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Einstein Intersection [Paperback]

Samuel R. Delany , Neil Gaiman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 11.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 July 1998
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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Product details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press; New edition edition (1 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819563366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819563361
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"When Delany describes to us what he has seen, what he can compute, adduce, intuit or smell in the underbrush, our reaction is to sit bolt upright and cry out, 'Of course, I have that very wound myself!' The ability to produce this reaction in people is one of the commonly accepted and apparently valid appurtenances of genius . . . I look forward to the explosion reading this will create within you." --A. J. Budrys, Galaxy Magazine

About the Author

SAMUEL R. DELANY many prizes include the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to gay and lesbian literature. Wesleyan has published both his fiction and nonfiction, including Atlantis: three tales (1995), Silent Interviews: On Language, Race, Sex, Science Fiction, and Some Comics (1994), Longer Views: Extended Essays (1996), and Shorter Views: Queer Thoughts & the Politics of the Paraliterary. The press has also reissued his classic science fiction and fantasy novels Dhalgren (1996), Trouble on Triton (1996, originally published as Triton), and the four-volume Return to Neverÿon series. Delany's non-Wesleyan books include Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999), The Mad Man (1995), They Fly at Ciron (1993), and The Motion of Light in Water (1987). NEIL GAIMAN is author of the Sandman comics and of the fantasy novel Neverwhere (1997).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal Charm 26 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The mythologies of Orpheus, the Beatles, Billy the Kid, Jean Harlow, and everyone's fave good ol' J.C. are intertwined here, replaying themselves among a race of alien wayfarers who've inherited the abandoned Earth and uneasily assumed the mantle of the vanished humanity. Told from the POV of Lobey, a "different" youth who is questing for his lost love Friza, this book deals with Delaney's usual concerns with art, Story, & the reality of events vs. the perception of events, and the complex ways in which they all interact. The engaging characters and exotic (but strangely familiar) setting, keep this from being just a rehash of familiar themes. One of Delaney's better works, the short length makes it a much less challenging read than his longer novels, but there's enough complexity here to satisfy any Delaney true believer. Love, death, redemption.. all this and dragons (decidedly non-fantastic), too- what more could you want?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 21 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After starting with Dhalgren and finding it unreadable, I decided not to give up on Delany. I went to Nova, which is sadly out of print by the way, and found it to be one of the finest SF books I've ever read. Next I tried Babel-17 (also out of print) and found that to be a very good work, but not up to par with Nova.
And then this. Delany's early (pre-Dhalgren) SF is very engaging. His characters are intense as is are his plot lines, and his imagery is dazzling without being confusing. Even if this novel had no plot whatsoever, you could still read it if only for the intriguing voice the Delany writes with. Yep, it's based on the Orpheus myth (as are some of his later works, which amount to far less than this novel), and Delany succeeds very well with his archetypal characters and plot line. With references to everything from Greek mythology to '60s pop culture, it is certainly thinking-person's reading, but it is also entertaining if you want a short, fun read. It's good to see this one back in print after so many "only available at an obscure used book store" years. If you want somewhere to start with Delany, this is the place, as the book is easily available and is more accessible than his later works (which I still don't like much even today). If you like this try out the harder to find stuff like Babel-17 and Nova (probably in that order, as Nova marks the highlight of Delany's career).
By the way, if you like Delany, check out the works by the lesser-known (but critically perhaps more acclaimed) New Wave author Thomas M. Disch (who's work is newly back in print, I believe).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing 17 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
a very interesting book - the fact that it is relatively short is in its favour. Whilst reading it I felt like I was constantly grasping at it - grasping for a better understanding of it, grasping for some way of categorising the world it creates, but that sense never left me. It gave the book a unique sense of urgency that is difficult to describe; . Definitely worthwhile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Logic Meets Dream 28 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
This is perhaps the first Delany novel where his ability to write near-poetry and call it prose really shows up, though there were intimations of it in his The Fall of the Towers. It's an ability he's never lost, and the science fiction field as a whole has been a great beneficiary of it, as his works have helped move the field far beyond its pulp ghetto.

It's the story of Lo Lobey, on a quest to find Kid Death and force him to return his beloved Friza to him before he kills him (which immediately invites the question of how do you kill death?). It's also the story of a far future Earth long ago destroyed by atomic mayhem, inhabited by beings intent on re-creating humanity in all its glory, from Jean Harlow and the Beatles to Jesus Christ, before everyone ends up going to the great rock and the great roll. At a third level it's a fascinating look at the creative process and how events in an author's life become enshrined and intertwined in the end product. At still another level, it's an investigation of individuality, difference, and consciousness. And just for good measure, it invokes the classics via the tale of Orpheus.

There are some problems with this book. The setting of a long-ago apocalypse that has left only somewhat irrational computers and freak mutant creatures was clichéd even at the time this was written. All the characters except Lobey himself are extremely sketchily drawn, though this is perhaps appropriate given the parable-like aspects of this work. The portrayed future culture is in many places quite fuzzy, not given clear description nor quite a totally logical framework, though once again this is partially deliberate, invoking Gödelian mathematics.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Baffling 2 Nov 2009
By Book Critic VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The imagery was brilliant, the descriptive quality, the inner-mind of Lo Lobey, stunning but the story...? It was prettily told but it would have helped if I'd known what the heck was going on.

Even knowing the background, the central core of thought that underlies this story of an alien people trying to make a new culture on a ruined Earth, long abandoned by humanity, using human myth to make sense of their lives, the plot consistently failed to make sense.

I know many - including, apparently, Neil Gaiman - who consider this a classic of the genre, a masterpiece but it left me addled and confused and wondering just what it was others saw that I didn't. I understood the Orpheus analogy, I was able to place that into the context but even so, this seemed such a rambling, disjointed collection of random thought; beautifully written, at times even poetic, but completely baffling to me in terms of plot and purpose.
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