Links for this episode:
- This story was first published by Mercury Press, 1963
- Get more of Roger Zelazny’s work on Amazon.com
- Discuss on our forums.
- For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page
about the author…
Roger Zelazny was born in Euclid, Ohio, the only child of Polish immigrant Joseph Frank Zelazny and Irish-American Josephine Flora Sweet. In high school, he became the editor of the school newspaper and joined the Creative Writing Club. In the fall of 1955, he began attending Western Reserve University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1959. He was accepted to Columbia University in New York and specialized in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, graduating with an M.A. in 1962. His M.A. thesis was entitled Two traditions and Cyril Tourneur: an examination of morality and humor comedy conventions in The Revenger’s Tragedy. Between 1962 and 1969 he worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration in Cleveland, Ohio and then in Baltimore, Maryland spending his evenings writing science fiction. He deliberately progressed from short-shorts to novelettes to novellas and finally to novel-length works by 1965. On May 1, 1969, he quit to become a full-time writer, and thereafter concentrated on writing novels in order to maintain his income. During this period, he was an active and vocal member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, whose members included writers Jack Chalker and Joe and Jack Haldeman among others. read more on Wikipedia…
about the narrator…
Pete Milan is a voice actor, writer, audiobook narrator, audio drama producer, among other things. His latest audiobook, Sentinels: When Strikes The Warlord, is available now from Dynamic Ram Audio, and he will soon be appearing in Phantom Canyon from Pendant Productions. Visit him at petemilan.com for more.
A Rose for Ecclesiastes
by Roger Zelazny
Mercury Press, 1963
This text taken from
Science Fiction: The Science Fiction Research Association Anthology
Eds. Patricia S. Warrick, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin H. Greenberg
New York: HarperCollins, 1988. (Pgs. 308-337)
I was busy translating one of my Madrigals Macabre into Martian on the morning I was found acceptable. The intercom had buzzed briefly, and I dropped my pencil and flipped on the toggle in a single motion.
“Mister G,” piped Morton’s youthful contralto, “the old man says I should ‘get hold of that damned conceited rhymer’ right away, and send him to his cabin.–Since there’s only one damned conceited rhymer . . .”
“Let not ambition mock thy useful toil,” I cut him off.
So, the Martians had finally made up their minds! I knocked an inch and a half of ash from a smouldering butt, and took my first drag since I had lit it. The entire month’s anticipation tried hard to crowd itself into the moment, but could not quite make it. I was frightened to walk those forty feet and hear Emory say the words I already knew he would say; and that feeling elbowed the other one into the background.
So I finished the stanza I was translating before I got up.
It took only a moment to reach Emory’s door. I knocked thrice and opened it, just as he growled, “Come in.”
“You wanted to see me?” I sat down quickly to save him the trouble of offering me a seat.
“That was fast. What did you do, run?”
I regarded his paternal discontent:
Little fatty flecks beneath pale eyes, thinning hair, and an Irish nose; a voice a decibel louder than anyone else’s . . .
Hamlet to Claudius: “I was working.”
“Hah!” he snorted. “Come off it. No one’s ever seen you do any of that stuff.”
I shrugged my shoulders and started to rise.
“If that’s what you called me down here–”