Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lord of Light

Written by: Roger Zelazny

First line: It is said that fifty-three years after his liberation, he returned from the golden cloud to take up once again the gauntlet of heaven, to oppose the Order of Life and the gods who ordained it so.

Why you should read this book: This Hugo winner from the 1960s more or less stands the test of time, telling the story of Sam, an unassuming but determined figure who places himself in opposition to Heaven itself. In the distant future, on a distant planet, human technology has advanced to the point that some people claim for themselves not on the powers, but also the identities of gods: the gods of the Hindu pantheon, to be specific. With devices so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic, they rule over their world, until Sam rises again to offer men and woman another way, and to wage war against those who would hold back progress from the masses.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: As with much of Zelazny’s work, some of his experimental writing techniques can make the story difficult to follow; characters constantly change names, bodies, and genders; scenes begin in media res with minimal identifiers to situate the reader; and a foundation in Vedic mythology is necessary to tease out Zelazny’s source from his invention, little of which is explicitly defined in the text.

No comments: