Hugo: Lord of Light (1968)

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
Read December 11, 2009 – December 27, 2009

Premise: Picking this up from the small scrappy tidbits of information you get, I deduce that Earth died and human colonists moved to a different planet which is now highly populated with them. Because of advanced technology, humans constantly have their consciousnesses moved from body to body so that they can live forever. The “first,” or the ones from Earth, are Gods. Those who they like are also Gods or demi-Gods in the Hindu pantheon. These Gods are squashing all semblance of current-Earth civilization in order to protect humans from themselves (and to maintain their own power). One God disapproves of this. We get a war.

Verdict: This book was pretty cool. The premise was amazing. It was written in pseudo-ritualistic religious language that was a bit heavy to wade through but often hilarious (for example, one God was making an “ancient and mystical symbol behind his back” which you can only assume means he is flipping somebody off.) I feel like the prose made the story too thick and convoluted to follow properly and if I got distracted even a tiny bit I had no idea what was going on and had to go back and re-read everything. And all the characters have about fifty names and incarnations so you sort of need a cheat sheet that says who everyone is. Not meaning to be the gender-police, but I didn’t like the way some of the characters were portrayed. For example, one of the Gods was really essentially a trans-gender woman who kept getting reincarnated into male bodies to satisfy herself, but she was never seen as virile and manly by women and thus threw temper tantrums. Wtf? That’s not how transgendered brains work. But whatev—as I said with Heinlein, he’s just a white man in the ’60s and his point of view must be excused and pitied.

Anyway, I liked the idea, I even liked the idea behind the execution of it, I just didn’t like the execution. Good book though.

Read if you have an attention span of lightyears and a mind with sharp teeth.

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