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Manna from Heaven [Hardcover]

Roger Zelazny
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 16 2006
This new collection includes all five previously uncollected "Amber" stories, plus the prologue from the rare limited edition of Trumps of Doom, and 16 other fantasy and science fiction stories (including a collaboration with Harlan Ellison).

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5.0 out of 5 stars Manna From Heaven May 25 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Roger Zelazny has been gone for nearly ten years. During that time I am not the only reader who has scoured fanzines, websites, second-hand book stores, and occasionally friends' libraries for anything I could find of his that I had not already read. Here is is, Manna from Heaven. Who but Roger Zelazny writes so beautifully as he ascribes personality and character to natural formations, machines, or even physical principals? Having included the most amazing plot twists, he writes fluidly to mindbending conclusions. Although I've already read some of the short stories in Manna, there is enough new material in the collection to allow me to feel the sheer joy of reading something new and wonderful by Zelazny. I rated Manna From Heaven at five stars because it is his work, and feels like it. Some of the tribute fiction written in his honor is good reading, especially as it gives one the clear opportunity to evaluate those other writers in comparison to the master. Of course, nobody else comes close. Reading Manna From Heaven was a rewarding experience. There is a downside, however. I used to realize how silly it would be to hope for more new stories or books from Roger Zelazny. Now I'm not so sure... some of his characters have made difficult returns...
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last! All of the 'Amber' short stories under one cover! Sept. 24 2004
By LVX - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was eagerly anticipated by fans of Zelazney's 'Amber' fiction, because all of the 'Amber' short stories had been out of print for years. "Manna From Heaven" places all of the 'Amber' short stories-- along with a number of Zelazney's other uncollected pieces-- together under a single cover.

If the 'Amber' stories were ALL that this edition offered, I'd still give the book three or four stars. What a joy to discover that "Manna From Heaven" is FULL of quality fiction by Roger Zelazney, and that many of the other stories in this book even manage to surpass its 'Amber' material! I've read several anthologies of Zelazney's short stories, and I've enjoyed them all, but "Manna From Heaven" EASILY takes the cake!

Aside from the 'Amber' shorts, which were great by the way, I particularly enjoyed "Kalifriki of the Thread" and the title story, "Mana From Heaven" [sic]. These stories were so good that I was surprised not to have seen them collected elsewhere. (Makes you wonder what other Zelazney goodies may still be lying around in the vault???). Naturally, some of the tales in this collection are more compelling than others, but not a single story falls flat. Each carries its own weight. This is unusual enough for any collection of short stories, but as a fan of Roger Zelazney's work, I was also intrigued by the fact that these selections represented a fair cross section of his work as an adult author-- several of the short stories in this volume were from Zelazney's later years, but "Manna From Heaven" also includes a couple of wonderful unpublished pieces from Roger's pre-fame college days!

I would recommend this collection for all readers, whether they're already fans of Zelazny's work, or merely readers who enjoy a well-crafted short story. There's truly something for just about everybody between these two covers.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manna From Heaven May 25 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Roger Zelazny has been gone for nearly ten years. During that time I am not the only reader who has scoured fanzines, websites, second-hand book stores, and occasionally friends' libraries for anything I could find of his that I had not already read. Here is is, Manna from Heaven. Who but Roger Zelazny writes so beautifully as he ascribes personality and character to natural formations, machines, or even physical principals? Having included the most amazing plot twists, he writes fluidly to mindbending conclusions. Although I've already read some of the short stories in Manna, there is enough new material in the collection to allow me to feel the sheer joy of reading something new and wonderful by Zelazny. I rated Manna From Heaven at five stars because it is his work, and feels like it. Some of the tribute fiction written in his honor is good reading, especially as it gives one the clear opportunity to evaluate those other writers in comparison to the master. Of course, nobody else comes close. Reading Manna From Heaven was a rewarding experience. There is a downside, however. I used to realize how silly it would be to hope for more new stories or books from Roger Zelazny. Now I'm not so sure... some of his characters have made difficult returns...
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the Amber stories alone ... May 20 2005
By R. Bliss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Like most Zelazny fans, I was very pleased to find a "new" collection of Zelazny stories available for purchase. The "post-_Chronicles_ Amber shorts are both difficult and expensive to find individually. Had I known _Manna.._ was coming out, I could have saved about $ 30.

The "non-Amber" stories in the book, IMHO, varied greatly in quality. I can certainly understand why some of them have been reprinted so infrequently. On the other hand, some Zelazny is better than no Zelazny, so I would still recommend purchasing this collection.

Ron Bliss

Ron Bliss
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great short stories, and a fond farewell to Amber March 27 2008
By Kenneth Simon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book of short stories is a mixed bag, but well worth reading if you've enjoyed Zelazny's other work. Zelazny is the author of the Amber series, which I've read and reviewed here in the past. The stories in Manna From Heaven are drawn from work he published between 1964 and (posthumously) 1996. It concludes with five short pieces that take place in the Amber universe.

In the introduction, writer Steven Brust glows and gushes about Zelazny's genius, praising his ability to "simultaneously confuse and reassure" the reader. I know just what he means! OK, I don't feel quite like Zelazny was a genius, but I have immense respect for his talent, and I get what Brust is saying. I have to admit that a few of the short pieces (they range from a third of a page to 37 pages in length) left me shaking my head, glancing back at various passages, and generally asking "wha'appen?" But I found most of them enjoyable, anyway. It's the journey, and Zelazny isn't afraid to let his readers lose the path and try to find it again.

"Epithalamium" was a fun piece in which we meet an elderly Alice, sent back through the looking glass; I also liked "The Furies," in which three eccentric but oddly gifted individuals join forces to track a fugitive across the planets and capture him... all from the comfort of home.

The concluding Amber pieces were a brief but melancholy last look into this universe sprung from Zelazny's imagination. Each story was interesting and enjoyable, especially "Coming To A Cord," which is told from the perspective of an intelligent, animate, uh, length of string. The Amber stories left me a bit melancholy, though. It was clear that Zelazny had more to say about Amber and its counterpart world, Chaos, and there are hints here at new intrigues, twists and turns that the author would never have the chance to explore. And that is our loss.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many answers Feb. 24 2006
By dcl3500 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good book, sure answers a lot of questions that were left unanswered in Zelazny's last Amber novel, as well as expanding on a few side stories that seemed like they were left on the editing floor from that same novel. The balance of the book is traditional Zelazny, always leaves you wanting more....alas, I imagine this is truly the last from him. RIP RZ
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