of black and white interior illustrations. Bok's work graced the pages of calendars and early fanzines, as well as dust jackets from specialty book publishers like Arkham House, Llewellyn, Shasta Publishers, and Fantasy Press. His paintings achieved a luminous quality through the use of an arduous glazing process, which was learned from his mentor, Maxfield Parrish. Bok shared one of the inaugural 1953 Hugo Awards for science fiction achievement.
Roger Zelazny was also a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of heroic fantasy authors founded in the 1960s, some of whose works were anthologized in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords! anthologies.
The Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America or SAGA was an informal group of American fantasy authors active from the 1960s through the 1980s, noted for their contributions to the "Sword and Sorcery" kind of heroic fantasy, itself a subgenre of fantasy. When it developed a serious purpose that was to promote the popularity and respectability of Sword and Sorcery fiction.
Linwood Vrooman Carter was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor, poet and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H. P. Lowcraft and Grail Undwin. He is best known for his work in the 1970s as editor of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre.
Zelazny died in 1995, aged 58, of kidney failure secondary to colorectal cancer.
Zelazny was married twice, first to Sharon Steberl in 1964 (divorced, no children), and then to Judith Alene Callahan in 1966. He was also engaged to folk singer Hedy West for six months in 1961/62.Roger and Judy had two sons, Devin and Trent (an author of crime fiction) and a daughter, Shannon. At the time of his death, Roger and Judy were separated and he was living with author Jane Lindskold.
Raised as a Catholic by his parents,Zelazny later declared himself a lapsed Catholic and remained that way for the rest of his life. "I did have a strong Catholic background, but I am not a Catholic. Somewhere in the past, I believe I answered in the affirmative once for strange and complicated reasons. But I am not a member of any organized religion."
In his stories, Roger Zelazny frequently portrayed characters from myth, depicted in the modern or a future world. Zelazny included many anachronisms, such as cigarette-smoking and references to modern drama, in his work. His crisp, minimalistic dialogue also seems to be somewhat influenced by the style of wisecracking hardboiled crime authors, such as Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. The tension between the ancient and the modern, surreal and familiar was what drove most of his work.
A very frequent motif in Zelazny's work is immortality or people who (have) become gods (as well as gods who have turned into people). The mythological traditions his fiction borrowed from include:
Additionally, elements from Norse, Japanese and Irish mythology, Arthurian legend as well as several references to real history appear in his magnum opus, The Chronicles of Amber .
Aside from working with mythological themes, the most common recurring motif of Zelazny's is the "absent father" (or father-figure). Again, this occurs most notably in the Amber novels: in the first Amber series, the protagonist Corwin searches for his lost, god-like father Oberon; while in the second series, which focuses on Corwin's son Merlin (not to be confused with the Arthurian Merlin), it is Corwin himself who is strangely missing. This somewhat Freudian theme runs through almost every Zelazny novel to a smaller or larger degree. Roadmarks , Doorways in the Sand , Changeling , Madwand , A Dark Traveling ; the short stories "Dismal Light", "Godson", "The Keys to December"; and the Alien Speedway series all feature main characters who are either searching for or have lost their fathers. Zelazny's father, Joseph, died unexpectedly in 1962 and never knew his son's successes as a writer; this event may have triggered Zelazny's unconscious and frequent use of the absent father motif.
Two other personal characteristics that influenced his fiction were his expertise in martial arts and his addiction to tobacco. Zelazny became expert with the épée in college, and thus began a lifelong study of several different martial arts, including judo, aikido (which he later taught as well, having gained a black belt), t'ai chi, and pa kua. In turn, many of his characters ably and knowledgeably use similar skills whilst dispatching their opponents. Zelazny was also a passionate cigarette and pipe smoker (until he quit in the early '80s), so much so, that he made many of his protagonists heavy smokers as well. However, he quit in order to improve his cardiovascular fitness for the martial arts; once he had quit, characters in his later novels and short stories stopped smoking too.
Another characteristic of Zelazny's writing is that many of his protagonists had sufficient familiarity with other languages to be able to quote French, German, Italian or Latin aphorisms when the occasion seemed appropriate (or even inappropriate), although Zelazny himself did not speak any of those languages.
He also often experimented with form in his stories. The novel Doorways in the Sand practices a flashback technique in which most chapters open with a scene, typically involving peril, not implied by the end of the previous chapter. Once the scene is established, the narrator backtracks to the events leading up to it, then follows through to the end of the chapter, whereupon the next chapter jumps ahead to another dramatic non-sequitur.
In Roadmarks , a novel about a road system that links all possible times, places and histories, the chapters that feature the protagonist are all titled "One". Other chapters, titled "Two", feature secondary characters, including original characters, pulp heroes, and real historical characters. The "One" storyline is fairly linear, whereas the "Two" storyline jumps around in time and sequence. After finishing the manuscript, Zelazny shuffled the "Two" chapters randomly among the "One" chapters in order to emphasize their non-linear nature relative to the storyline.
Creatures of Light and Darkness , featuring characters in the personae of Egyptian gods, uses a narrative voice entirely in the present tense; the final chapter is structured as a play, and several chapters take the form of long poems.
Zelazny also tended to write a short fragment, not intended for publication, as a kind of backstory for a major character, as a way of giving that character a life independent of the particular novel being worked on. At least one "fragment" was published, the short story Dismal Light, originally a backstory for Isle of the Dead 's Francis Sandow. Sandow himself figures little in Dismal Light, the main character being his son, who is delaying his escape from an unstable star system in order to force his distant father to come in and ask him personally. While Isle of the Dead has Sandow living a life of irresponsible luxury as an escape from his personal demons, "Dismal Light" anchors his character as one who will face up to his responsibilities, however reluctantly.
Another common stylistic approach in his novels is the use of mixed genres, whereby elements of each are combined freely and interchangeably. Jack of Shadows and Changeling , for example, revolve around the tensions between the two worlds of magic and technology. Lord of Light , perhaps one of his most famous works, is written in the classic style of a mythic fantasy, while it is established early in the book that the story itself takes place on a colonized planet.
Many of Zelazny's works explore variations upon the idea that if there exists an infinite number of worlds, then every world that can be imagined must exist, somewhere. Powerful beings in many of his stories have the ability to travel to worlds that possess precisely the characteristics which that being wishes to experience. (Zelazny characters with this ability include Thoth in Creatures of Light and Darkness , who teleports to these worlds; those with the royal blood of either Amber or Chaos in The Chronicles of Amber , who "move through shadows" to reach these worlds; the guardian families of A Dark Traveling , who move between realities using high-tech devices; and Red Dorakeen in Roadmarks , who reaches these worlds by driving along a magical highway.) Many of these same characters wonder whether they are creating these special places anew, or are merely finding places which already exist (very much like "the problem of universals" in classical metaphysics). Usually each character who ponders this ultimately decides that the question is purely academic and therefore unanswerable.
Zelazny's stories inspired other authors in his generation including Samuel R. Delany, whose novel Nova and many of his short stories were written "partly in response to Zelazny’s eruption into the field."In 1967 Algis Budrys listed Zelazny, Delany, J. G. Ballard, and Brian W. Aldiss as "an earthshaking new kind of" writers, and leaders of the New Wave. Neil Gaiman said Zelazny was the author who influenced him the most, with this influence particularly seen in Gaiman's literary style and the topics he writes about.
The anthology Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny, edited by Martin H. Greenberg, was released in 1998 and featured essays and stories in honor of Zelazny by Walter Jon Williams, Jack Williamson, John Varley, Gaiman, Gregory Benford and many other authors.
Zelazny won at least 16 awards for particular works of fiction: six Hugo Awards, three Nebula Awards, two Locus Awards, one Prix Tour-Apollo Award, two Seiun Awards, and two Balrog Awards – very often Zelazny's works competed with each other for the same award.
In addition, Zelazny was the Worldcon Guest of Honor at Discon II in Washington, D.C. in 1974, and won the Inkpot Award for Best Prose Author at Comic-Con International in 1993. "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" was included in Visions of Mars: First Library on Mars, a DVD taken on board the Phoenix Mars Lander in 2008.
The ostracod Sclerocypris zelaznyi was named after him.
James White was a Northern Irish author of science fiction novellas, short stories and novels. He was born in Belfast and returned there after spending some early years in Canada. After a few years working in the clothing industry, he worked at Short Brothers Ltd., an aircraft company based in Belfast, from 1965 until taking early retirement in 1984 as a result of diabetes. White married Margaret Sarah Martin, another science fiction fan, in 1955 and the couple had three children. He died of a stroke.
Philip José Farmer was an American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
Jack of Shadows is a science fantasy novel by American author Roger Zelazny. According to him, the name of the book was an homage to Jack Vance. In his introduction to the novel he mentioned that he tried to capture some of the exotic landscapes that are frequent in Vance's work. Zelazny wrote it in first draft, with no rewrites. The novel was serialized in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1971 and published in book form that same year. It was nominated for a 1972 Hugo Award and finished #4 in the 1972 Locus Poll for Best Novel.
Creatures of Light and Darkness is a 1969 science fiction novel by Roger Zelazny. Long out of print, it was reissued in April 2010.
Roadmarks is a science fantasy novel by American author Roger Zelazny, written during the late 1970s and published in 1979.
Terry Ballantine Bisson is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He is best known for his short stories including "Bears Discover Fire", which won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award and "They're Made Out of Meat".
Damnation Alley is a 1969 science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny, based on a novella published in 1967. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1977.
Isle of the Dead is a science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny, published in 1969 with cover art by Leo and Diane Dillon. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1969, and won the French Prix Apollo in 1972. The title refers to the several paintings by Swiss-German painter Arnold Böcklin. In the novel, Francis Sandow refers to “that mad painting by Boecklin, The Isle of the Dead.” Böcklin created at least five paintings with that title, each depicting an oarsman and a standing figure in a small boat, crossing dark water toward a forbidding island. A later Ace books edition featured a cover painting by Dean Ellis that was deliberately reminiscent of Böcklin’s work.
Today We Choose Faces is a 1973 science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny. As originally constructed, Part 1 was an extensive flashback which followed Part 2, but the order of the sections was changed at the request of editor David Hartwell, who felt that the novel worked better in chronological order. Zelazny later wrote, “I was younger then & more in need of the money at the time & couldn’t afford to argue [with] him about it. I still prefer it the way I wrote it.”
The Dream Master (1966), originally published as a novella titled He Who Shapes, is a science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny. Zelazny's originally intended title for it was The Ides of Octember. The novella won a Nebula Award in 1966.
Here There Be Dragons is a children’s book by American writer Roger Zelazny. It is one of two stories he wrote for children, the other being Way Up High, and one of three books without heroic protagonists. The two children’s books were first published with separate dust jackets but sold only in shared slipcases bearing the title Here There Be Dragons/Way Up High . One thousand copies of each book were produced in 1992 signed by Zelazny with illustrations by Vaughn Bodē.
Deus Irae is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American authors Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny. It was published in 1976. Deus irae, meaning God of Wrath in Latin, is a play on Dies Irae, meaning Day of Wrath or Judgment Day. This novel is based on Dick's short story "The Great C."
NESFA Press is the publishing arm of the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc. The NESFA Press primarily produces three types of books:
"Cassandra" is a science fiction short story by American science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in October 1978, and won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1979. It was only her second published short story, after "The Dark King" (1977).
To Die in Italbar (1973) is a science fiction novel by American writer Roger Zelazny. To Die in Italbar follows Mr. H, a man who needs only to touch someone to heal or hurt them, during a deadly galactic pandemic.
The 24th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Tricon, was held 1–5 September 1966 at the Sheraton-Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Officially, the convention was hosted by three cities in the region: Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit, — hence the name "Tricon".
The Best Science Fiction of the Year #11 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Terry Carr, the eleventh volume in a series of sixteen. It was first published in paperback by Pocket Books in July 1982, and in hardcover by Gollancz in the same year.
This Immortal, serialized as ...And Call Me Conrad, is a science fiction novel by American author Roger Zelazny. In its original publication, it was abridged by the editor and published in two parts in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in October and November 1965. It tied with Frank Herbert's Dune for the 1966 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Way Up High is a children's book by American writer Roger Zelazny. It is one of two stories he wrote for children, the other being Here There Be Dragons, and one of three books without heroic protagonists. One thousand copies of each of the two books signed by Zelazny were published in 1992 with illustrations by Vaughn Bodē.
This is a partial bibliography of American science fiction and fantasy author Roger Zelazny.
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