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sologdin

sologdin

Currently reading

Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
Isle of the Dead - Roger Zelazny Nutshell: top-hatted twerp settles vendettas on planet molded after Symbolist painting.

Pretty sure that I'm not getting this one. Highlights:

Tokyo Bay is full of used condoms, "limp, almost transparent testimonies to the instinct to continue the species, but not tonight" (6).

A "triple-asterisk break" indicates that narrator is getting laid (21).

Narrator is "87th wealthiest man in the galaxy" (12).

FTL magic involves travel through a "phase point" (26). Hell if I know, either.

Extraterrestrials at issue have written an encyclopedia about themselves, now complete, "in 14,926 volumes, they may have decided that there's no reason to continue any further" (35).

There is a Burkean rant against gratuities to service industry workers: "we all became tourists the minute we set foot outside our front doors, second-class citizens, to be ruthlessly exploited by the smiling legions who had taken over" (45)--stay classy, Z!

Engages expressly in polemic with Weber regarding rationalization/bureacratization theory (62).

Anticipates Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs books, to the extent that "record plates" capture the "electromagnetic matrix of the nervous system" at the time of death (64), from which a person might be reinstalled into a new body.

Endorsement of Malthusian population theory, apparently (72).

Narrator admits guilt for planetary genocide, via his "worldscaping" craft, in making a planetoid mass driver for use against the homeworld of an enemy species (106). He apparently felt bad enough about it to stay drunk for a whole week.

Subject aliens consider vendetta to be an art form, build their vengeance for centuries in order to show victim "that his entire life has been but a preface to this irony" (126).

Tries to do something with alchemical theory and various world religions. Could've been cool, but not sustained or clear enough for me (136-38).

Anyway, there it is. Z likes immortal protagonists who get into bizarre intrigues. I don't really see the virtues.