The Tower of Zanid

Infobox Book |
name = The Tower of Zanid
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption = first edition of "The Tower of Zanid"
author = L. Sprague de Camp
illustrator =
cover_artist = Ric Binkley
country = United States
language = English
series = "Krishna"
genre = Science fiction novel
publisher = Avalon
release_date = 1958
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages =
preceded_by = The Bones of Zora
followed_by = The Swords of Zinjaban

"The Tower of Zanid" is a science fiction novel written by L. Sprague de Camp, the sixth book of his "Viagens Interplanetarias" series and the fourth of its subseries of stories set on the fictional planet Krishna. Chronologically it is the seventh Krishna novel. It was first published in the magazine "Science Fiction Stories" for May 1958. It was first published in book form in hardcover by Avalon, also in 1958, and in paperback by Airmont Books in 1963. It has been reissued a number of times since by various publishers. For the later standard edition of Krishna novels it was published together with "The Virgin of Zesh" in the paperback collection "The Virgin of Zesh & The Tower of Zanid" by Ace Books in 1983. The novel has also been translated into Italian and German.

"The Tower of Zanid" was de Camp's last Krishna novel for a quarter century, the next one ("The Hostage of Zir") not appearing until 1977.

As with all of the "Krishna" novels, the title of "The Tower of Zanid" has a "Z" in it, a practice de Camp claimed to have devised to keep track of them. Short stories in the series do not follow the practice, nor do "Viagens Interplanetarias" works not set on Krishna.

Plot summary

Anthony Fallon, the Terran deposed as king of the Krishnan island of Zamba in the earlier novel "The Queen of Zamba", has fallen on hard times, having failed to regain his throne and lost his second wife Julnar as well. Currently he resides in Zanid, capital of the kingdom of Balhib, where he makes a precarious living as a city guardsman and spy for the nomad realm of Qaath.

Fallon's life is made more complicated when Terran consul Percy Mjipa enlists him to help archaeologist Julian Fredro study the Safq, an ancient snail-shaped tower forbidden to all but members of the native Yeshite cult. Fallon is also to look into recent disappearances of Terran scientists in the region. Mjipa, introduced in this novel as a secondary character, would go on to appear in three other Krishna novels; the chronologically earlier "The Hostage of Zir" and "The Prisoner of Zhamanak" (the latter as the protagonist), and the chronologically later "The Swords of Zinjaban".

Balancing Fallon's mutually exclusive allegiances while continuing to work toward recovering his kingdom is a difficult undertaking, which he realizes could prove fatal–particularly when the Safq turns out to be hosting a secret project to reproduce Terran weaponry as an ace in the hole for the war with Qaath. Then in the climactic battle the Qaathians unleash their own secret weapon, designed and built by the captive scientists. In the ensuing chaos Fallon figures the best thing to do is cut and run with the proceeds of his espionage, only to be undone by the fallout of a rare good deed, his earlier rescue of missionary Welcome Wagner.

Anthony Fallon would reappear, reformed, in the later Krishna novel "The Swords of Zinjaban" as a Terran official.

The events of the novel take place about the Terran year 2168.

Setting

The planet Krishna is de Camp's premier creation in the Sword and Planet genre, representing both a tribute to the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs and an attempt to "get it right", reconstructing the concept logically, without what he regarded as Burroughs' biological and technological absurdities.

References

*cite book | last=Laughlin | first=Charlotte | coauthors=Daniel J. H. Levack | title=De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography | location=San Francisco | publisher=Underwood/Miller | pages=96-97 | date=1983


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