My earliest sci-fi/fantasy influence was Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles books. A different friend loaned me that first book (as opposed to the friend who gave me the book I talked about in my essay over at The Canary Review). It seems in my history, the route to new ideas and books come through friends who have gone ahead of me to discover what I might never have found on my own. I’m so thankful for that.
That other book was a gift. The Zelazny books were loaned out one at a time with dire threats to my well-being if they weren’t returned in like condition. Now that’s the mark of a loved book, so I knew I would love them, too. And I did. Now I’m trying to find my own copies, some twenty years later. I’d like to read them again, this time from the perspective of a writer.