Author: Roger Zelazny
First Publication: April 1987
Source: Used book store
Cover #1: Pete Lyon
Cover #2: Lebbeus Wood
Roger Zelazny is one of the masters of the science fantasy sub-genre. In this, his only juvenile, he finds a way to use teleportation as science fiction and fantasy. The teleportation occurs between various parallel worlds that tends to remind the reader of his Amber series. In this story, a scientist disappears and his children (a werewolf and a witch) go on a quest to find him. The parallel Earths are divided into four categories:
1. Lightbands (friendly, willing to have peaceful exchanges of people and information)
2. Graybands (without transporters and ones with delicate political conditions)
3. Deadbands (no people but with artifacts of previous civilizations)
4. Darkbands (the bad guys, they live to exploit the lesser bands)
The children are assisted by a Golem and other sorceresses and werewolves. The quest puts them into direct conflict with a powerful sorcerer from the Darkbands.
Based on the ending, it appeared that Zelazny set the stage so he could write more stories with these characters but never returned to them.
I enjoyed the mixture of fantasy and science fiction. In many respects, it reminded me of a variation of the Amber series. The father (Oberon, Tom Wiley) is missing, the two opposing forces (Lightbands and Darkbands,Amber and Chaos), travel between alternate realities, sorcerous powers and a struggle to see who will control reality.
Recommended for adults and younger readers alike.