cover image Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming

Roger Zelazny. Spectra Books, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-07678-3

This collaboration between adventure SF writer Zelazny (the Amber series) and humorist Sheckley ( Immortality Inc. ) is in the Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams mode. Demon Azzie Elbub is representing Evil in the Millennial contest in the year 1000 to see who will control humanity's destiny for the next thousand years. Azzie's entry is a recreation of the Sleeping Beauty story in which Evil triumphs when the princess kills the prince whose kiss awakens her. Azzie is aided by hunchback Frike and witch Ylith, and is observed by Good's representative, the angel Babriel. There are allusions to the Cinderella story, the movie Frankenstein and Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's classic SF novel Inferno , as well as very P. G. Wodehouse-like multiple digressions and old plot elements resurfacing at inconvenient moments. While the premise shows some promise, the execution falters, never becoming as funny as it might. (Nov.)