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Roger Zelazny (1937 – 1995)


American writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels.
Roger Zelazny
Every now and then it's nice to stop and just look over what you've been writing and the way you've been writing it and sort of reassess it, and see if you've fallen into bad habits or there's something you'd like to get better at. One way of reexamining your own work is to work with somebody else. It's a learning experience. I don't want to get into a rut.
Zelazny quotes
Well, I decided that as a teenager that I really didn't know enough to describe character well and I was wasting my time. I'd learned as much as I could about story telling techniques and it wasn't a matter of technique any more. It was a matter of substance. As a result I said I was going to wait until I was a lot older and had more experience. So it was that after I got out of college I'd been away from SF for about four years. I'd read SF steadily from when I was eleven until I started college. When I started college I said, "I'm not going to read that while I'm here, I'm going to learn poetry and other things of that sort" in fact I wrote a lot of poetry then.
Zelazny
When I started writing my first novel, ...And Call Me Conrad, they always say: "Write about what you know" and I said "Well, if I get a nice sort of combination SF and Fantasy with these resonances from Greek Mythology it might be pretty good. It would also give me a chance to start filling in my background on all those things I don't know much about but should if I want to be an SF writer."
So I sat down and made a list of everything I felt I should know more about. Astrophysics, oceanography, marine biology, genetics... Then when I'd finished the list I read one book in each of these areas. When I'd finished I went back and read a second book until I'd read ten books in each area. I thought that it wouldn't turn me into a terrific, fantastic expert but I'd at least have enough material there to know if I was saying something wrong. And I'd also know where to turn to get the information I want to make it right.
While I was doing this, to keep the words and cheques flowing I wrote books involving mythology. And once I started picking up things involving astrophysics I'd write stories that played with those sorts of things. So that's why I started out with mythology.




Zelazny Roger quotes
Zelazny, telling of gods and wizards, uses magical words as if he himself were a wizard. He reaches into the subconscious and invokes archetypes to make the hair rise on the back of your neck. Yet these archetypes are transmuted into a science fictional world that is as believable — and as awe-inspiring — as the world you now live in.
Zelazny Roger
At the end of the season of sorrows comes the time of rejoicing. Spring, like a well-oiled clock, noiselessly indicates this time.
Roger Zelazny quotes
He flowed. Away from all the rooms of the world. Away from the stifling lack of intensity, from the day’s hundred spoon-fed welfares, from the killing pace of forced amusements that hacked at the Hydra, leisure; away.
And as he fled down the run he felt a strong desire to look back over his shoulder, as though to see whether the world he had left behind and above had set one fearsome embodiment of itself, like a shadow, to trail along after him, hunt him down, and to drag hem back to a warm and well-it coffin in the sky, there to be laid to rest with a spike of aluminum driven through his will and a garland of alternating currents smothering his spirit.
Roger Zelazny
The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
Zelazny Roger quotes
“Cute,” she said, smiling. “If the liberal arts do nothing else they provide engaging metaphors for the thinking they displace.”
Zelazny
Times have changed since the Good Book was written, and you can’t hold with a purely Fundamentalist approach in complex times.
Zelazny Roger
Death is the only god that comes when you call.
Roger Zelazny
Good-bye, and hello, as always.




Roger Zelazny quotes
My mind spun for a second before it drifted, and in that second I knew that of all pleasures—a drink of cold water when you are thirsty, liquor when you are not, sex, a cigarette after many days without one—there is none of them can compare with sleep. Sleep is best....
Roger Zelazny
I got the idea for that story in May of 1979. I didn't know what it was going to be; I just thought it would be neat to write something about Jack the Ripper's dog, and ask Gahan Wilson to illustrate it, partly because of the fact that a dog is such an unusual person. No matter who owns a dog, if that person is nice to the animal, the dog is going to love him. I thought at the time, if you take a really despicable person, a serial killer or someone like that, and tell a story from his dog's point of view it would make him look pretty good.
Zelazny quotes
Yeah, the mythology is kind of a pattern. I'm very taken by mythology. I read it at a very early age and kept on reading it. Before I discovered science fiction I was reading mythology. And from that I got interested in comparative religion and folklore and related subjects. And when I began writing, it was just a fertile area I could use in my stories.
I was saying at the convention in Melbourne that after a time I got typed as a writer of mythological science fiction, and at a convention I'd go to I'd invariably wind up on a panel with the title "Mythology and Science Fiction". I felt a little badly about this, I was getting considered as exclusively that sort of writer. So I intentionally tried to break away from it with things like Doorways in the Sand and those detective stories which came out in the book My Name Is Legion, and other things where I tried to keep the science more central.
But I do find the mythological things are creeping in. I worked out a book which I thought was just straight science fiction -- with everything pretty much explained, and suddenly I got an idea which I thought was kind of neat for working in a mythological angle. I'm really struggling with myself. It would probably be a better book if I include it, but on the other hand I don't always like to keep reverting to it. I think what I'm going to do is vary my output, do some straight science fiction and some straight fantasy that doesn't involve mythology, and composites.
Zelazny Roger
“Beware,” she recited a personal beatitude, “those who hunger and thirst after justice, for we will be satisfied.”
“And beware the meek,” she continued, “for we shall attempt to inherit the Earth.”
Zelazny Roger quotes
All of these things considered, it is not surprising that one can detect echoes, correspondences and even an eternal return or two within the work of a single author. The passage of time does bring changes, yea and alas; but still, I would recognize myself anywhere.
Roger Zelazny
I watched the spinning stars, grateful, sad and proud, as only a man who has outlived his destiny and realizes he might yet forge himself another, can be.
Roger Zelazny quotes
I try to write every day. I used to try to write four times a day, minimum of three sentences each time. It doesn't sound like much but it's kinda like the hare and the tortoise. If you try that several times a day you're going to do more than three sentences, one of them is going to catch on. You're going to say "Oh boy!" and then you just write. You fill up the page and the next page. But you have a certain minimum so that at the end of the day, you can say "Hey I wrote four times today, three sentences, a dozen sentences. Each sentence is maybe twenty word long. That's 240 words which is a page of copy, so at least I didn't goof off completely today. I got a page for my efforts and tomorrow it might be easier because I've moved as far as I have".
Roger Zelazny
I had troubles of my own, and even the most heartening of philosophical vistas is no match for, say, a toothache, if it happens to be your own.
Zelazny Roger
Oh, I don't know — that's a hell of a question — I don't tend to look at my stuff that way. I just look at it a book at a time. Something like the Amber books are in a different class. I try not to anticipate. I don't know what I'll be writing a few years from now. I have some ideas — I have lots of different things I want to try. I almost don't really care what history thinks. I like the way I'm being treated right now.


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