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Remembering Roger

On June 14, 1995 Roger Zelazny died at St. Vincent's Hospital here in Santa Fe. Though it seems very hard to believe -- for his voice and his presence are still very much with those who knew and loved him, and his words will live forever -- this June will mark the twentieth anniversary of Roger's passing.

At the memorial service shortly after his death, I spoke a few words about Roger and his work, and what he meant to me and to SF and the wider world of literature. You can read them here:


Twenty years is a long time, but Roger and his work are still remembered. With the dark day of that anniversary approaching, we thought the time was right to share some of our memories of this amazing man and his incredible stories. It did not feel right to do it on June 14, however; we want to celebrate his life and his work, not his death. So we chose May 31 instead.

On Sunday night, May 31, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe will offer a special one-time only night of readings and reminiscences we're calling "Remembering Roger."

Roger's son Trent, a fine writer in his own right, is organizing the event for us, and other members of Roger's family are also expected to attend, along with lots of us from the New Mexico science fiction community and Albuquerque fandom. I will be there, as will Jane Lindskold, Melinda Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, John Jos. Miller, and many many more. We have lots of folks coming in from out of town as well. Neil Gaiman is trying to make it, if his schedule allows. Joe Haldeman is flying in. So is Michael Cassutt. And many folks who cannot come to New Mexico in person will be Skyping in to join us, or sending video greetings and readings. Joe Lansdale, Steven Brust, Howard Waldrop, and others will be heard from.

We won't be showing DAMNATION ALLEY, no... but we may screen the trailer, just for hoots and giggles. We will have other films and videos, though. A slide show, maybe... so if you have some good pictures of Roger, send jpegs to me or Trent. Artwork too. Most of the evening will be taken up with readings from Roger's work: his poems, his stories, favorite passages from his books. We expect there will be tears; we hope there will be laughter too. And Roger's own voice will be heard: he recorded the Amber audiobooks himself, and we hope to play some of that.

The evening's final offering will be a play. If you're read my memorial, above, you'll know that one of the last things Roger ever completed was a short musical play called GODSON. He read it aloud in my living room a few weeks before he died, but to my knowledge it has never been staged or performed. Until now.

GODSON will have its long LONG awaited premiere on the stage of the Jean Cocteau on May 31. Its the story of what happens when Death adopts a child, and it's pure Roger. We are in rehearsal now. Advance tickets for the evening will be on sale shortly; watch this space for announcements. All box office proceeds will be split with the Zelazny family and the actors and director who are bringing us GODSON. The Cocteau has only 130 seats, so if you want to be part of this, do not hesitate when tickets are made available. This is a one-time only event. (Though we would consider further performances of GODSON if the play is well received and there seems to be sufficient demand. Roger would like that, I am sure).

If you knew Roger, or even if you only knew his work, and you would like to help or be a part of this, please get in touch with Trent Z at trentzelazny@juno.com

We want to make this an evening worthy of one of greatest science fiction writers who ever lived.


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Apr. 23rd, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
Best of luck on this. Zelazny has been my favourite genre writer as long as I can remember.
Apr. 25th, 2015 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you for doing this
Just wanted to say, as one of Roger's many fans and a fervent collector of his works, but not a member of Fandom per se, that I am very glad that Roger is being remembered in this way.

I am far younger than those of you who read Amber as it was coming out (born in 72) but reading Roger's many books as a teen and after left an indelible mark in my tastes in reading.
Ray Feighery
Apr. 27th, 2015 07:45 pm (UTC)
As luck would have it I'm overdue for a business trip to NM. Seems this might be a good reason to schedule it for the end of May.:)
May. 3rd, 2015 03:19 pm (UTC)
update on event?
sorry to bug you here, but wanted to confirm the event is still happening on May 31st? I tried to email Trent but the poor guy is recovering and I don't want to stalk him. ;) I would like to purchase airline tickets (ideally before the price skyrockets) but I can't find anything about getting tickets to the event (the Cocteau theater site doesn't list it on May 31st)... would love to get some confirmation of the date before we book flights. Thanks!
May. 3rd, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: update on event?
Yes, the event is still happening on May 31.

I must admit, queries like this puzzle me. Once I have announced an event, how often am I expected to "confirm" it?

Yes, we are still showing MAD MAX too. Yes, I am still going to all the events and cons listed on my website Appearances page.

Tickets should be available soon.

We have gotten a huge response to this event, and may be starting it earlier than anticipated, since so many people want to read/ speak/ take part. It was originally going to be an evening event, but now I think it will start in the early afternoon and run till late.

May. 7th, 2015 03:51 am (UTC)
The first time I met the woman who would become my mother-in-law, she took great pride in telling me Roger Zelazny himself had sat at her kitchen table, and drank coffee. I was both deeply impressed, and assured I was marrying into the right family.

And she didn't even read science fiction. She was just impressed by gentle personality.
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George R.R. Martin
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