Sunday, February 21, 2010
This Immortal by Roger Zelazny
A Hugo award winner for 1966.
Earth has been devastated by a ”three day event”, apparently a nuclear war. There are areas which are still radioactive, and strange mutants are roaming on the forests. The most of people who survived the cataclysmic event have moved out from earth, and most of them are working for Vegans. The Vegans are aliens who picked up pieces – at least some of them – after humans had destroyed earth. Now they own the earth and they are using it mainly as a tourist curiosity. The main protagonist of the book is Conrad, a man who seems to be immortal. He seems to be running most things on earth, but he must stop what is is doing and function as a guide/bodyguard for an important Vegan visitor who wants to see the highlights of Earth's culture. Someone seems to be trying to kill the alien, and for some reason it is very important that he will stay alive.
Pretty good story, writing is nice, but it is not something what can be read quickly. Some very interesting concepts. Background of the main character is left intentionally very open, perhaps too open. And the ending was a bit too easy and had some shades of deus ex machina.