epub pdf Isle of the Dead / Eye of CatAuthor Roger Zelazny – Bilb-weil.de

Isle of the Dead Centuries in the future, Francis Sandow is the only man alive who was born as long ago as the th century His body is kept young and in perfect health by advanced scientific methods; he has amassed such a fortune that he can own entire planets; and he has become a god No, not a god of Earth, but one of the panetheon of the alien Pei'ans: he is Shimbo of Darktree, Shrugger of Thunders Yet he doesn't believe that his personality has merged with the ancient consciousness of Shimbo, that he really can call down the skies upon his enemies The time comes, however, when Francis Sandow must use these powers against the most dangerous antagonist in the universe: another Pei'an godShimbo's own enemy, Belion And Belion has no doubt whatever of his own powers Eye of Cat A retired hunter of alien zoo specimens, William Blackhorse Singer, the last Najavo on a future Earth, is called upon by the World Government to aid in protecting an alien diplomat from a powerful and hostile member of his own species Singer, in turn, seeks the aid of a shapeshifting alien known as Cat in carrying out the mission Cat accepts, with one condition: when the mission is over, he wants a return bout with the man who captured hima chase with Singer as the hunted instead of the hunter

10 thoughts on “Isle of the Dead / Eye of Cat

  1. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    The book consists of two novels.

    Eye of Cat. After the initial confusion which the readers always expect while starting a Zelazny novel, the story becomes somewhat clearer and easier to follow. For those too lazy to think for themselves: read the blurb for his edition as it happily gives away practically all of the book. For this same reason it you want to actually enjoy the book avoid it like plague.

    A very long-living Native American (Navajo to be exact) guy was a famous hunter of alien zoo specimens. He was also the last of his tribe: tired, empty, and with no goals. Suddenly he was begged to take on a last and very unusual for him assignment. He agreed - seemingly out of sheer boredom. A tale full of psychedelic trips into other realities a-la Amber Shadowtravel, Native American mysticism, and tense moments follow. To make a long story short what Zelazny did for Hindu myths in his excellent Lord of Light and for Egyptian myths in Creatures of Light and Darkness, here he did it for Native American myths.

    I actually liked it until the final part which I felt could be shortened. Yes, here I am talking about a guy who knew how to tell an excellent story in minimum number of pages. Yes, the novel in my edition has less than 200 pages. Still the final part could be shortened. Rating 3.75 (reduced from 4 for the reasons above).

    Isle of Dead. Francis Sandow was (will be?) the only guy born in twentieth century who still lived many centuries later. Just like the guy from the first novel he had seen it all, felt it all, and experienced it all. However being filthy stinking rich he still found some ways to bring moments of joy into his very predictable life. Until the time somebody started to sent him photos (future versions of them) of his friends and women he loved. It looked like a challenge and Francis accepted it without a second thought only to be confronted by his past later on - it is understandably that the person who lived that long had quite some baggage.

    This is much easier novel to get into than the first one. It does not have much mythology, but does have common themes with the former: mortality, death, meaning of life, and everything in between. Alien gods also make a guest appearance.

    The second story deserves strong 4 stars in rating and this is also the final rating for the whole book: not an easy read, but a very good one.

  2. carol. carol. says:

    In this edition, two Zelazny novels are paired together. While initially seeming quite distinct in style and plot, both are interpretations of the theme of reflecting on an unusually long life veiled in the conflict of the chase. One primarily explores the inward journey and the other the outward journey, but both arrive at spiritually satisfying conclusions.

    Eye of Cat... eenterestinnng. Written in 1982 and supposedly one of Zelazny's top five favorites (according to the Wikipedia who knows all). The story's setting is foreshadowed by Zelazny's dedication to Tony Hillerman and his heroes, Chee and Leaphorn.

    Billy Singer, also known as Star Tracker, is a Native American tracker who specialized as an intergalactic tracker/hunter who captured beasts alive for zoological specimens. Recently returned home to his native southwest America to reflect and connect, he is plagued with feelings of isolation. As a Navajo, family is everything; his family has long since died out as he was traveling the stars. His attempt at a spiritual quest is interrupted by a corps of diplomats visiting Earth who solicit him, along with a team of psychics, to protect an ambassador and to capture an assassin. Acting on moment of intuition, Billy visits one of his prior captures at the zoo, a shape-changing alien who has developed communication skills, and solicits the alien's help. In the course of their discussion, they discover they are both the last of their kind. The alien, also known as 'Cat,' agrees, with a dangerous stipulation for Billy.

    While that summary implies an active, external conflict, there is a deeper exploration of Billy's alienation from his own self and heritage. Ultimately, the story reminds me of a dreamquest, undoubtedly an effect Zelazny was trying to achieve, a mythic journey meant to create spiritual change. Stylistically, Zelazny creates the journey by intermixing time, narrative style and structure. The present time of Billy and the alien hunt is interspersed with his personal history, Native American mythology, dream sequences and poetry/prayer. As a result, pacing and conflict felt uneven; first the tight focus on the inner search for peace, then a longer hunt-driven focus that ends up leading back to the inner conflict. Disjointed and highly metaphorical, it was a style that generally does not appeal to me, although I do like think Zelazny perfected it later in a number of his shorts and novellas in Frost and Fire.

    Despite a collage of narrative styles, the language is sparsely beautiful, and if no phrase in particular stands out for it's perfection, I will say that he captures setting and melancholy in a way that has me longing for desert skies and the smell of sage. I also felt the story was respectful of Native American culture and not merely appropriative. Although it probably deserves a thoughtful re-read from me, I'm not sure it will make it to the top of the to-read pile.

    More of a two-star read for me.

    Actual story: lib.ru/ZELQZNY/eyeofcat.txt

    Isle of Dead... a more traditional Zelazny sci-fi, nominated for a Nebula for Best Novel in 1969. A galactic world-builder is reluctantly pulled out of a luxurious retirement by an unknown nemesis to deal with his past.

    Francis Sandow is the last remaining man from twentieth century due to a strange intersection of technology and timing. Emotionally lost, he became one of the only non-natives trained by a race of world terraformers, and his skills have made him wealthy. They have also made him a god in the terraformers' religion.

    We first meet Francis luxuriating on his own planet, when he is jolted out of retirement by a request for help from a friend as well as mysterious photographs of people he knows have been long dead. Investigators from Earth soon visit him to request his help as well, as certain genetic samples have been stolen from Earth prime--perhaps not coincidentally, samples from people that were significant in Francis' life. In the midst of investigating, his alien teacher requests his assistance in administering the terraformers' death rituals.

    Apparently the inspiration was partly the issue of time dilation and partly a painting by Arnold Bocklin. According to Wikipedia, it's also a tribute to Hemingway. It resonates with typical Zelazny themes, however, of creation opposing destruction, love lost/betrayed, and female redemption. It has a feel very similar to the Amber books for me, especially with the world-shaping, and Francis is very similar to Corwin. The slowly unfolding conflict between Francis and his antagonist also reminds me of Corwin and the conflict with his brothers. Francis shows up in at two other stories, the book Zelazny most hated, To Die in Italbar, and a short story in Unicorn Variations.

    Also deserves a re-read. The stronger of the pair, this was a three-and-half star read.

  3. Don Massi Don Massi says:

    In this double book, Zelazny does what he does best, mixes science fiction, myth, fantasy and spirituality to stunning affect. While I thought Eye of the Cat was a great story, with it's use of native American mythology, I enjoyed Isle of the Dead just a little more. Highly recommended!

  4. Scott Jr. Scott Jr. says:


    Pretty weak... not a page turner. Some books do well at displaying the introspection of the narrator/main characters but this dragged and lost my interest many times. Some scenes were pretty impactful though like the stuff with Belion.

  5. C. Mills C. Mills says:

    The review that shows when I click on the book cover says everything I was going to say.

  6. THOMAS L THOMAS L says:

    I am not qualified...

    What can one say? This is a Zelazny creation. A jewel in the English language, by a real master. Here’s to you, Roger.

  7. Bob Bob says:

    Retrieved stories

    Recently found — earlier zelazny, well worth the wait. Makes me wish to find more that I missed. I will.

  8. Fietspomp Fietspomp says:

    6 eye of a cat deviating writing style which makes it harder to read. Expect to have read it also in dutch. Indian hunter frees alien prey to help alien murderer. Killed by alien cat. Price is that she will hunt him. Final show down acceptance of his heritage and manages to kill cat.

    6.5 isle of the dead: Human got god like powers from alien race. Excluded power name wants to kill him. Catches his past friends and foes. Final clash of powers. Can't save his girlfriend but helps a former fiend.

  9. Anastasia Steinbrunner Anastasia Steinbrunner says:

    So my boyfriend is a science fiction junkie and I have pretty much steered away from the genre completely. But The novel wasn't too bad, certainly imaginative, which I do enjoy. Apparently Zelazny is the most prolific scifi writer ever and he does have a unique style and philosophical perspective. I wouldn't mind checking out more of his work.

  10. Gabriel J. McCallum Gabriel J. McCallum says:


    The subtle craftsmanship Zelazny puts into the sci-fi genre is refreshing and quite exceptional. These are two quick reads, but must reads particularly for those who like Zelazny. Some of his best.