On Monday, January 27, 2003, at 11:47 AM, Steve Simmons wrote: > On Fri, Jan 24, 2003 at 01:20:04PM -0800, Steven Brust wrote: > >> At 02:15 PM 1/24/2003 -0600, pddb at demesne.com wrote: >>> I think >>> Steven is a better novelist than Zelazny, actually. > . . . >> Uh...LORD OF LIGHT? If ever write something that good, I could die >> content. > > For what it's worth (and no author-stroking intended), IMHO Brust > at his best can equal the average Zelazny. And I find most of the > Vlad novels more entertaining (and less flawed) that most of the > Amber novels. But no, I don't think Brust has hit the best of Zelazny > yet. > > One major reason is that Zelazny could and did work at much shorter > lengths. Shorter works have been getting ever-declining respect over > the years, but IMHO they have the special virtue of being able to > address > a single (possibly smaller) theme or idea in isolation. A novel almost > inevitably broadens things to the point that the smaller themes are > over-addressed or diluted by being mixed with other things that obscure > it. As an example, compare the novella versions of 'He Who Shapes' or > 'This Immortal' to the novels. > > And some of the strongest, most memorable Zelazny is the shortest. > 'The > Moment of Power' (I may have that title wrong), 'Last Defender of > Camelot', 'A Rose for Eclesiastes' -- all of them would be lost if they > were expanced or just mere scenes in something larger. > > So I agree with Brust on this one. :-) > > I am not a Zelazny fan though I do like some of his works. I agree that shorter works are underrated these days. The market seems saturated these days with Big Serious Works and its refreshing to read a short, tightly plotted novel. I myself write novels that are on the short end. I've tried to write Big Stuff but I always end up just focusing on a few threads anyway. Now, if I can ever write 1/3 as well as Steve, the Master of the Plot, I'll be a happy man.