13) The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth and other stories, by Roger Zelazny
I think this was Zelazny’s first published collection? Mostly stories from his peak early years in the 1960s; includes perhaps his two best pieces from that era, the title story (which I didn’t like at all on first reading it as a teenager, but which has grown on me since) and “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” which remains a favourite.
One of the things about keeping a booklog is that even if reading familiar material I’m considering it a bit more deeply than I used to. (Also, of course, I’ve read a couple of books about Zelazny and his works since last I read this collection.) So, for instance, the incredibly weak ending of “This Mortal Mountain” grates a bit more than before, and a couple of the other single-idea stories seem a bit overextended. But I liked rereading “The Keys to December”, “This Moment of the Storm” and “The Man Who Loved the Faioli”.
For some reason iBooks have decided to combine the stories published in the original collection of this name in 1971 with those included (along with “The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth” and “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”) in Four For Tomorrow, a collection published in 1967. (They also transferred the dedication “To My Mother” from Four For Tomorrow rather than the original “To Alan Huff”.) The two extra stories are “The Furies”, which remains excellent (though knowing Zelazny’s later works as we now do, we can see ideas recycled from it into both To Die In Italbar and Eye of Cat) and “The Graveyard Heart”, an eccentric choice, eighty pages in which nothing much happens, and poorly proofread to boot (especially the few German phrases, which are horribly mangled).
Anyway, glad I put some time into rereading this. (Cross-posting to