Tower Of Zanid

In Stereo!

Nick Brown
2 min read
Tower of Zanid
Notice the subtle differences in hue. And look how that one guy is riding on a monster.
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Am I seeing double? No. Somehow, I ended up with two copies of L. Sprague de Camp’s Tower of Zanid . I have no idea how I ended up with them – they just materialized in my house, as sci fi books sometimes do. Discovering the two of them at different ends of the house made me curious enough to read one of them. I also did some magic tricks with them.

L. Sprague de Camp is perhaps best known for his novel
Lest Darkness Fall, where a modern man wakes up in ancient Rome and tries to keep the empire from falling. I read it when I was a teenager, and I seem to remember that my life was happier both before and after the time I was reading it. L. Sprague and his buddy Lin Carter also finished off some of the Conan scraps left behind by Robert E. Howard. That’s about the extent of my knowledge on de Camp.

Tower of Zanid is the story of Anthony Fallon, a British expatriate living among the green-skinned natives on the primitive planet Krishna. He’s a drunk, and a liar and he’s terrible with money, but he’s also, of course, kind of a bad ass. He sells information as a sideline, and discovering the secrets of the mysterious Tower of Zanid will make him rich, if he can get out alive. There’s no princess to rescue: Fallon is henpecked by his shrewish green wife. There are monsters, fights and chases; it’s basically a riff on Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Was it great? No. Was it terrible? Not really. I’m glad I’m done with it, though. Apparently, de Camp wrote several other novels taking place on the planet Krishna. I’ll probably call it quits with the two I have. But, honestly, it wasn’t that terrible and it sure does have some snazzy cover art.
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