Ernest Junius's Reviews > Empire Star

Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany
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's review
Jun 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-that-took-overnight-to-finish, cool-books, straining-read, wacky-fantasia, world-adventures
Read on June 24, 2011 , read count: 2

Also a wacky tale by Delany, mentioned in the Babel-17, which according to the story is a novella created by Ryndra Wong's husband, Muels Aranlyde (wittily arranged, an anagram of Samuel R. Delany). I like this story more than Babel-17.

Also read like a mad thesis (I think Delany is more a scientist than a writer), Empire Star is very much abstract to me. I don't know what the hell is going on in the realm, everything seems like a floating world, like Universe is melting into liquid inside a blender. Everything got its weird name, Devil-Kitten, 3-Dogs (does this look like a dog with 3 heads or three dogs with a single torso? I would never know), Lll (hard to spell, hard to imagine, hard to comprehend), LUMP (Short for Linguistic Ubiquitous Multiplex which supposed to look like a cube, but still look like a lump inside my head) and an alien thingy that narrates the whole thing that is crystalised into a gem that can broadcast messages. I mean how crazy are those things?

I always think that sci-fi is better off in movies (visuals) than in words. But I believe to make this a movie will be a challenge to pull off. The description that Delany gave is too scarce to form a world that's imaginable. I heard that he finished this in 10 days. Apparently yes, a little bit looking like a rush product. But check out how awesome this guy is, even in 10 days he can pull off something like this. Pretty impressive I would think.

The thing that really did it for me was the ending. And the secret that surrounds the Empire Star (the Star). It's a little bit gimmicky, a little bit crazy, and I can sense a little bit of trouble (that the author experienced) that's hard to untangle—but he still ends it anyway—, but still, I think I can quite accept it, the way he ends it.

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06/24/2011 page 92

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