Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A struggle at the start, but worth the effort
I almost gave up reading this book, as I was really struggling with the maths/science discusssions going on between characters at the start - I like to know what my books are talking about ! However, I persevered, and it was worth the effort. There is one point in this book where two characters are talking to each other, and one of them says 'I' when he means 'you'...
Published on 8 May 2000

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to psycho-linguistics for sf fans
I really wanted to give this 3.5 stars, but went to lower end because of personal preference. The story is good, and definitely different from most other SF (although I m sure I have read similar books in the past). It espouses the importance of understanding and communication when in a war. If I had not recently come across the field of psycho-linguistics (yes it...
Published 14 months ago by Mr. S. De Witt


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A struggle at the start, but worth the effort, 8 May 2000
By A Customer
I almost gave up reading this book, as I was really struggling with the maths/science discusssions going on between characters at the start - I like to know what my books are talking about ! However, I persevered, and it was worth the effort. There is one point in this book where two characters are talking to each other, and one of them says 'I' when he means 'you' and 'you' when he means 'I' - sound confusing ? Delaney has written it so well that I understood every line perfectly, even through the reversed words - what a trick ! The ending to this just blew me away as well - I expected it to solve the whodunnit of where the attacks were coming from in a fairly straightforward, catch-the-bad-guys way, but the actual resolution is SSSOOO much better - well worth the slow start to get to. This is what science fiction should be - intelligent , thought provoking and well informed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of its time, but still entertaining., 17 July 2009
Rydra Wong, the poet of a generation, has a superhuman knack for languages that makes her the Alliance's master-cryptographer. Inevitably, hers is the only mind capable of assimilating Babel-17, a coded transmission intercepted by military intelligence. This intrigue is the foundation of an imaginative and engaging space quest, where the usual ensemble of space-pirates romp about the galaxy to unravel the mysteries of the forc--I mean, the code, that will restore peace to a disunited universe. Inevitably, in a sci-fi universe heaving with possibilities, learning an alien language carries both benefits and risks...

This is an imaginative book that runs a now-familiar course with great momentum. Delaney avoids describing the nature of the few aliens that do turn up on the horizons, thus avoiding the audience's disappointment when, once again, dwarves in rubber masks shuffle awkwardly onto the stage. The freaks of this galaxy are a pantheon of modified or ghostly humans, who are all quite colourful enough to compensate for the absence of little green men. Plus, being Delany, there's progressive portrayals of sexuality, a strong female lead and some exploration of role-play and identity, which made this space opera seem fresh at the time, but have become more familiar in the meantime.

Imaginative stuff for the pre-Star-Wars era.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SF adventure with a linguistics twist, 8 May 2000
By A Customer
If you read just the first chapter you'll probably be put off this book but read on as the author turns things on their head in the second and it really takes off from there. The central character is Rhydra Wong,the most famous poet of the five galaxies, young, beautiful and intelligent, now there's a change. She has to decypher an alien language that's apparently unbreakable. This book is wonderfully smart and playful, but without losing any of its zippiness pace-wise. If you think you don't like SF then try this; and if you like SF and you're not a moron, well you'll love it. I know I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to psycho-linguistics for sf fans, 16 Feb 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really wanted to give this 3.5 stars, but went to lower end because of personal preference. The story is good, and definitely different from most other SF (although I m sure I have read similar books in the past). It espouses the importance of understanding and communication when in a war. If I had not recently come across the field of psycho-linguistics (yes it really is a valid research field) I might have thought this book somewhat better.

As a story it is almost classical with one 'super-being' (just how I envisage her, not how she is described in the book) and her adventures across the galaxy in search of her goal. The description of how she gathers together her crew are I think the highlight of the book. The make-up of the crew and how the ships are navigated are quite unique and take a little time to grasp and is really quite a clever idea. The build up to the ending also seems quite contrived and bears almost no relationship to the start of the book, giving me the impression that the author had a good ending, and good beginning and a good idea, but didn't know how to combine them into a flowing story.

Personal Summary: A good book for its time with some novel ideas, but I do not feel enriched or up-lifted after reading it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You liked it -so will I !, 2 July 2000
By A Customer
This is a real piece of science fiction. Set in the far future in a time when Humans have colonised the galaxy. The Alliance have recieved a number of sabotage attempts and the only clue are recordings of a strange 'code' - named Babel-17. Rydra Wong, a captain and poet, holds the key to translation. We are taken on a well described world as Rydra brings together a crew and then embarks on a mission to decipher what it all means. It is soon discovered that Babel-17 is not just a code but a strange enigmatic language!
This is quite a heavy going book in parts - plenty of techno-babble. The characters are well drawn - Rydra Wong , The Butcher and The Baron are really memorable. The situations and scenarios are interesting.
I did feel that some of the sections were a little muddled and the dialogue difficult to follow, but this in some way added to the feel. This book really dealt with communication and the lack of it.
I would certainly keep faith with this book as the story explains itself in the final Chapters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, yet flawed., 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This is a wonderful book: poetic, characterful & stimulating; yet it seems to contain many rather enigmatic lapses when touching on linguistic, technical & futurological themes. Also, the conclusion is hurried & un-satisfying. Despite these criticisms, I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars perfect product, perfect service, 14 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
i am collecting these books, but am very picky about it being this particular edition - i want all the covers to match.

the info provided in the description was accurate, and the delivery was prompt.

i am very happy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sci-Fi, 1 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is an intelligent work of Sci-Fi. Perhaps it may be a little difficult in places, but if you devote a bit more time to read it through, it is a very rewarding experience. I enjoyed this novel and it definitely deserves a 5-star rating
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Short does NOT mean bad, 9 Feb 2011
By 
R. Harkness (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
It focuses alot on langauge and how we use it but with a fantastic mix of sci-fi. Sci-fi being good sciency stuff all about spaceships and planets etc. LOVE it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's OK but a Masterwork? Really? 3.5 stars, 15 Feb 2006
By 
A. Morley (Ripley, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I wasn’t overly impressed by Babel-17 in that it had quite poor characterization and some quite bizarre (but wonderful) concepts in it. The problem is that there are a few sequences that involve space warfare and having just finished Ender’s Game a few weeks ago I quite underwhelmed and thought sometimes ‘Why would they do that and not this?’
Forward to the good things then. I enjoyed the ‘discorporate’ souls and the central story of how language can form thought (the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis). I enjoyed the thriller-like story that forms much of the middle of the book as the main protagonist Rydra Wong must warn various places in the solar system that they are about to be bombed.
Overall it’s worth a read but I was quite disappointed when compared with other Masterworks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa6a2993c)

This product

Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS) by Samuel R. Delany (Paperback - 29 Mar 2010)
7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews