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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
This Immortal

Copyright 1967 by Roger Zelazny

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Superb (4/5)

I first read this in 1969 and most recently in February 2001.

The nuclear apocalypse ruined the Earth. Those who survived the fled the destruction and took refuge on other planets, working for the alien Vegans. On the planet Taler, the government-in-exile tried to sell off Earth's remaining assets. Though that was thwarted, Earth remains in ruins and few people still remain.

Konrad Nomikos runs "Arts, Monuments and Archives" the agency responsible for managing the remains of Earth. It's a comfortable life, he works very little and he's just got married.

But now an important Vegan is coming to view the planet and perhaps this time the Earth may be parcelled up and sold off. And worse, Konrad is expected to help this along.

But Konrad is not all he seems. He was once Konstantin Karaghiosis who led the revolution against the government-in-exile. He's clearly older than he looks, immensely older. He is perhaps an elemental force.

Amongst the bizarre creatures in the radioactive hot-spots of ruined Greece, he has decide how best to save Mother Earth.

Classic SF. I treasure my old Panther edition, with its brown pages and moldy smell. I trust it will last another thirty years because I will of course keep rereading this book. Read the novel and feel the weight of thousands of years surround you.

So what's it got? Aging heroes called out of their dotage to struggle once more; great adventures and the hint of something magical beyond science. And also, humour, beautiful women, mysterious aliens and classic Zelazny dialog.

It doesn't have the power of "Lord Of Light", but this book, along with his other early works such as "Isle of the Dead" and "To Die In Italbar", just has to be read.

Loaded on the 24th February 2001.
    
Cover of This Immortal