This book tells the story of Sam, who may be Buddha, or may not. He wages a war against men and women who have assumed the roles of Hindu gods, and finds himself fighting against impossible odds while spreading the teachings of Buddhism. I'll admit that I knew next to nothing about Buddhism and Hinduism before reading this book, and I still don't know how much I've learned, simply because I don't know exactly what parts Zelazny took from established religion and what parts he made up himself. But ultimately, it doesn't matter. Sam's crusade is one that I find myself getting behind, regardless of what my real-world beliefs are.
I'm not normally a science-fiction type of guy (fantasy and horror are more to my liking), so I was a little worried going into this book. Even though Zelazny is my favorite author, I wasn't sure I'd like Lord of Light, since I'd read some of his sci-fi short stories before and wasn't overly interested in them (simply because of the subject matter -- not because of the writing, which is always fantastic). Lord of Light took me a little while to get into, but once I finished off that first chapter and delved into the second, I was hooked.
Zelazny won at least 16 awards for particular works of fiction: 6 , 3 , 2 , 1 , 2 , and 2 – very often Zelazny's works competed with each other for the same award.