Jervey Tervalon Recommends

“Zoger Zalazny’s Lord Of Light is a science fiction novel about a world run by a super-advanced human like race that has adopted all the attributes of the Hindu pantheon. They ruthlessly use their technology to oppress the lower castes, while taking god like privileges for themselves. Lord Kalkan, once one of the ruling elite, decides to teach Buddhism and to become a revolutionary. I suspect that Lord of Light is a homage/parody of Lord of the Rings, but it stands on its own as a wonderfully funny, thoughtful and beautifully written book. Though I don’t write science fiction, this book meant the world to me when I discovered it in high school. I grew up in south central LA in the seventies and this book somehow made sense of the world for me and my pootbutt, nongangbanging friends. I just reread it and its still holds up as a call to speak truth to power.”

Born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles, Jervey Tervalon is the author of five books including Understanding This for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club’s New Voice’s Award. He was the Remsen Bird Writer in Residence at Occidental college. His current novel is Lita and his current project, The Cocaine Chronicles was published in April, 2005. Currently he teaches at Occidental College, and the Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

If you’d like to recommend an underappreciated book for this series, please send mail to llalami at yahoo dot com.