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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.


Apr. 18th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Previous Godson performances
The performances were done with the prior approval of the Estate, so they have obviously forgotten!

The first performance was well enough received that it prompted the second performance at Renovation, to a larger audience.
Apr. 19th, 2015 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: Previous Godson performances
Just remember, informing the Estate isn't necessarily the same thing as informing the Zelazny children. It is often unsafe to assume that information like this always passes down from the executor's lawyer to other related people, which means that they may not have actually known. I'd caution giving them the benefit of the doubt on this.
Apr. 19th, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Previous Godson performances
At the time, the Estate was being managed by Trent and his mom Judy, and so permission of the Estate implied that either Trent or his mom authorized it. That's why I wrote that they must have forgotten about this. Another potential explanation is that the agents gave permission -- twice, over a year apart -- without asking the Estate, but that seems unlikely. But as Dave Grubbs already explained in this thread, he obtained permission of the Estate each time through the agents (Kay and Kirby McCauley), and so what conversation transpired between the agents and the Zelaznys is unknown to him. At the time of the Boskone performance, there had been some hope that Trent would attend, but we were told that he had sent his regrets -- which is another reason why it seems like that this was something that the Estate just forgot about. It was, after all, a not-for-profit fan production at a convention on each occasion.
Apr. 19th, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Previous Godson performances
Well, it is what it is... but I am glad it was well received.

Did anyone tape either of the shows? Worldcon, especially, often do a lot of taping.
Apr. 19th, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Previous Godson performances
Dave was going to answer this for you but he hasn't gotten to it yet. There was partial filming of the Boskone performane but the quality isn't good. Dave was told that the Renovation people were going to film the second performance, but he never heard anything further, and so he is checking on that. He was planning to post a message once he hears from them.

I do have copies of the brochures from both performances if that is of any interest.
Apr. 19th, 2015 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Previous Godson performances
If I'm able to attend, I could bring one of the first edition six-volume sets of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, and the accompanying bibliography Ides of Octember, to donate for a door prize, auction, or fundraiser. Quite a few of the authors who wrote introductions to these volumes will be there, and so that set could become extra-special with their added signatures.

Also, since your theater sells books related to the events, will it be arranging to get some of the later printings of these books from NESFA Press?


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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