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Manna from Heaven [Hardcover]

Roger Zelazny , Harlan Ellison , Stephen Brust
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Nov 2003
This new collection includes all five previously uncollected "Amber" stories, plus the prologue from the rare limited edition of "The Trumps of Doom," and 16 other fantasy and science fiction stories (including a collaboration with Harlan Ellison). Includes an introduction by Stephen Brust. Cover art by Bob Eggleton. Highly recommended for all "Amber" and Zelazny

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wilder Publications (10 Nov 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592241999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592241996
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 938,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bits and pieces, variable... but it's *Zelazny*! 6 April 2010
By T. D. Welsh TOP 500 REVIEWER
The title of this collection of short stories is very apt for those of us who long ago devoured all Roger Zelazny's novels and better-known shorts, and began looking around (in growing desperation) for our next fix. Copyright 2003, "Manna from Heaven" runs to about 240 pages and includes five (very) short stories from the Amber series, plus another 17 miscellaneous shorts ranging in length from one page to 37. There is also the brief prologue from the original edition of "Trumps of Doom" (one of the Amber series), which was previously available only in a limited edition of that book.

"Blue Horse, Dancing Mountains" briefly shows us Corwin some time after the cosmic showdown depicted in "The Courts of Chaos", when he declined the throne of Amber, engaged in an epic hellride on a sentient horse (reminiscent of Dilvish the Damned's Black). "Hall of Mirrors" carries this storyline forward a long way, with Corwin and Luke meeting in Castle Amber, only to find themselves under an enchantment and forced to duel to the death. "The Salesman's Tale" focuses on Luke, while he waits for Corwin's return and their fated clash. "The Shroudling and the Guisel" describes Merlin's unexpected meeting with an old flame (the shroudling of the title) and a virtually indestructible monster (the guisel) which has been sent to kill him. Last but not least, "Coming to a Cord" is told from the point of view of Frakir, Merlin's sentient strangling-cord, and takes up the story when Merlin's own guisel, homing in on the sorcerer who tried to assassinate him, oozes out through a mirror in Castle Amber itself. This story ends with a characteristic Zelazny aside, which serves very well to sum up the whole Amber series. "What do you think is going on, anyway?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Manna fro heaven 28 Sep 2013
By Susan H
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband's birthday. He has always been a sci-fi fan and has said that this is a good book to read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars So-so collection 13 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're a Zelazny fan, you will buy this because of the short stories about Amber. They all take place after the last Amber stories; clearly Zelazny was thinking about another Amber series. The exception is a couple of pages which describe Merlin's first trip through the Logrus. All these Amber items are tantalising, but ultimately add little. That said, anyone who read the John Bettancourt prequels will be relieved to see how Zelazny did it properly. The other stories did not linger in my mind, but were, I felt, rather better than the Amber stuff. I didn't regret buying it, anyway.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last! All of the 'Amber' short stories under one cover! 24 Sep 2004
By LVX - Published on
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.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manna From Heaven 26 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
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 ... 21 May 2005
By R. Bliss - Published on
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 28 Mar 2008
By Kenneth Simon - Published on
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.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many answers 24 Feb 2006
By dcl3500 - Published on
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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