Lord of Light

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Harper Collins, May 11, 2004 - Fiction - 304 pages
7 Reviews

Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rules their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares oppose them: he who was once Siddhartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons. Lord of Light.

 

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Not Amber, but better

User Review  - Fandyllic - Borders

1968 Hugo Award winner for for Best Novel. Lord of Light (1967) is one of my favorite books and I try to recommend it to most of my friends. It was my first introduction to south asian gods and ... Read full review

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Sam, known to many as Siddhartha is revived to overthrow the tyranny of self-proclaimed Hindu gods. The often humorous juxtaposition of common terminology with words and concepts as understood by the characters adds more to the setting than one would imagine.
If a reader has the patience to read carefully every line they are rewarded with a vivid, poetic story leaving you satiated and strangely wiser that when you began.
 

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Page 6 - ... Approaching, the goddess has expelled her sister Dawn. Now darkness also disappears. "And so you have drawn near to us, who at your coming have come home, as birds to their nest upon the tree. "The clans have now gone home to rest, home the beasts, and home the birds, home even the hawks who lust for prey. "Guard us from the she-wolf and the wolf, and guard us from the thief, O Night, and so be good for us to pass.
Page 1 - Mahaaamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the maha- and the -atman, however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though could. Therefore, there was mystery about him (pl). Sam cultivates this mystery as he plays the part of a holy man, trying to introduce Buddhism into this world and thus weaken the hold of the Hindu-style "gods.
Page 117 - The real Buddha was named by us Sugata," replied the other. "Before that, he was known as Rild." "Rild!" Yama chuckled. "You are trying to tell me that he was more than an executioner whom you talked out of doing his job?" "Many people are executioners who have been talked out of doing their jobs,
Page 119 - ... have been making other plans. An army, great in space, may offer opposition in a brief span of time. One man, brief in space, must spread his opposition across a period of many years if he is to have a chance of succeeding. You are aware of this, and now that you have sown the seeds of this stolen creed, you are planning to move on to another phase of opposition. You are trying to be a one-man antithesis to Heaven, opposing the will of the gods across the years, in many ways and from behind many...
Page 6 - ... The goddess Night has looked abroad with her eyes, everywhere drawing near. She has put all her glories on. "The immortal goddess now has filled wide space, its depths and heights. Her radiance drives out the dark. "Approaching, the goddess has expelled her sister Dawn. Now darkness also disappears. "And so you have drawn near to us, who at your coming have come home, as birds to their nest upon the tree.
Page 145 - His intellect often wars with his emotions, his will with his desires ... his ideals are at odds with his environment, and if he follows them, he knows keenly the loss of that which was old — but if he does not follow them, he feels the pain of having forsaken a new and noble dream. Whatever he does represents both a gain and a loss, an arrival and a departure. Always he mourns that which is gone and fears some part ofthat which is new.
Page 95 - I am pleased to have achieved such a height of recognition in so short a period of time," he continued. " But even if you had succeeded, old girl, it would have done you little good. It is too late now. I have started something which you cannot undo. Too many have heard the ancient words. You had thought they were lost, and so did I. But we were both wrong. The religion by which you rule is very ancient, goddess, but my protest is also that of a venerable tradition. So call me a protestant, and remember...
Page 119 - It was considered quite carefully," said Yama. "We did not want to make you a martyr, encouraging more than ever the growth of this thing you have been teaching. On the other hand, if you were not stopped, it would still continue to grow. It was decided, therefore, that you must meet your end at the hands of an agent of Heaven — thus showing which religion is the stronger. So, martyr or no, Buddhism will be a second-rate religion henceforth. That is why you must now die the real death.

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About the author (2004)

Roger Zelazny burst onto the SF scene in the early 1960s with a series of dazzling and groundbreaking short stories. He won his first of six Hugo Awards for Lord of Light, and soon after produced the first book of his enormously popular Amber series, Nine Princes in Amber. In addition to his Hugos, he went on to win three Nebula Awards over the course of a long and distinguished career. He died on June 14, 1995.

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