Julie's Reviews > Babel-17

Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
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I wish...I wish he'd re-written this book later. Older SF all has this strange disconnection, as if I'm reading with a blanket over my head in the dark, and I can't see or feel half the stuff that's in the room. Delany has flashes of more modern syntax, and his lean toward the lyric is what makes him one of my favorites from the classic period. But, this still comes off as written by someone more comfortable with math than with language, despite the premise being a Matrix-like language that can open your understanding and allow you to control your environment, including people. It goes off the rails a bit at the end with the Butcher's implant story, but you're like ten pages from the end, so you roll with it.

The start is hard to get past, but once you do, it gets better. The first two ways we meet the main character are through a man's view. And both of those views made me uncomfortable. The concepts of a crew made of ghostly senses, polyamorous teams, and furry-like biomodifications is all wonderful and refreshing. Much of Delany's work strikes me as original and unique, even now. The coded strategy used by the pirate captain made me laugh - it was very Beat Generation. But I laughed in an amused, delighted way.
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Reading Progress

October 10, 2019 – Shelved
October 10, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: owned
October 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

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