F. Brett Cox

Jul 26, 2022

Roger Zelazny

University of Illinois Press 2021

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) combined poetic prose with fearless literary ambition to become one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 1960s. Yet many critics found his later novels underachieving and his turn to fantasy a disappointment. 

In Roger Zelazny (University of Illinois Press, 2021), F. Brett Cox surveys the landscape of Zelazny's creative life and contradictions. Launched by the classic 1963 short story "A Rose for Ecclesiastes," Zelazny soon won the Hugo Award for Best Novel with …And Call Me Conrad and two years later won again for Lord of Light. Cox looks at the author's overnight success and follows Zelazny into a period of continued formal experimentation, the commercial triumph of the Amber sword and sorcery novels, and renewed acclaim for Hugo-winning novellas such as “Home Is the Hangman” and “24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai.” Throughout, Cox analyzes aspects of Zelazny's art, from his preference for poetically alienated protagonists to the ways his plots reflected his determined individualism.

F. (Francis) Brett Cox is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Norwich University. In addition to his critical study of Roger Zelazny (recently awarded second place for nonfiction in the 2022 Locus Awards), he has published over thirty short stories, most of which appear in his collection The End of All Our Exploring: Stories (Fairwood Press, 2018). He has also co-edited the anthology Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (Tor, 2004).

Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found at https://fifteenminutefilm.podbean.com/ and on Twitter @15MinFilm.

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Daniel Moran

Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen Minute Film Fanatics.

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