Z is for Zelazny and Zette

Roger Zelazny largest body of work is The Chronicles of Amber. Amber has everything you could want in an epic fantasy — magic, swordplay, internecine rivalry, missing persons. . . . I hate to call it epic, though, as our world figures into the storyline (albeit as a shadow of the true worlds). Is it portal fantasy, with the Pattern acting as a portal? Or epic? Or something else?

(For the record, my favorite work by Zelazny is Doorways in the Sand. I’m a sucker for a book where one of the major plot points is chirality!)

For something that’s more clearly epic, I turn to Zette — Lazette Gifford, who has been working on a new epic fantasy and blogging about it this year — on her world-building, outlining, and writing. I think it should be lots of fun when it’s done: Project Water, Stone, Light. (Her most recent post on this project is about finishing the first book, not liking where it ends, and be ready to expand to a second book.) I particularly like the legend she posted on January 7. It begins:

A thousand years ago. . . .

. . . And over the high pass, though the place even then called The Barbarian Gate, came ten thousand invaders, and ten times as many following, intent on conquering the wide green lands of Tygen. The king and the army stood their ground at the headwaters of the Habur River, knowing they could not win against such odds as came at them from the cold northern lands.

The messengers sent by the barbarian king laughed to see them so unsettled. The king grew enraged and the four Prelates of the temples grew angry. The Prelates lifted their magic and created out of the messengers dog-like things, and those went yipping back to their master.

And this brings me to the end of my A to Z of epic fantasy. I’ll be posting a reflection post on May 7, and I’ll keep talking about epic fantasy — I read and write it, so that’s only to be expected. I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog challenge.

This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is epic fantasy, and blog posts will cover authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I can think of to fill the alphabet. Check out some of the other bloggers participating or follow my blog by e-mail if you like what you’ve read.