I read, many years ago, a novel that I'd quite like to find again. I only recall fragments - the main one being that the protagonists were humans, possibly space travellers, who had somehow acquired divine powers, modeled over what I perceived as Hindu deities; the one name I remember was Agni. They were not divine all the time, but could take on the 'aspect' of their god.

This is all I remember with any certainty - there is one other bit that may be from the same story (but then again, possibly not): the Buddha is a person, who has been 'uploaded' into some sort of 'cloud' that represents Nirvana, and is downloaded at some point.


This is Lord of Light (1967) by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light is set on a planet colonized by some of the remnants of "vanished Urath", or Earth. The crew and colonists from the spaceship Star of India found themselves on a strange planet surrounded by hostile indigenous races and had to carve a place for themselves or perish. To increase their chances of survival, the crew has used chemical treatments, biofeedback and electronics to mutate their minds and create enhanced self-images, or "Aspects", that "strengthened their bodies and intensified their wills and extended the power of their desires into Attributes, which fell with a force like magic upon those against whom they were turned." The crew has also developed a technology to transfer a person's atman, or soul, electronically to a new body. This reincarnation by mind transfer has created a race of potential immortals and allowed the former crew members to institute the Hindu caste system, with themselves at the top.

Agni (and various other Hindu deities) make an appearance in the fourth chapter/story

Sam enters Hellwell, a huge pit where he had bound the demons centuries earlier. He negotiates with their leader, Taraka, for allies in his struggle. Soon after, Agni, God of Fire, arrives to kill Sam, finding instead two spirits in one body. Agni destroys the palace, while Sam/Taraka flees to Hellwell. They decide to free as many demons as possible before the gods arrive. However, even the full might of all the demons of Hellwell cannot stand against the gods.

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  • Yes, that is definitely the one - pretty amazing! Thanks! – j4nd3r53n Nov 27 '19 at 10:34

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