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This Mortal Mountain - Volume 3: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny by Roger Zelazny
Review by Steve Sawicki
NESFA Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781886778788
Date: 01 July 2009 List Price $29.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

When an author does a series you can run out of things to say about the books in the middle other than comparing them to what has previously come. Readers either know the series and don't need a review or there's not much you can say about a middle book to entice them to go back to the beginning. In this case, however, while we do have a six book series, it is a collection of an author's work in whole and while you may not like the author's early work you may love their middle work. Or, you may find their later work weak and self-indulgent after falling in love with their early, cutting edge prose. Or, perhaps you are familiar with a particular universe or set of characters. So, maybe you know Zelazny only from his Amber books, or just from his Wild Card characters, or from his Dilvish the Damned work. Regardless of how you know him there is plenty here for you to discover.

Zelazny was prolific, producing novels, short stories, non-fiction, and poetry at a fairly prodigious rate. Zelazny worked at being a writer. That is, he read more than he wrote and pushed himself to write outside familiar arenas. He studied writing and worked to perfect his own work continuously. This volume covers the late 1960s and the early 1970s, a period that, perhaps, best reflects the attention that Zelazny was putting toward becoming a full time writer. In this volume are Damnation Alley, Here There Be Dragons, Come To Me Not In Winter's White (written with Harlan Ellison), The Steel General, The Man at the Corner of Now and Forever as well as nearly two dozen more stories, a bunch of articles and a mass of poetry.

NESFA Press has produced yet another beautiful book, well bound, with a great cover by Michael Whelan and with superb content. I could probably make a good argument that you should buy this book simply to support what NESFA Press does. But I don't have to.

This is Volume 3 in what will become the seminal collection of Roger Zelazny's work. Zelazny is worth collecting in this way and in this fashion and NESFA has done a great job of packaging the material, providing telling and interesting introduction and putting together a package that should be sitting on the shelf of every fan of SF and Fantasy out there. This is a must have collection.

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