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Roger Zelazny Discussion forum on the works and writings of Roger Zelazny, not least the Amber series, Changing Land, Madwand, and standalone works.

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Old 20th November 2005, 08:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

I enjoyed the Amber chronicles, having read the 10 installments as 1 large book recently.Like most I found the first five more intriguing and enjoyable although Merlin's books were still good.
So mulling over what Terry says I'll give the Betancourt books a miss.
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Old 21st November 2005, 04:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Nixie,

Despite my feelings about the prequel books, I don't want to prejuidice anyone against another writer. If you choose to check out the Betancourt books, you should make up your own mind about them one way or another, and you can probably do so for free. I first saw the Betancourt books at my local library, and they are doubtless in other libraries around the world.

So yes, I have some strong feelings on the matter, but again, I think everyone should come to their decisions on such things.

All for the moment, best wishes, Terry
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Old 21st November 2005, 08:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

That's fair comment Terry. Like you I didn't enjoy the books that much but then he's not I assume trying to be another Zelazny but apply his own writing style to Zelazny's world.

As Terry suggeste Nixie, maybe see if you can get hold of one of Betancourt's books from the library to see if you like it.
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Old 25th May 2006, 02:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

The Amber series was fantastic, well worth reading all ten books, though I agree with others that Corwin's books were better.

As for John Betancourt's prequels, they were spoiled for me to a great extent by the shoddy editing/proof reading. The last in the series had more typos and words/sentences out of order than any book I've ever read. The stories themselves aren't bad, Betancourt has some nice touches and he's learned the Amber canon very well. But you know that Zelazny would have created something an order of magnitude greater had he written the books.

As for whether the books should have been written, this is a subject that has been done to death in various newsgroups and mailing lists. In dedicated forums, opinion was split down the middle, but a lot of people who were initially against did eventually read them (and some even admitted liking them). I think they are worth a read, but they're not essential. There was going to be a second prequel trilogy but AFAIK it's on hold due to the collapse of ibooks, who published the first.
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Old 23rd November 2006, 12:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

For the dedicated Zelazny Fans:

I've heard there are "a few" Amber short stories that Zelazny published in Fanzines. Does anyone know if this is true?
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Old 23rd November 2006, 04:25 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Here's what I've seen on these:

Quote:
Zelazny also wrote several short stories set in the Amber multiverse. These include:
  • 1993 "Prologue to Trumps of Doom"
  • 1994 "The Salesman's Tale"
  • 1994 "The Shroudling and The Guisel"
  • 1995 "Coming to a Cord"
  • 1995 "Blue Horse, Dancing Mountains"
  • 1996 "Hall of Mirrors"
All except the first of these short stories form one tale, taking place after Prince of Chaos.
All 10 novels have been published in a single omnibus form as The Great Book of Amber and all six short stories have been collected in Manna from Heaven.
from the Wikipedia article on Zelazny:

Roger Zelazny - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And there's also this:

The Amber series

And, as you can see, there's some slight discrepancies between the above and the article on Amber itself:

The Chronicles of Amber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But at least it gives you titles to look for....
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Old 23rd November 2006, 01:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

I absolutely loved the first five Amber books. When Zelazny started writing a further cycle some time after the original series (the Merlin books) I was delighted and read each as they came out. The first couple were very good, but later volumes retrod old ground a little before delivering a suitably momentous and satisfying finale.

I've also read the later Amber short stories mentioned by j.d.worthington -- they're collected in the book "Manna from Heaven" published by DNA & Wildside Press in 2003. This posthumous collection was put together by a fan who ran a Zelazny website, who bought the rights to the stories and then sorted out a publisher. The book brings together many of the great man's shorts that were previously uncollected in book form and includes some real gems.

The Amber stories are linked, developing a story thread which promised to be as original and enthralling as the original novels, involving a previously unsuspected realm existing within mirrors. I'm sure this was intended as the beginning of a projected new Amber novel or series, and it's frustrating that we'll never know where it would have lead.

I remember being greatly saddened by Zelazny's death. There's never been any writer quite like him. His laconic style and incomperable imagination made him one of my very favourite authors. Even today, the Amber books, along with classics such as "This Imortal", "Lord of Light", "Doorways in the Sand" and the zanily wonderful "A Night in the Lonesome October" stand head and shoulders above much of what's published in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. A great talent, sadly missed.
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Old 23rd November 2006, 03:20 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Thanks for the info.
I remember back in 1986 being offered the original manuscript version of "Ghost Wheel" with corrections by Roger including an argument with the editor about renaming it "Trumps of Doom". I wasn't able to sell my car fast enough and it went to another collector.
I've also provided some of the fanzine stories and poems to a Zelazny fan on ebay who is attempting the same feat as DNA and Wildeside press. He goes by name of devilsadvocate and is very motivated to bring more Roger to his fans.
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Old 23rd November 2006, 04:41 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

I'm reading the big ten book all in one book-thing.

Only read the first one so far and just started the second one, though I can't really get into it! Just been out and bought some other books (the lies of locke lamora being one) and I might just go ahead and skip Amber and start on my new lot!
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Old 24th November 2006, 05:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Quote:
Originally Posted by K. Riehl View Post
I've also provided some of the fanzine stories and poems to a Zelazny fan on ebay who is attempting the same feat as DNA and Wildeside press. He goes by name of devilsadvocate and is very motivated to bring more Roger to his fans.
I remember someone posting a list of all the uncollected stories to the newsgroup (before Manna From Heaven was published) and there were a surprising number out there. I know Roger considered a lot of his early stories to be of too poor a quality to be anthologised but I can't imagine any fan agreeing with him.

It would be wonderful if this new effort bore fruit.
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Old 24th November 2006, 05:41 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

After picking up the Amber series I was completely hooked and a total Zelazny fan. They are fantastic, humours, sad, intreiging... everything you could want out of a fantasy read.

I didn't really enjoy Damnation Ally but I did enjoy Bring me the Head of Prince Charming which he co-wrote.
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Old 26th November 2006, 01:57 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Some things are a dead give away. I don't think I need to tell you how much i like roger's works.As they say it's all in the name.
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:52 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Pick a court, any court, AS?

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Old 6th January 2007, 10:30 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

I loved the Corwin books, then lost interest reading the Merlin books. RZ was terrific, I especially liked My Name Is Legion (possibly the inspiration behind my own name changes over the years)
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Old 11th January 2007, 06:04 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Amber?

Quote:
Originally Posted by finvarre View Post
I liked the first 5 books very much, but then when the point of view switched from Corwin to Merlin, I didn't like it nearly as much. There was something in that first part of Amber that made it special - all those brothers and sisters intriguing and fighting one another in order to become Oberon's heir.. and I found the rules of the world of Amber very appealing. Merlin was both from Chaos and from Amber - it got too complicated for me. And, above all, I didn't care for that character quite as much as for Corwin with his silver - black clothes and his rose

BTW, what were your fav characters in the series beside the main ones? I liked Deirdre, but that was probably because of Corwin's point of view, and then she was killed... and Julian. The Arden forest was cool!
Besides, I liked Oberon. Afterwards, it was boring without him.
Even in discussions about the series, please be careful with spoilers. I still haven't finished reading them, and you essentially spoiled some key events for me.
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