Another blend of fantasy & SF.
A slightly challenging but ultimately beautiful short novel by my favorite writer, Zelazny, about psychics, shadowy alien conspiracies, ecoterrorism, and the apocalypse. This novel is from 1976, when Zelazny seemed to be very interested in aliens interfering secretly in human affairs -- about the same period as Doorways in the Sand.
The middle section of this book is actually pretty interesting. Imagine a book where the antagonists are a race of aliens who have secretly dwelt on the planet for over a million years, manipulating everything, guiding mankind's development.
At around 150 pages, it's a short novel, so even being confused for 1/3 of the book or more is quickly rectified.
(Then again, Dennis Guise didn't really have a personality of his own until well into the book, and since that's a necessary part of the story we can't really blame him.) That being said, this is a fast (150-page) read with some interesting ideas to it.
I was not, the first time I gave Bridge of Ashes a go, put it down without reading twenty pages. One thing that shines through here like so many of Zelazny's stories, he doesn't waste time populating the plot with brainless thugs or rampant bloodletting (though some of his more fantastical tales, like the Amber books, do go in for a bit of claret).
As the child grows up, he becomes more strange and becomes connected to others outside his realm of experience altogether and, it seems, has some telepathic connection over great distances with these people.
Other than that, if you dig Zelazny give this one a read.
Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. The fantasy sequence The Amber Chronicles, which started with Nine Princes in Amber, deals with the ruling family of a Platonic realm at the metaphysical heart of things, who can slide, trickster-like through realities, and their wars with each other and the related ruling house of Chaos.