Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Let Zelazny Learn Ya

Tim White's Sign of the Unicorn

An important part of my fantasy reading is filling in my personal lacunae from the famed Appendix N.  I recently finished the first series of the Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber.  (Yes, Chad, you spoiled the identity of the villain for me.  I will crush you.)  WOW.  Beautifully written.  For years, just hearing "multiple worlds, the Tarot, reworked English and Celtic mythological elements" in the descriptions of this work somehow didn't grab me.  If sketches of the work you have heard don't appeal to you for some reason, my advice would be to ignore them: the execution far outstrips any laundry list of the elements.

Back on the gaming front, this is Absolutely Required Reading for anyone who is interested in the Law vs. Chaos struggle and the concept of Balance -- more so even than Poul Anderson or Michael Moorcock.  Hie thee to yon bookshelf and read, Masters of the Gaming Table!  Some thoughtful and arresting sub-creating is going on, here.  Also, if you are working on the plane of Shadows (cough, JON BRAZER, cough), you need to take a long look here.  More Plato than Spooky Shadows so definitely worth some pondering.  Even though I have been warned that some fans were disappointed in the second series, I may give in some day and read those too, so attractive did I find the first books, and they effectively implanted curiosity about what will happen after the big events at the end.