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Pan Is Dead, Long Live Pan

A Mutant Myth in Roger Zelazny’s This Immortal


Homeric Hymn to Pan (trans. H. G. Evelyn-White)

Orphic Hymn to Pan (trans. Thomas Taylor)

Plutarch, On the Failure of Oracles sec. 17 (trans. F. C. Babbitt)


Printable PDF

Burnett, Leon. 2015. “Panic Attacks: Myth as Critical Intervention.” In José Manuel Losada and Antonella Lipscomb (eds), Myths in Crisis: The Crisis of Myth, 105–18. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publisher.

De Cicco, Mark. 2015. “The Queer God Pan: Terror and Apocalypse, Reimagined.” In Sharla Hutchison and Rebecca A. Brown (eds), Monsters and Monstrosity from the Fin de Siècle to the Millennium: New Essays, 49–68. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Delany, Samuel R. 2009 [1977]. The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction. Rev. ed. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

“Zelazny’s basic premise about immortality is quietly revolutionary. The classical supposition … is that given all eternity to live, life becomes gray, meaningless, and one must be crushed by the ennui of experience upon experience, repetition upon repetition. Implicit in Zelazny’s treatment is the opposite premise: Given all eternity to live, each experience becomes a jewel in the jewel-clutter of life; each moment becomes infinitely fascinating because there is so much more to relate it to; each event will take on new harmonies as it is struck by the overtones of history and like experiences before. The most dour and colorless happening will be illuminated by the light of the ages.”

Delany 2009, p. 51

Francavilla, Joseph V. 1985. “Promethean Bound: Heroes and Gods in Roger Zelazny’s Science Fiction.” In Robert Reilly (ed.), The Transcendent Adventure: Studies of Religion in Science Fiction/Fantasy, 207–Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Fredericks, S. C. 1977. “Revivals of Ancient Mythologies in Current Science Fiction and Fantasy.” In
Thomas D. Clareson (ed.), Many Futures Many Worlds: Theme and Form in Science Fiction, 50–65. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press.

Morrissey, Thomas J. 1986. “Zelazny: Mythmaker of Nuclear War.” Science-Fiction Studies 13: 182–91.

“This Immortal.” Internet Speculative Fiction Database. (accessed Thursday, March 11, 2021.)

Zelazny, Roger. 2009. The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, Volume 2: Power and Light. David G Grubbs, Christopher S. Kovacs and Ann Crimmins (eds). Framingham, MA: NESFA Press.
Zelazny, Roger. 2011 [1966]. This Immortal. New York: iBooks.