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Nova author Samuel R. Delany

These are at least some of the ways you can read NOVA as a fast action farflung interstellar adventure as archetypal mysticalmythical allegory in which the Tarot and the Grail both figure prominently as modern myth told in the S F idiom the reader observes recollects or participates in a range of personal experience including violent pain and disfigur. Nova A New Wave Grail uest space opera from the 1960sOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureNova is Samuel Chip Delany s 1968 space opera with mythicGrail uest overtones It is packed with different themes subtexts allegorical and cultural references and literary experiments and the young author just 25 years old is clearly a very talented intelligent and passionate writerBut I didn t enjoy it sadly While I thought Babel 17 was a very fast paced vivid and engaging space opera that centered on language and identity this book felt very turgid and forced Why you ask Well the author was determined to mold the story along the lines of a Grail uest Moby Dick and Jason and the Argonauts with the goal being a race to retrieve the super material Illyrion from the heart of a recently exploded nova in order to swing the balance of power in the universe between feuding aristocratic families So events in the story have to conform to this format and none of the actions of the characters rang true to meObsession greed revenge vying for supremacy I can understand those emotions But the actions of the characters both the principals and supporting cast don t seem to make much sense If this rag tag group of misfits was really determined to retrieve this material why the heck did Delany structure the story the way he did The first 10 15% of the book has Captain Lor Von Ray gathering together his crew and then for the next 50% of the book there is an overlong flashback of Lor s childhood and encounters with the rival Red family and his nemesis Prince Red and his beautiful but submissive sisterIt s good to build the backstory for why the characters have such animosity for each other but this section goes on far too long There is also a detailed side story about a young gypsy musician named Mouse a windbag intellectual named Katin who wants to try the long lost art of writing a novel a drawn out episode involving Tarot cards and how scientific they are and a seemingly aimless pit stop on a planet that results in a major confrontation that ends inconclusively By the time the mission to find the nova gets underway we re already 70% through the book Finally in the last 10% of the book the long awaited encounter with the nova develops into a thoroughly unbelievable standoff between the main characters This part made no sense to me whatsoeverThough the writing uality and language are consistently strong like Babel 17 I feel like this was wasted since the story s pacing was so interminable and the mythic undertones just didn t resonate with me I ve always felt that realistic character motivations and world building are far appealing than stories that try hard to be symbolic and archetypal Even within the book this dynamic is debated between the impulsive emotional Mouse and the dry intellectual Katin Unfortunately it seems that Katin has had a greater influence on the story than Mouse and I never trust a book where a character is writing a novel that doesn t yet have a subject You can see where that is headed a mile awayThere are certainly some fascinating cyborg aspects of the book that have clearly been influential on the Cyberpunk movement since characters have implants plugs that allow them to directly interface with sockets and operate all types of machinery Neuromancer anyone Even in Babel 17 I liked the fact that there was a huge databank of stored personalities that could be revived as discorporates But as should be clear now though Delany can spin off lots of neat SF ideas his real interests lie much in the literary direction Speaking of which his 1968 Hugo Award winner The Einstein Intersection is probably the most overtly allegorical of all his books but at least it is short which cannot be said of his massive and reportedly unreadable magnum opus Dhalgren The Prince of Pleasure (The Wilde Brothers, you can read NOVA as a fast action farflung interstellar adventure as archetypal mysticalmythical allegory in which the Tarot and the Grail both figure prominently as modern myth told in the S F idiom the reader observes recollects or participates in a range of personal experience including violent pain and disfigur. Nova A New Wave Grail uest space opera from the 1960sOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureNova is Samuel Chip Delany s 1968 space opera with mythicGrail uest overtones It is packed with different themes subtexts allegorical and cultural references and literary experiments and the Hers to Protect young author just 25 Her Small-Town Hero years old is clearly a very talented intelligent and passionate writerBut I didn t enjoy it sadly While I thought Babel 17 was a very fast paced vivid and engaging space opera that centered on language and identity this book felt very turgid and forced Why Red Tail (Travis Trilogy you ask Well the author was determined to mold the story along the lines of a Grail uest Moby Dick and Jason and the Argonauts with the goal being a race to retrieve the super material Illyrion from the heart of a recently exploded nova in order to swing the balance of power in the universe between feuding aristocratic families So events in the story have to conform to this format and none of the actions of the characters rang true to meObsession greed revenge vying for supremacy I can understand those emotions But the actions of the characters both the principals and supporting cast don t seem to make much sense If this rag tag group of misfits was really determined to retrieve this material why the heck did Delany structure the story the way he did The first 10 15% of the book has Captain Lor Von Ray gathering together his crew and then for the next 50% of the book there is an overlong flashback of Lor s childhood and encounters with the rival Red family and his nemesis Prince Red and his beautiful but submissive sisterIt s good to build the backstory for why the characters have such animosity for each other but this section goes on far too long There is also a detailed side story about a Promises in Tumble Creek young gypsy musician named Mouse a windbag intellectual named Katin who wants to try the long lost art of writing a novel a drawn out episode involving Tarot cards and how scientific they are and a seemingly aimless pit stop on a planet that results in a major confrontation that ends inconclusively By the time the mission to find the nova gets underway we re already 70% through the book Finally in the last 10% of the book the long awaited encounter with the nova develops into a thoroughly unbelievable standoff between the main characters This part made no sense to me whatsoeverThough the writing uality and language are consistently strong like Babel 17 I feel like this was wasted since the story s pacing was so interminable and the mythic undertones just didn t resonate with me I ve always felt that realistic character motivations and world building are far appealing than stories that try hard to be symbolic and archetypal Even within the book this dynamic is debated between the impulsive emotional Mouse and the dry intellectual Katin Unfortunately it seems that Katin has had a greater influence on the story than Mouse and I never trust a book where a character is writing a novel that doesn t Mischief and Marriage yet have a subject You can see where that is headed a mile awayThere are certainly some fascinating cyborg aspects of the book that have clearly been influential on the Cyberpunk movement since characters have implants plugs that allow them to directly interface with sockets and operate all types of machinery Neuromancer anyone Even in Babel 17 I liked the fact that there was a huge databank of stored personalities that could be revived as discorporates But as should be clear now though Delany can spin off lots of neat SF ideas his real interests lie much in the literary direction Speaking of which his 1968 Hugo Award winner The Einstein Intersection is probably the most overtly allegorical of all his books but at least it is short which cannot be said of his massive and reportedly unreadable magnum opus Dhalgren

Read Nova author Samuel R. Delany

D and exotic crew who sign up with Captain Lor van Ray know their mission is dangerous and they soon learn that they are involved in a deadly race with the charismatic but vicious leader of an opposing space federation But they have no idea of Lor's secret obsession to gather Illyrion at the source by flying through the very heart of an imploding star. Sprung from pirates reeling blind in fire I am called pirate murderer thiefKudos to Delany for writing in 1968 one of the first space opera stories with real substance and serious cultural and sociological underpinnings as well as some interesting mythological overtones It is also considered a major cyberpunk forerunner introducing the concept of direct interfacing between man and machine Clearly this can be viewed as groundbreaking sci fi However perhaps because of it s age and New Age roots I found some elements hokey Tarot cards drug use psychedelic musicalsensory instruments and in general not all that entertaining

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Ement sensory deprivation and overload man machine communion the drug experience the creative experience and inter personal relationships which include incest and assassination father son leader follower human pet and lots The balance of galactic power in the st century revolves around Illyrion the most precious energy source in the universe The varie. Nova does not cease telling you how clever it is It does this with plenty of the goobledigook that can mar any narrative sci fi or not First the neologisms meant to indicate that the writer really thought through his futuristic world sensory syrynx and psychorama are among the plenty These are meant to broadcast the legitimacy of his imagined world and that yes he took care to note that language evolves with the times Yet the dialogue and language otherwise has timeless problems stilted exposition weirdly clunky or just plain stale talk no matter how grandiose the stage Second are assumptions about structure that are disregarded for the sake of caprice in this case ending the novel in the middle of a sentence in the most groaner y fashion possible It should not have been a surprise considering chapters begin and end in the middle of a conversation for no discernible motive other than to force a cliffhanger when one doesn t appear naturally But it was one of those non surprises that still yielded an oh come on out loud from yours truly Third is the author surrogate character the always unwelcome Katin a neurotic soapbox of half baked truths about a half baked reality Half baked truths about the current reality are unpalatable imagine hearing fallacious arguments spouted at length about the state of existence in an already intangible other world Let s see what else as a plot it s relatively paper thin It s at base a space opera as they call it And the odor of triteness that comes with the territory is pungent indeed both the antagonist and protagonists are meant to look sympathetic not because of their actions but because they are both marked by physical deformity The seeds of their rivalry germinate in a childhood traumatic event that defines the rest of their lives A man loves his rival s sister or so one thinks There s even a set of twins that finish each others sentences The protagonist and his rivals are identically maniacal The book is melodramatic not just in its template but in its weighty themesThere are ways Nova is just dangling philosophical ideas from a form as tried and true as it can get and in the meantime uses the form to speculate about a future universe This means characters relay background information to one another at length This means the writer surrogate gets to opine at length about whatever topic fits the author s whims And sometimes it does feel like it is whatever topic The various subjects covered don t cohere all that well even with the nova metaphor of a major self collapse leaving something behind to salvage and re build from Basically when the book isn t shoehorning Delaney s viewpoints into every open nook and cranny it is marching along the narrowest and thinnest of narrative arcs Moby Dick this is not I am confounded by the comparison The sad thing is those viewpoints aren t very enlightening or provocative Some just feel over confident and inapplicable There s a debate between fiction and music music being of the moment and fiction being of the past There s a flourish about how future civilizations combat the problem of worker alienation that is fairly clever but ultimately too romantic and hollow So truly Nova is an unsuccessful balancing act between high minded and unsuccessful ideas and a broad minded and unsuccessful plot romance template Sure The Brothers Karamazov was in essence a courtroom drama interspersed with Christian philosophy But it was wasn t it It was so much That mixture of form and invention leaves one with than the sum of its parts sometimes This is something fiction and music can have in common Other times it leaves one with less than Nova is one of those times


About the Author: Samuel R. Delany

Samuel Ray Delany also known as Chip is an award winning American science fiction author He was born to a prominent black family on April and raised in Harlem His mother Margaret Carey Boyd Delany was a library clerk in the New York Public Library system His father Samuel Ray Delany Senior ran a successful Harlem undertaking establishment Levy Delany Funeral Home on th Av.



10 thoughts on “Nova author Samuel R. Delany

  1. says:

    flawed but heroic space captain on a mission that is part vengeance and part noble uest assembles a disparate crew to fly through a nova this is Samuel R Delany so that synopsis just barely scratches the surface I'm going to copy paste a post

  2. says:

    “NOVA” – ueen sings – Ahhh AhhhhReading this I could not help thinking about the 1980 Mike Hodges film Flash Gordon starring Max von Sydow and Sam Jones Many critics and reviewers have used the term “space opera” to label and describe Samuel Delaney’s imaginative Hugo nominated 1968 science ficti

  3. says:

    Nova A New Wave Grail uest space opera from the 1960sOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureNova is Samuel Chip Delany's 1968 space opera with mythicGrail uest overtones It is packed with different themes subtexts allegorical and cultural references and literary experiments and the young author just 25 years old is clearly a very talented in

  4. says:

    Finished a reread of Samuel R Delany's Nova for my reading group I'll post a longer review later but for nowNova is considered by some critics as the last of Delany's early period lesser novels I think it is the first of his masterpie

  5. says:

    Nova does not cease telling you how clever it is It does this with plenty of the goobledigook that can mar any narrative sci fi or not First the neologisms meant to indicate that the writer really thought through his futuristic world sensory syrynx and psychorama are among the plenty These are meant to broadcast the leg

  6. says:

    Ah classic space opera futuristic setting oddball characters with oddball philosophies and ships and science well beyond what we ken Unlike a good deal of space opera Nova is not a doorstopper It is modest in length and in

  7. says:

    For those of you unfamiliar with Delany let me explain to you what it's like reading one of his novels And Delany is a clever PLUS so I think there should be way raving about him than there is I don't uite hear enoughHere's the blurb they give youThe balance of galactic power in the 31st century revolves around

  8. says:

    Sprung from pirates reeling blind in fire I am called pirate murderer thiefKudos to Delany for writing in 1968 one of the first space opera stories with real substance and serious cultural and sociological underpinnings as well as some intere

  9. says:

    Direct seeming in the mythic way Nova still belies its modest page count bursting at its seams with Delany's muscular world building prowess How could it come to an end so uickly I thought with how full it is growing And Delany's world Constructed with an innate faith in the ability of his readers to keep up or perhaps simply not caring if they do Having only read Dhalgren prior to this I wasn't sure what to expect More of the sam

  10. says:

    A grizzled young captain and his ragtag crew go on the biggest and deadliest refueling trip in history Stakes entire galactic economy massive inflation should they succeed It starts out promising introduces the main characters effectively gets us to hate the bad guys properly and outlines enough of the life in the early

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