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The Einstein Intersection [Paperback]

Our Price $ 11.86  
Retail Value $ 13.95  
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Item Number 93577  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   135
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 1998
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819563366  
EAN  9780819563361  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Einstein Intersection won the Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of 1967. The surface story tells of the problems a member of an alien race, Lo Lobey, has assimilating the mythology of earth, where his kind have settled among the leftover artifacts of humanity. The deeper tale concerns, however, the way those who are "different" must deal with the dominant cultural ideology. The tale follows Lobey's mythic quest for his lost love, Friza. In luminous and hallucinated language, it explores what new myths might emerge from the detritus of the human world as those who are "different" try to seize history and the day.

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More About Samuel R. Delany

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Well written but not everyone's cup of tea  Oct 15, 2007
There is no doubt Delany can write well but I think you either like his style or you don't with not much in between. Much of his writing is more like science fiction poetry than prose and Einstein Intersection is the most extreme example of that I have read so far. Delany leaves a lot to the imagination and a lot to figure out on your own. I think his reputation as writing "literary" science fiction is well deserved. If you want everything laid out for you this isn't the book for you and Delany is probably not the author for you. On the other hand, if you want great writing that you will enjoy and that will make you think, then this and his other books will fit the bill. Babel-17, Empire Star and Nova are easier to read although even there everything is not laid out in great detail. Nova is probably the easiest to follow and most traditional if that is what you are looking for.
jumpy, pointless & wholly vague  Sep 26, 2007
The premise of the book was a bit mysterious (or vague) even before cracking it open. Opening the first few pages, I was met with more vagueness and continuing through the book I was approached with random scenarios. I had to fight back the urge to flip back through the pages and find any sort of logic which led to the scenario at hand, but I found no trail of crumbs. The story jumps from one place to another simply by whim and the entire vague plot seems to be going in no direction whatsoever. Where does Einstein come into this book? Answer: in a vague sort of logic it touches on the vague plot in a very vague way.
Ugh!  Jun 19, 2006
Don't get me wrong. I'm kind of a fan of Chip Delany. I think that "Aye, and Gomorrah..." is one of the best stories in the disorienting-loss-of-personal-control-and-bodily-integrity subgenre since Cordwainer Smith's "Scanners Live in Vain." However...

This book is potentially successful only as a send-up of fantasy/sf subgenre conventions. The dragons and the ornate city are hilarious in the context of fantasy and sf as they existed at the time. However, the rest of the book amounts to nothing more than pretentious crap. The plot is, relatively, pointless and never resolved, Delany's insistence on inserting pointless, self-important, page-long quotations from his own journals to begin chapters (such as they are) is annoying to the nth degree (to see how inserting long quotations can torpedo an otherwise good story, see exhibit A, "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman," by Harlan Ellison," and many of his sentences verge on utter incoherence. (Few things piss me off more than declarative sentences without verbs, and Delany has them here in spades). A lot of the book comes across to me as if I were watching "The Beast of Yucca Flats" again: "Flag on the moon. How did it get there?"

Granted, we can probably give Delany a little bit of leeway because he was supposedly engaging in some sort of linguistic experimentation, but one might rightly expect him to go all-out, rather than mixing what amounts to what would be a fairly decent short parody of genre conventions with spells of half-cocked Joyce imitation that leaves this critic absolutely at sea.

How this book won a Nebula is a mystery to me. Delany himself loves to tell the story about how one of the old guard cussed out the SFWA membership for handing it to him, but I believe that the SFWA in its early days had a bias definitely in favor of the most severe, alienating avant-garde writing possible, and I can prove it: In 1967, the year The Einstein Intersection won the Nebula for best novel, the attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention decided to bestow the Hugo Award for best novel upon an obscure, now-forgotten work by Robert A. Heinlein entitled The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. I rest my case.
The best of the "New Wave"  Feb 6, 2006
While many of the "New Wave" science fiction writers of the 1960s did little more than adapt long-dead literary styles to their own work (as John Brunner, in "Stand on Zanzibar" adapted the style of John Dos Passos), Delany forged a new style of his own, telling a science fiction story through the creative use of ancient and modern myth. Warning--this is not a book for a lazy reader or a slow one. But if you've got the chops, this book has the chops for you.
The Song of the Machete-Flute  Nov 25, 2005
This is essentially a retelling of myths and archetypes using what seems to be aliens or mutants. Now, bear with me for a second: This book is extremely well-written. I place it in the sci-fi section even though it is more like a fantasy on the surface. This is a world where people actually quote Ringo Starr and treat the rise and fall of the Beatles the way we treat the rise and fall of Achilles. We know it is our world, but something has gone awry. What, we never know.

This book won the Nebula and is full of rich, poetic prose. But I recommend it only to those people who love fantasy sci-fi with a good dose of poetic language on the side. For Delany's more straightforwardly "sci-fi" novels, see NOVA or THE FALL OF THE TOWERS.

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