[[quoteright:177:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Roger_Zelazny_sm.png]]
Roger Zelazny was a SpeculativeFiction writer who loved to blur the boundaries between ScienceFiction and {{Fantasy}}. He is best remembered for his series, ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', but he wrote much, much more.

He began during the early days of the NewWaveScienceFiction movement, in the mid 1960s, and while he never identified with that movement, he did share its interest in literary technique. He wrote in a style that veered wildly between the [[PurpleProse flowery prose]] of high fantasy and the [[BeigeProse mundane prose]] of everyday life--the former to give his readers a sense of wonder; the latter to draw them in and make them feel a part of the story, and, often, to add a touch of humor. Together with New Wave authors like Creator/MichaelMoorcock, he helped redefine modern fantasy.

Early in his career, he developed a reputation for writing mythology-based SF. His first novel, ''This Immortal'' (originally, ''Call Me Conrad'') borrowed from [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], and ''Literature/LordOfLight'' and ''Literature/CreaturesOfLightAndDarkness'' were based on [[HinduMythology Hindu]] and EgyptianMythology, respectively. He quickly branched out into more general forms of ScienceFantasy, while still relying heavily on archetypal themes, like the Tarot and the conflict with Chaos in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber''. He did return to his mythological-SF roots with two later works: ''Eye of Cat'' (NativeAmericanMythology), and ''The Mask of Loki'' (NorseMythology).

Zelazny engaged in several collaborations, including works created with Creator/PhilipKDick, Creator/RobertSheckley and Creator/AlfredBester. His last two novels, ''Donnerjack'' and ''Lord Demon'', were completed posthumously by friend and mentee Creator/JaneLindskold.

His Post-apocalyptic novel ''Literature/DamnationAlley'' lent its title (but little else) to [[Film/DamnationAlley a 1977 film]]. His short story "The Last Defender of Camelot" was adapted (by Creator/GeorgeRRMartin) for an episode of ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone The New Twilight Zone]]''.

For biographical details and analysis, see the [[Analysis/RogerZelazny analysis page]].
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!!Roger Zelazny's works with their own trope pages include:
%% Don't include Dangerous Visions in the indexing!
* [[Literature/DangerousVisions "Auto-da-Fé"]]
[[index]]
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber''
* ''Literature/CreaturesOfLightAndDarkness''
* ''Literature/DamnationAlley''
* ''Literature/DoorwaysInTheSand''
* ''Literature/LordOfLight''
* ''Literature/ANightInTheLonesomeOctober''
[[/index]]

!!Roger Zelazny's other works provide examples of:

* AfterTheEnd: Several of his short stories, including "For a Breath I Tarry" and "The Stainless Steel Leech" among others, are set in various post-human worlds, amongst the robotic servants who have inherited the Earth.
* AIIsACrapshoot: In ''Home is the Hangman'', a space-exploring AI returns to Earth and a scientist is sent to investigate whether it's out to murder its programmers. [[spoiler: Far from it.]]
* AndIMustScream
* AnimatedArmor: Merlin's servitor in "The Last Defender of Camelot"
* AuthorAppeal: In quite a few books (''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' and ''Literature/LordOfLight'' among them) people smoke a lot-- usually cigarettes, sometimes a pipe. Zelazny was himself a heavy smoker until middle-age when he gave it up for health reasons. Whenever he got stuck as to where to go next, he would have a cigarette to think about things, and would put this activity into the text. When he stopped smoking during the second set of ''Amber'' books, he also stopped writing about his characters smoking.
* AuthorExistenceFailure: ''Donnerjack'' and several other works were incomplete at his death. It is moving that Zelazny himself finished off several books of other authors who had died.
* AutomatedAutomobiles: ''Devil Car'', and other stories.
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: The pantheon Zelazny created for ''Isle of the Dead'' and ''To Die in Italbar'' balances creative against destructive gods.
* BringNewsBack
* CarnivalOfKillers: In ''Roadmarks'' the antagonist hires the "Black Decade," ten highly skilled assassins/hunters from the entire range of Earth's history have been hired to eliminate the protagonist. This includes an assassin robot, a genetically enhanced and cybernetic super soldier, and a martial arts master.
* CharacterNameAlias
* DeadManWriting: Played with in ''Roadmarks'': A character writes a note to his employer explaining why he intends not only to resign but to kill his employer before he departs. He ends it with a postscript -- "By the time you read this, you will already be dead."
* DeusExMachina: The bottle that Kai Wren creates at the start of ''Lord Demon'' has the power to grant him any three wishes. At first, he doesn't want to use it, preferring to solve his problems the old fashioned way, [[spoiler:but when the fight starts turning against him, he uses the first wish to boot his enemies to their home dimension.]]
* DisappearedDad: Sandow to his son; Randy's father in ''Roadmarks''; Oberon to Corwin; Corwin to Merlin. Zelazny's own father died early.
* DoomedMoralVictor
* ExcitedShowTitle: "Horseman!"
* EternalEngine: In ''Jack of Shadows'', there is a Machine at the Heart of the World (the purpose of which is to stop the Earth from rotating).
* EyeColorChange: In ''Dilvish The Damned'', some witches have eyes that wax and wane with the moon.
* GentleGiant: Mondamay in ''Roadmarks''.
* GuineaPigFamily: In ''This Immortal'', the AbsentMindedProfessor borderline EvilutionaryBiologist (he euthanized the last dog on earth) George Emmet wanted to experiment on his children...but his wife put her foot down.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Justified for Francis Sandow, on the planets whose ecosystems he designed. It's a plot point in one novel when an animal is frightened of him, since it means he's entering enemy territory, and identifies him in a short story.
* HaveWeMetYet: Played with in ''Roadmarks'' -- on several occasions, people reminisce about a previous meeting with the time-travelling protagonist then add that they're not sure if it's happened to him yet, because he looked older then. [[spoiler:It turns out that he's growing younger instead of older as time goes on.]]
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: The time-travel novel ''Roadmarks'' has significant cameos by several, including the Marquis de Sade and a small German man named Adolph.
* HumanPopsicle: [[spoiler: In ''Permafrost'' characters are frozen solid and remain... alive.]]
* HumanitysWake: ''For a Breath I Tarry'' is set in a post-human world inhabited by our robotic servants. They regard mankind as godlike figures from a golden age.
* IHaveManyNames: A series of short stories, collected in ''My Name Is Legion'', about a secret agent whose real name even his employer didn't know, whose aliases were always the names of obscure-but-notable historical figures. (In a break from the usual procedure, the historical figure always had nothing whatever to do with the job at hand; for instance, on his first appearance he was undercover as an engineer, but using a name whose original owner was a doctor.)
* InnBetweenTheWorlds: ''Psychoshop'' (written with Creator/AlfredBester) has a similar nature, but instead of a bar, it's a sort of pawnshop, "where you can dump any unwanted aspect of your spirit as long as you exchange it for something else".
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: ''He Who Shapes'', see the main text.
* LikeABadassOutOfHell: Dilvish the Damned.
* TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday: ''Psychoshop'', a remarkably mobile shop [[spoiler: where you pawn elements of your mind!]]
* MarkOfTheSupernatural: In ''This Immortal'', protagonist narrator Conrad Nomikos has heterochromia, among other odd features. But then he [[spoiler: is probably a mutant and is definitely hundreds of years old.]] His unique appearance is an important plot point.
* MechanicalHorse: Bronze from ''Literature/CreaturesOfLightAndDarkness''; the horse from ''Dilvish the Damned'' (either demonic or mechanical) probably qualifies too. Also, more distantly, the Brass Baboon in Donnerjack.
* MerlinSickness: In ''Roadmarks'', certain people start out as old men (or women) and grow younger over time. The question of what they have in common and why this happens is central to the plot.
* MuggingTheMonster: "The Last Defender of Camelot" begins with a trio of muggers picking on a harmless-looking old man who turns out to be the last surviving Knight of the Round Table -- and not just any knight, but Sir Launcelot du Lac, who never lost a fight in his entire life.
* NoManOfWomanBorn: The sword from ''The Bells of Shoredan''
* PlotCoupon: Inverted in ''Forever After''.
* PsychicPowers
* PublicDomainCharacter: {{Merlin}}, Sir Launcelot and Morgan Le Fay in "The Last Defender of Camelot"
* RealityIsOutToLunch
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Many characters.
* RebelliousSpirit
* SapientSteed: Dilvish's steed, a steel horse that's the embodiment of a demon, in ''Dilvish the Damned''.
* ShadowWalker: In ''Jack Of Shadows'', this is one of the title character's signature abilities.
* SleightOfTongue
* SophisticatedAsHell: In ''Lord Demon'', the title character Kai Wren meets an Irish [[TheFairFolk Sidhe]]. After exchanging the appropriately formal official greetings, Kai Wren tells the Sidhe his name. The response? "Lord Demon? Holy shit!"
* TalkingYourWayOut: Characters are often very chatty -- a feature that saves the skin of more than one of them.
* UnderwaterCity: Underwater colonies are a significant part of the backstory of "The Eve of RUMOKO".
* TheUnpronounceable:
** ''The Changing Land'' features a demon named Melbrinionsadsazzersteldregandishfeltselior. The long name is necessary for the invocation ritual, and if the sorcerer attempting it were to get as much as one syllable wrong, the demon would kill him. Understandably, wizards are reluctant to attempt it. Subverted inasmuch as one of the antagonists is a wizard named Baran, whose native tongue is a horribly complicated agglutinative language, so he has no problem pronouncing the name and using the demon for errands.
** One of the stories collected in ''My Name Is Legion'' features a sapient dolphin named 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothaïlll'kje'k (which is also, no doubt to the delight of Zelazny's copy-editors, the title of the story itself).
* UnusualChapterNumbers:
** ''Roadmarks'', which involves time travel, begins with "Two", followed by "One" -- then another "Two", another "One", and so on through the book. The chapters numbered One follow the protagonist through the story; the chapters numbered Two contain related scenes in other times and places, and are not in chronological order.
* VirginSacrifice
* WeCanRuleTogether: Subverted in "The Last Defender of Camelot" Merlin admitted that he never expected to have Lancelot join him, and was only saying it out of spite.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: The demons in ''Lord Demon'' can't truly feel it, nor can they truly hate. [[spoiler:Except main character Kai Wren.]]
* YouDidntAsk: Used against one of the villains in ''Roadmarks''. A character is placed under a compulsion to obey the villain's orders; the villain's plan fails due to a fact the character knew all along but chose not to volunteer; the villain asks why he didn't warn him, and the character replies, with exact truth, "You never asked me."
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