Hilarious Halloween Treat from Sci Fi Master Roger Zelazny
A Night in Lonesome October
by Roger Zelazny
Humor, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 01 October 2016
Hilarious and utterly original, A Night in Lonesome October reminds readers of Zelazny's unique genius. Told from the perspective of Snuff - a guard dog of unusual perception and intellect, it describes a game of magic where competitors of vastly different natures prepare to do battle on one fateful night. No one knows who is on which side or what will be brought forth. Each player has an animal companion assisting. One of the things I enjoyed is that humans play second fiddle to the animals who plan, negotiate, and undertake tasks - all while behaving true to form rather than acting "human". Snuff and his friend Greymalkin, the witch's cat, are particularly charming.
One aspect of A Night in Lonesome October that is certain to bring smiles is Zelazny's skillful inclusion of classic characters. Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Great Detective and his assistant play major roles, as does the Wolfman and Lovecraft's elder gods. Few authors other than Zelazny could take all of these elements and make a plot that is both humorous and believable (within its context). Much of it has a frantic air, like a mad scavenger hunt made all the funnier by Snuff's calm, stoic attitude. The grave robbing scene is particularly funny as the players swap body parts and the old dog guarding the cemetery complains.
Whether you pick up A Night in Lonesome October, or another of Zelazny's novels, you are in for a thrilling ride. A Night in Lonesome October is particularly appealing because it is vastly different from the standard Halloween offerings - cleverly composed and outrageously funny. It is a pleasure to see it back in print.
I received a copy of A Night in Lonesome October from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
An overdue reissue of the last great novel by a giant of SF - essential October reading.
All is not what it seems . . .
In the murky London gloom, a knife-wielding gentleman named Jack prowls the midnight streets with his faithful watchdog Snuff – gathering together the grisly ingredients they will need for an upcoming ancient and unearthly rite. For soon after the death of the moon, black magic will summon the Elder Gods back into the world. And all manner of Players, both human and undead, are preparing to participate.
Some have come to open the gates. Some have come to slam them shut.
And now the dread night approaches – so let the Game begin.