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3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Presents the story of a fortieth-century female astronaut who investigates a mysterious black galaxy populated by greed, secretive and homicidal bureaucrats.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 7th 1996 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published August 1975)
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Nate D
First thoughts: So this is totally the glorious insane genre deconstruction that was promised to me.

Later: alright Malzberg, I know you admitted up front in one of his narrative-puncturing authorial address sections that it wasnt your thing, and I really don't care about "hard sf" ewiter, but I at least need to know your working model for how a black hole acts with a little more specificity. They're inherently fascinating and your conception is just a little too spongy: it's an unending limbo, t
Dec 16, 2012 Neale rated it liked it
In a way, Barry Malzberg’s science fiction is closer to criticism than it is to ‘literature’. The way that his books interrogate and deconstruct the genre matters almost more than ‘plot’ and ‘character’. It’s just as well that he is such a good writer. And that he so obviously loves what he is compelled to destroy. ‘Galaxies’ is the textbook example.

You could say that ‘Galaxies’ is the book that he had to write. Its structure is one that actually underlies most of his books, simply made more pro
Matt Lee Sharp
Jan 20, 2015 Matt Lee Sharp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
i like this book. i love the idea of this book. galaxies is, as you have read in all the other reviews here, not really a novel. it's the sketch of a novel. it's a criticism of science fiction. it's a literary essay. it's a one sided dialogue with the trends in seventies fiction. it is riveting, but tied to its time. it is self aware, and it is an interesting story. but it's also just a little too pretentious for me to give it 5 stars. malzberg obviously had/has a very interesting mind, but gala ...more
May 02, 2012 Ben rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
This should have been right up my alley, but somehow wasn't.
Roddy Williams
Anguished by hyper-lucidity, a disembodied science-fiction writer taps out the letters “LENA THOMAS” and instantly finds himself “warped” to the female astronaut’s domain of the 40th century. Lena and the writer’s subconscious then develop a strange intimacy while they attempt to explore a mysterious “black galaxy”. But theirs is a fleeting and rarefied relationship, constantly hounded by greedy, homicidal bureaucrats committed to the expansion of bureaus and tormented by the idea of fragmentati ...more
Peter Landau
This is how every novel should be written and how every novel should not be written. To be fair, it's stated at the beginning that it is not a novel at all, but notes towards a novel. Those notes collect the basic elements of story -- plot, character, setting -- and set them aside more philosophical musings and other mental droppings. It's entertaining, and new and even exciting for a while, then I found myself wanting to read a novel, not the notes towards one, or at least notes that veered clo ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the ironic, cyclical nature of this "novel," I imagine it only fitting that it ended the way it began, both in terms of the way it's presented, as well as my own feelings towards it.

It began with the author stating his intentions for a novel that would at its completion be called Galaxies. Of course it went meta, the author inserting himself, his thoughts, into almost every chapter. Many, it could go this way, or it could go that way, or maybe even this way.

At some point, it became an amusi
T. Mike
Apr 27, 2012 T. Mike rated it it was ok
Meta! Not a novel, but a set of notes for one from the character of a stuffy, bloodless science fiction author trapped in suburbia and desperate to use grand themes and be taken seriously like his literary heroes Cheever and Barthelme. Occasionally funny, sometimes annoying, his stilted, abstract dialogue plays like a low-rent Waiting for Godot. Not bad, not great, but like all science fiction, the hook is in the concept, not the characterization!

Confused the hell out of me as a teen, especially
Salomon Xeno
Nov 23, 2013 Salomon Xeno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un romanzo per scrittori, o per chi è interessato a dare uno sguardo agli ingranaggi di una storia. Il protagonista qui è lo scrittore, che racconta la vicenda dell'astronauta Lena sotto la forma di appunti per un romanzo, costellati di commenti ed excursus sulla storia della fantascienza, dagli anni '50 ai '70 circa. Poco interessante per chi cerca un bel racconto, destinato a rimanere deluso. Consigliatissimo per chi vuole scrivere fantascienza.
Scott Golden
Jan 08, 2014 Scott Golden rated it really liked it
It's a bit of "inside baseball," this novel in which the third-person narrator periodically suspends the telling of the story in order to talk directly to the reader -- as 'author' rather than 'narrator' -- about the nature of science fiction storytelling. Malzberg pulls it off brilliantly.
Umberto Rossi
A fascinating experiment, I don't know--maybe can't say--how successful, but probably something that should be written. Maybe more a reading for science-fiction scholars (and writers) than something for the ordinary reader. Maybe not. It surely leaves you with a lot of questions and objections.
Nov 15, 2014 Pmacdougald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blew threw this, enjoyed it, but don't remember much except for the basics. Author is quite funny, in a bleak sort of way.
May 01, 2010 Samuel rated it really liked it usual, Malzberg takes traditional expectations of a novel and shreds them apart...this book consists of notes by the author for a book...and thereby the tale is told.
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He has also published as:
Mike Barry (thriller/suspense)
K.M. O'Donnell (science fiction/fantasy)
Mel Johnson (adult)
Howard Lee (martial arts/TV tie-ins)
Lee W. Mason (adult)
Claudine Dumas (adult)
Francine di Natale (adult)
Gerrold Watkins (adult)
Eliot B. Reston

Barry Malzberg lives with his wife and daughter in Manhattan and is worried about having recently reached the ominous age of seventy….

Mr. Malzbe
More about Barry N. Malzberg...

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