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Nine Black Doves: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny (NESFA's Choice) by Roger Zelazny
Review by Steve Sawicki
NESFA Press Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781886778801
Date: 04 December 2009 List Price $29.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Roger Zelazny said, when asked about his writing, "My intent has long been to write stories that can be read in many ways from the simple to the complex. I feel that they must be enjoyable simply as stories...even for one who can't catch any of the allusions." And so we come to Volume Five in the NESFA Press Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, a volume that collects work from the 80s, perhaps the time when Zelazny was producing work that best fit his stated purpose.

The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny:
Threshold - Volume 1:
Power & Light - Volume 2
This Mortal Mountain - Volume 3
Last Exit to Babylon - Volume 4
Nine Black Doves - Volume 5

This volume contains a few Dilvish stories, a few Wildcard stories, Hugo winning and Nebula nominated stories, articles and introductions by Melinda Snodgrass and George R.R. Martin. There are also some oddities--outlines of works, as well as a publication history. All in all nearly 600 pages of Zelazy which should indicate just how prolific he was. And this, from a writer who believed that sparsity was critical. This volume also contains "Kalifriki of the Thread", "Night Kings", and "The Bands of Titan."

I don't have too much more to add than what I have already said in my reviews of the previous volumes. Zelazny was a great writer who could play in any number of different genres and forms. He was liked by readers and admired by other writers. His characters were often quirky and individualistic and hard to figure out. His stories were often that way as well but always worth reading.

This is another beautifully produced NESFA book. From the Michael Whelan cover (which works both as an individual cover for each volume and as a cover when all six volumes are put spine by spine)to the addition of Zelazny's own words about his writing, this is a book that deserves space on everyone's shelf. It's well bound, well edited, well produced, beautiful to look at and will probably be read more than once by everyone who owns one.

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