Brust and Zelazny

15 December 1998

Steven Brust has at times ranked his favorite authors, and has ranked Roger Zelazny as #1, and acknowledged influence by him. I don't pay enough attention to the fine structure of style to judge consciously, but when I was first reading the Taltos books (and before I knew this fact) they reminded me somewhat of the Amber books, and others by Zelazny. I think some of the similarity may be in the mixture of the profound and profane both share. Lord of Light is the most blatant book of Zelazny's in its portrayal from within of a pantheon; Creatures of Light and Darkness is similar, and the Amber books can be seen as a view from within Faerie, although as far as I know it is the most original in plot inspiration. Similarly most of Brust's Dragaera books are literally stories from within Fairyland, but from a very earthy view. The most blatant example: in The Phoenix Guards Khaavren confronts Crionofenarr and negotiates peace between him and the Empire. This same event is told 1000 years later as legend in Brokedown Palace (the confrontation between Fenarr and Kav, and the Faerie sword.) And of course To Reign in Hell is Paradise Lost from within.

Sean Eric Fagan adds:

>Another one: in Dream of Passion the goddess seems to take Vlad to a "plane"
>which has cars.
>   "but nevertheless almost ran into a wagon going very fast in the other
>   direction, with bright lamps and no horses that I noticed. After that I
>   stayed even further to the side."

This, btw, is Brust's homage to Zelazny:  he claims that the car is
what's-his-name's, the narrator of the Amber series.

"What's-his-name" being Corwin Prince of Amber, of course.

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