Review on an unfinished book | Psychoshop by Alfred Bester and Roger Zelazny

PsychoshopLife is just too short.

Let’s be completely honest: we all pick up books for various reasons. A recommendation from a trusted friend. It was up front in the airport bookshop. Written by a favorite author. A great cover.

I picked up Psychoshop because it was written by Alfred Bester. I was at Powell’s in Portland, and it seemed like a good find. A classic author, a previously unread title, and a giant bookstore.

A win, right?

Perhaps for some. For me, time is too precious and life is too short.

Psychoshop was left unfinished by Bester on his death and was finished by Roger Zelazny, another classic science fiction writer. Comparing the work to a jazz duet, Greg Bear says in an introduction that the book is “Brisk, fast, memorable, a rare improvisational duet from two of our best[,]” but to be honest, I just couldn’t get through it. As creative as it is, and it is, I just found it schizophrenic and undefined, a story looking for a conflict to be resolved.


About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog PubliusOnline.com where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.

  • Keith Seegmiller

    Zelazny is not on my list of favorite SF authors. Too raunchy, nebulous & shallow.

    • Keith, I can’t recall reading anything else by Zelazny, but I can empathize a little with the shallow and nebulousness in Psychoshop.