The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White



So, I’m still in Austin.  I’ve been swimming every day because if you’re a Minnesotan and you’re someplace where you can swim in December, you do.

I’ve been working a short story for this project as well as getting some stuff done on Hawk.  The latter, by the way, took an interesting turn.  I was sitting around with Skyler White (the Whites have graciously put me up while I’m here), and we were talking about how stories work, and she said, “I love it when a story does this.”  And I said, “Yeah, me too….hey!”  So most of what I’ve already written has been moved to later in the book, and I’m kind of excited about the new approach.  We’ll see.  As part of working on the short story, I just reread Zelazny’s Isle of the Dead.  Jesus, he was good.  I miss him painfully.

Spent a lot of yesterday going over the new home page, and making notes about it.  Kudos to Corwin and Felix.  I like it a lot; though we’re still working out some details.  Also, thanks to everyone who commented on it.

Saw “Lincoln” for the second time, and was blown away again.  I’m not a huge Spielberg fan, but this was a lovely bit of work.

And I guess that’s about it for now.


Author: skzb

I play the drum.


  1. I can’t wait for Hawk. If it is 1/10th as good as all of your hints make it sound it will probably be 20 times better than most other books.

  2. Zelazny was a master. You know who else rocks at that writing thing? That Brust guy. Can’t wait for the new book pal. 🙂

  3. I think it would be really funny if there was no Daymar in “Hawk”. When I first started reading the books I thought I had an idea of what would be the outcome. As I continue reading my confidence of knowing what the broad outcome will be is diminished. Probably to the point the that at the end of the penultimate book we won’t have a fraking clue at all. But its more fun. Cleaver how you have done it. Did you know what is going to happen to Vlad when you first started to type out Jhereg?

  4. skzb

    schymwarf: I knew a lot of bits and pieces, and where it was headed. But, you understand, it wasn’t until Teckla that I realized I was writing a series.

  5. I just read To Reign in Hell, and read the Zelazny intro, and was reminded about how much I wish the Amber series never ended. It’s funny how his voice in the intro is so familiar just from reading his books. At the same time, I completely loved your book…not being very religious, I somehow am fascinated with biblical fiction. And To Reign in Hell was amazing. I still need to read Tiassa…My favorite book so far in the Taltos series has been Iorich, but please never stop writing more.

  6. I would love to know more about Daymar

  7. Where should one start with Zelazny? (Yes, I realize this is a truck-sized gap in my experience, but I realized that a small part is knowing where to start; publication order isn’t always the right answer). Recommendations?


  8. skzb

    Christopher: Love that intro. I was walking on air when it showed up, and I’ve never really come down.

    Donice: I know. Me too.

    lairbd: With Zelazny, I’d start with This Immortal, then Isle of the Dead. Save Lord of Llight for when you feel the need to be utterly blown away, delighted, have your life changed, and like that.

  9. Yeah, Lord of Light is the supreme ultimate, really.

    But I would also recommend Creatures of Light and Darkness for mind-blowing fun. And, well, everything else Zelazny wrote is at least good…. except for some of the collaborations. He has a few coauthored books I really disliked; I suspect he didn’t contribute that much to those.

    Also, I loved the first Amber series, but I thought the second was merely good because I disliked the main characters — the entire generation after Corwin seems kind of whiny, immature, and weak compared to the mythic stature of those of his generation.

    And of course he has a lot of great short stories, so don’t pass up the anthologies.

  10. Oh, I love it when there are twists involved.

  11. Really? Your first readers had it sussed by the end of Jhereg, dude. *g*

  12. skzb

    Okay, I should probably say, admitted to myself rather than realized.

  13. I will endlessly go back to the Amber series — the first five books are ones I keep finding more and more in every time I reread them. I can’t figure out how Zelazny wrote something that blew me away when I was in my teens, but still satisfies on deeper levels decades later.
    I haven’t read everything he wrote — some of it left me a little disappointed — but I loved Damnation Alley and Roadmarks.
    And for a novel that works as a story but also a metaphor for writing and rewriting, I kinda like Donnerjack.
    Also very much looking forward to reading Hawk 🙂

  14. I started with the Chronicles of Amber and they changed he way I viewed other people. I was 13, and the notion that other people have lives of their own even when they don’t intersect with mine was more of a revelation than it should have been. Maybe that was one of those lessons I should have learned in kindergarten or from Star Trek, but it was Corwin & Benedict that drove it home.

    Later Steve and Vlad taught me that it’s okay for grown-ups to have imaginary friends, and Wolfe taught me not to trust them.

    There’s an incredible collection of Zelazny short stories that would be a nice way to start if your local library has them. They seen to give a nice feel for his personality as well, so as long as Steve doesn’t disabuse those of us who never met him, I plan to keep pretending I can appreciate his work more for seeing how much of him is present in it.

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