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Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

Lord of Light (original 1967; edition 2004)

by Roger Zelazny

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3,600731,464 (4.08)115
Title:Lord of Light
Authors:Roger Zelazny
Info:Eos (2004), Edition: 1st Eos Tr, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:read, fantasy, mythology, novel, widget

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Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (1967)

Recently added bydaeverett, rnbwpnt, Infonomist, Dilvich, elctrcmyhm, stonecrops, private library, adamblarson
  1. 61
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    The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (WildMaggie)
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    Creatures of Light and Darkness by Roger Zelazny (PMaranci)
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» See also 115 mentions

English (71)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
More reviews on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It...

I’m a very big fan of the Amber chronicles, but I couldn’t get into this book.

The writing felt heavy handed, and I didn’t care for the characters – much like you don’t really care for characters in most myths: they feel impersonal, archetypical, cardboardlike.

I tried, but I couldn’t finish it, stopped 1/3rd in. Maybe if I’d read on everything (story, characters) would have become more alive, but my intuition said ‘no’. ( )
  bormgans | Dec 15, 2015 |
Adorei. Ao ressuscitar um dos "deuses" ou talvez não do universo indiano, o mesmo revolta-se contra todos os outros que fizeram do paraíso aquilo que querem sem querer saber das consequências para os pobres dos humanos. A revolta divina dum "Gandhi" que é considerado "Senhor da Luz" vale a pena ser lida pois a descoberta deste autor é um enriquecimento para quem é apaixonado pela FC. ( )
  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
Couldn't finish. Found it to be rambling and allegorical. Also sexist. Does a decent job with Hindu Gods and Pantheon, but the writer clearly didn't like or understand women very well. ( )
  cmlloyd67 | Jun 7, 2015 |
Lord of Light is set on a colony world on which a cabal of elites have used advanced technology (including literal reincarnation) to set themselves up as the pantheon of Hindu gods over the unsophisticated colonist population, using their powers to quash both technological advancement (the printing press is a primary target) as well as dissent within the ranks of the elites. The main conflict of the story involves the latter--one of these elites, Sam, sets himself up as the Buddha and begins preaching against the gods. Despite the premise of preaching to mobilize the population, most of the book really concerns itself with the intrigue and politicking between the fickle gods, and later the direct conflict between the gods and Sam and his godly allies. The language Zelazny uses is very ornate, which really reinforces the Hindu setting--at times, I though I was reading fiction about the actual Hindu gods. The story's flow was a little strange, though--it seems like the author wanted the readers to come away an impression of just how fickle the gods are rather than be invested in any particular outcome. ( )
  Phrim | Dec 11, 2014 |
One of my all-time favorite books. I love his ability to switch from formal to informal language. I love the plot. I love the philosophy. I love his smart imagination.
  LauraMarkowitz | Aug 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
As opening lines of novels go, Lord of Light's are among the best I've ever read, and based on how many people have quoted them to me in the last few weeks, the best a lot of you have ever read, too. In twenty-five words, they capture the best-loved aspects of the book — the seamless blend of antiquated cadence and insouciant modern vernacular, of modest sincerity and dry humor — and more, they tell us, in part, what the story is about.
added by lorax | editio9, Josh Wimmer (May 9, 2010)
Fantasy disguised as science fiction disguised as fantasy: Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light
added by sturlington | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Nov 9, 2009)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roger Zelaznyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, StevenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walotsky, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Dannie Plachta,
of friendship, wisdom, soma.
First words
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.
Names are not important... To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important. A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying, 'What is it like, this thing you have seen?' So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world. He tells them, 'It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.' Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it 'fire.'"If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. 'As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only a part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, 'fire' does not matter, 'earth' and 'air' and 'water' do not matter. 'I' do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming. The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle. The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the world, excreting the ash of the world, and being none of these things I have named and at the same time all of them, and this is reality — the Nameless.
I have many names, and none of them matter.
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. His followers had prayed for his return, though their prayers were sin. Prayer should not trouble one who has gone on to Nirvana, no matter what the circumstances of his going. The wearers of the saffron robe prayed, however, that He of the Sword, Manjusri, should come again among them, The Boddhisatva is said to have heard...
His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could.
It was in the days of the rains that their prayers went up, not from the fingering of knotted prayer cords or the spinning of prayer wheels, but from the great pray-machine in the monastery of Ratri, goddess of the Night.
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A new trade paperback edition of the late science-fiction master's Hugo Award-winning classic, telling of a band of men who through technology made themselves immortal.

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