Fiction, NetGalley, Scifi

[Scifi review] A Quirky, Funny And Dynamic Scifi Classic Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny

If you’re looking for a slightly different and more lighthearted scifi to relax with, Doorways in the Sand is for you. I mean, you could probably tell that from the cover anyway. Doorways in the Sand is actually no newcomer – first released in 1976, it was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. This year, we are seeing Farrago bring this witty classic back for a new incarnation!

5 Reasons To Read Doorways in the Sand

Fred Cassidy is actually quite happy with his life, thank you very much. He has very actively been trying NOT TO graduate his university for the past god knows how many years – simply because his previously cryogenated uncle has provided a trust fund for him, so long as he’s a student. But one day… He is basically bullied into graduating by outside circumstances, and furthermore, forced into quite a funny affair, involving an ancient intergalactic artefact and a lot of angry aliens and humans trying to find it. This isn’t your traditional sci-fi and you know it. I mean, just look at that cover.

We Are Talking Assassin’s Creed + Scifi Here

The main character climbs buildings to relax. You could find him on the roof of a university campus building on a quiet evening any day. In fact, the campus has even come up with specific rules regarding this, because of him. I don’t know about you, but it only makes me think of this:

Oh My Gosh, The Aliens!

They are so refreshing! The aliens dress up as a wombat, a kangaroo and a donkey – TO BLEND IN. It was so bizarre (and bizarrely amazing!) that it just… worked. Basically, you’ve got talking and smoking kangaroos. And they say things like “on the other paw”. It’s pretty hilarious!

The Villain… In Style

So I was very partial to the villain. I will not give major spoilers… let’s just say all aliens follow the same style in this book. Only, you know, more in style.

It’s Very Witty And Lighthearted

If you’re tired of serious spacey sci-fi, then Doorways in the Sand is the right book for you. You won’t find seriousness here. I thought we were already clear about this when I told you about the roof-climbing protag and the kangaroo aliens!!

You’ll Never Expect To Go Where It’s Taking You

I mean, that’s all I should really say. Anything else would be a spoiler. So just take the trip yourself.

Other Books You Might Like

It seems, I never fail to recommend Way Station, whenever scifi is involved, do I? It’s just that good. But in connection to Doorways in the Sand, it shares a similar topic of a missing/discovered intergalactic artefact that causes a lot of interesting things to happen. I also never seem to fail to recommend Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom – which is definitely one of my favorite scifis ever. What it shares with Doorways in the Sand is its wittiness and lighthearted manner. And of course, if it’s wittiness we seek, we must not forget The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Way Station   Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom: A Novel of Retropolis   The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1)

I thank Farrago for giving me a copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. You can buy the book here at Book Depository and buying using this link supports the blog.

Have you read Doorways in the Sand? And would you be able to keep a straight face, if you had a kangaroo trying to talk to you about physics, and a donkey following you around to shield you from unwanted telepathic encounters? …Didn’t think so.

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Darius Jung
3 years ago

I’m glad you’re taking advantage of reissues to look at older books too! I’m not familiar with this one, though I loved Zelazny’s Hugo winning novella, Home is the Hangman. Have you read that one?

Paul Liadis
3 years ago

This one is right up my alley. I’ll have to add it to Goodreads to visit later.

Jenn @ Bound to Writing

This sounds super interesting! Great review Evelina! 🙂

3 years ago

This sounds awesome!!
And there’s a kindle version 😀 Yay!
I love a good old school sci-fi. Haven’t read that many funny ones, but this sounds really cool.

3 years ago

Ha! Nice, thanks for the recommendation! <3

Barb @ Booker T's Farm

I gotta grab this for my kindle! It sounds like something I’d love. Great thoughts and you’ve totally convinced me!

Brian Joseph
3 years ago

I have not read this but I have read a fair amount of Zalzny’s books. I find him to be so imaginative. Based on your commentary this sounds like it is very much so. Thanks for the recamendation. I may give this one a try.

Stephanie Jane
3 years ago

I love classic scifi and this one seems especially inventive and bizarre. The alien-animals sounds like a great idea!

Laura Thomas
3 years ago

How can I resist. It sounds fun and origianl. And you convinced me to check it out. Loved the gifs and your review!

Lara @ Words With Lara

Based on your review this sounds like such a good book! I love reviews that are set out like this, it always makes me want to read a book even more!!

Tizzy Brown
Tizzy Brown
3 years ago

I’ll have to check this out, I enjoy light-hearted sci-fi books.

Tori @InToriLex
3 years ago

Weird Sci-fi with good action books have been some of my greatest reads. I’ haven’t heard much about this but it’s a classic that doesn’t sound like a chore


[…] week I had two reviews, a long overdue review of Doorways in the Sand that’s been standing in line, giving way to the other reviews that needed to come out […]

3 years ago

i own most of the AC games yet i’ve never played one. perhaps i should be reading this book instead 😉 i loved your review

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

While I was reading your review I couldn’t help but browse Goodreads and add it to my TBR. It definitely has Hitchhiker’s Guide vibes with the weirdness and humour but it seems like that is a good thing. The aliens sound weird and fun and I am loving the sound of the villain. Who doesn’t want to read an older scifi that doesn’t take itself too seriously?