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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  12 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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Community Reviews

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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
Matt Lee Sharp
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
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
Samuel 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.
May 09, 2012 Ben rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
This should have been right up my alley, but somehow wasn't.
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
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
Zachary Jernigan
OBJECTIVE RATING (my best stab at looking at the book's merits, regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it all that much): 4.5

PERSONAL RATING (how much the book "worked" for me personally): 3.5

I hate it when someone says "This is so meta." Usually, it's in reference to some dumbass work of appallingly obvious self-reference.

That GALAXIES is obvious cannot be denied (it revels in its metafictional conceit), but it's anything but appalling -- unless, of course, you're a complete ignoramus.

It's dif
T. Mike
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
Blew threw this, enjoyed it, but don't remember much except for the basics. Author is quite funny, in a bleak sort of way.
Scott Golden
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.
Salomon Xeno
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.
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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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