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This Immortal (1966)

by Roger Zelazny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,003358,363 (3.75)91
The Hugo Award-winning first novel ever written by the bestselling author of The Chronicles of Amber! Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he'd rather not talk about. And, as Arts Commissioner, he's been given a job he'd rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a guided tour of the shattered remains of Earth is not something he relishes-especially when it is apparent that this places him at the center of high-level intrigue that has some bearing on the future of Earth itself!.… (more)
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» See also 91 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
What a novel. I have to admit I did not expect story this straight-forward from Roger Zelazny. I mean story taking place in time span of couple of days (unlike decades and centuries in "Lord of Light") and without convoluted story-line like one in "Creatures of Light and Darkness".

We follow a mystery man in the [maybe not so far?] future,[way] older than expected as he is faced with a very difficult task - keep an alien ambassador alive while visiting the landmarks of the depopulated and heavily radiated Earth, years after a nuclear war that almost brought end to all life on Earth. He is not sure why he needs to keep the alien alive but he knows something very bad will happen if he fails in his mission.

Saved at the very last minute by alien Vegans, humanity found itself in the position that it either needs to go to the stars to seek fortune and prosperity or remain on Earth trying to feel as something more than creatures in the zoo that gets visited by Vegans - The Earth, great monument how deadly and self-destructive civilization can become. This of course gave rise to huge resentment and violence (and our hero is heavily involved in all of this).

Story has it all - immortal hero, one who fought to save and preserve the Earth through force and then decided to play it more clever on psychological level, person who finally found love of his life only to be brought back into the turbulent intergalactic political arena. Entire story is author's nod to Greek mythology.

We have assassins, secret agents, giant war-hounds and mutants from radioactive areas, vast irradiated areas with mutated flora and fauna. Might sound over the top but functions truly beautifully. One of the best book I read so far [but then again I always enjoy stories of old heroes trying to live their lives and get sucked back into conflicts].

Highly recommended to all fans of SF. ( )
  Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
For Zelazny fans, this is a worthwhile read. For those new to Zelazny, you'll probably want to start somewhere else. (I recommend Lord of Light).

I loved many of the scenes in this book, and yet it never quite came together. I think this was for two reasons: first, the quality of the iBooks Kindle version is low enough to be annoying. I recommend against it. Ideally, this would not affect my rating, but until I can read a better version, it's the only impression I have.

The other challenge I had is that the pacing never quite grabbed me. After reading it, I learned that this was a novelization of a serialization. I suspect that if I had gone into this knowing that, then I would have enjoyed it more. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
The novel is filled with allusions and hints and name-dropping and metaphors that display Zelazny’s interest and knowledge of ancient Greek (and other) mythologies. Overall, the novel wants you to like it and as a reader I really wanted to, as well. So engaging and breezy, but ultimately ridiculous and stupid. It is really quite like taking the well-worn concept of “humans do not treat their planet well” and then turning it into some Edwardian/ancient Greek farce. What did Zelazny want to do with this? He did not know, either, I think. Its mid-1960s sentiment with some leftover 1940s pulp. Good luck, readers. ( )
  Ruskoley | Jun 24, 2022 |
Hmm.. Not my favorite Zelazny. Not much of a plot, llthough parts of the story were very good. The mythology mainly. ( )
  majkia | Jan 5, 2022 |
For a long time, Zelazny was my favorite author and he definitely had much to do with the shaping of my world view. This isn't one of my favorites, although a good read. I find the protagonist's view of women problematic, and every tense violent situation has a 'just in time' rescue. On the other hand, his deep Greek folklore in a post-apocalyptic setting is intriguing, if under explored. ( )
  aeceyton | Dec 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zelazny, RogerAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beauvais, DenisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevine, VictorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Curtoni, VittorioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiFate, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleissner, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güven, SönmezTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MelvynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hardy, David A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuiper-de Boer, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
López, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrow, GrayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perrin, MimiTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Revuelta, JoaquínTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Ben Jenson
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"You are a Kallikanzaros," she announced suddenly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A shorter version of this appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction under the name ". . . And Call Me Conrad", copyright 1965 Mercury Press, Inc.
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The Hugo Award-winning first novel ever written by the bestselling author of The Chronicles of Amber! Conrad Nomikos has a long, rich personal history that he'd rather not talk about. And, as Arts Commissioner, he's been given a job he'd rather not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a guided tour of the shattered remains of Earth is not something he relishes-especially when it is apparent that this places him at the center of high-level intrigue that has some bearing on the future of Earth itself!.

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