Roger Zelazny

1937 - 1995

American author
Roger Zelazny was one of the foremost authors in science fiction's New Wave movement. His use of prose packed with irony as well as psychological and mythological structures brought new dimension to the genre and aided in improving science fiction's overall literary quality. Zelazny's formative years were spent in Ohio where he began creative writing at an early age and later earned a B.A. in English at Western Reserve University. He continued with graduate studies at Columbia University, specializing in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.
It was only after earning his M.A. in 1962 that Zelazny took serious steps towards writing professionally. His early publications include the short story "Passion Play" (Amazing Stories, 1962) followed by "Horseman!" in Fantastic (1962). He prospered in short fiction, even authoring some tales under the pseudonym Harrison Denmark because of his high output. Among his best-known works are "A Rose for Ecclesiastes" (1969), This Immortal (1966, first published Fantasy & Science Fiction as "…And Call Me Conrad"), and Lord of Light (1967), the latter two novels earning him Hugo awards. During the course of his career, Zelazny received six Hugo awards and three Nebula awards for his various works.
Undoubtedly Zelazny's most recognized work is the ten-book series The Chronicles of Amber (1970-1991). Like many of his short stories, the Amber novels are rife with mythological references. This motif became his most indelible contribution to the New Wave, helping science fiction literature shift conceptually from the hard sciences and the outside world to a more internal, interdisciplinary model of fantasy fiction. Zelazny himself often referred to his works as "Science Fantasy." Overall, Zelazny produced a literary treasure trove and has been credited with inspiring such authors as George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman.
Selected Bibliography:
A Rose for Ecclesiastes (1969)
This Immortal (1966)
Lord of Light (1967)
Damnation Alley (1969)
Nine Princes in Amber (1970)
The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth, and Other Stories (1971)
A Night in the Lonesome October (1993)
Film Adaptations:
Damnation Alley (1977)