A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Back in the day, in the mid-'90s, I had the great pleasure to see Zelazny before he died. He was so full of life, so enthusiastic.
And by that time, I'd read so much by him. All the Amber books, Lord of Light, This Immortal (which shared a Hugo with Dune), and so many more that were just... FUN. This book was no different, but at the time I hadn't read it because this was currently either being written or was to be published, shortly.
I went to his reading at an SF convention and the guy literally got up on the table and barely read from his script as he performed, with glowing eyes and such energy, a scene right from A Night in Lonesome October.
We laughed, sat enraptured, and, because this was a very tiny crowd, sitting around him in one of the tiniest meeting rooms in the hotel, we all got to talk with him.
I was amazed. Thrilled. He was one of the small handful of authors that made me realize that all I wanted to be was a writer.
It really came as a shock to me when he died at only 58 of cancer, that he had not only been going through it as he wrote this book -- but that he even voiced the entire narration in the audiobook for it.
It was as if he poured all the rest of his vitality into this last project, for us.
Am I reading too much into this? No. Probably not. He was a great man and he was able to give us so much light in the time he gave to us. Maybe it just hits differently when we actually get to meet our heroes. And it hits even harder when they turn out to be that much more heroic.
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