other authors? (was Re: POTD question...)

Michael Schloss mschloss at comcast.net
Fri Jan 24 14:18:15 PST 2003

"Chris Olson - SunPS" <Chrisf.Olson at Sun.COM> wrote:

> No, I don't think so.  Personaly, I really like Zelazny, but
> I also have to agree with my ex who said that Brust is, overall,
> the better writer (taking into account plot, diction, character
> development, style, etc.).

They're difficult to compare, largely because Zelazny was so prolific and
his stories so diverse.   Brust is IMO a much more consistent author.
Although obviously some of his books are better than others, all of them are
still very good.  I find Zelazny to be much more hit and miss.  Some are
fantastic, unmatched in fantasy fiction, and some are, um, less so (2nd
Amber series anyone?).

Brust has a more flexible authorial voice.  Most of Zelazny's book are
written in a single, very distinctive style of writing, wheras Brust is much
more flexible or experimental.  Vlad's books are written in a very different
voice than, say, the Phoneix Guards, and both are very well done.  When you
toss in books like Freedom and Neccessity and the Gypsy, this flexibility
and authorial creativity can be even more strongly seen.

I agree that Zelazny had a tremendous imagination for concepts that Brust
hasn't even tried to match.  I also think that Zelazny's use of language had
more of a poetic quality than Brust's (with the exception of The Gypsy).
However, Brust's plotting and storytelling is generally stronger.  Zelazny
at his best, such as in the 5 Amber novels, could be a great plotter and
storyteller, but many of his others books weren't as strong in that regard.

I guess what I'm saying is that they're difficult to compare.

- Michael

"Lady, I'm your WORST NIGHTMARE--a pumpkin with a gun."  -Mervyn Pumpkinhead
(in The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman)