Babel-17/Empire Star

Babel Empire Star Author of the bestselling Dhalgren and winner of four Nebulas and one Hugo Samuel R Delany is one of the most acclaimed writers of speculative fiction Babel winner of the Nebula Award for best no

  • Title: Babel-17/Empire Star
  • Author: Samuel R. Delany
  • ISBN: 9780375706691
  • Page: 465
  • Format: Paperback
  • Author of the bestselling Dhalgren and winner of four Nebulas and one Hugo, Samuel R Delany is one of the most acclaimed writers of speculative fiction Babel 17, winner of the Nebula Award for best novel of the year, is a fascinating tale of a famous poet bent on deciphering a secret language that is the key to the enemy s deadly force, a task that requires she travel wiAuthor of the bestselling Dhalgren and winner of four Nebulas and one Hugo, Samuel R Delany is one of the most acclaimed writers of speculative fiction Babel 17, winner of the Nebula Award for best novel of the year, is a fascinating tale of a famous poet bent on deciphering a secret language that is the key to the enemy s deadly force, a task that requires she travel with a splendidly improbable crew to the site of the next attack For the first time, Babel 17 is published as the author intended with the short novel Empire Star, the tale of Comet Jo, a simple minded teen thrust into a complex galaxy when he s entrusted to carry a vital message to a distant world Spellbinding and smart, both novels are testimony to Delany s vast and singular talent.

    One thought on “Babel-17/Empire Star”

    1. Empire Star is the "short side" of Babel-17, flip Babel-17 upside-down and over and there's Empire Star, ready to be read. It's apparently the way Delany originally wanted it published but it never happened. With Empire Star I can see more clearly the rollicking, adventurous, humorous sides of Delany's writing. It's a coming of age type of novella starring Comet Jo on his journey to deliver an important (though as yet unknown to him) message to Empire Star (which ends up being the sort of mystic [...]

    2. Problems of linguistics, translation, communication, cast into sharp relief by a future expanded beyond only earth's human languages and a protagonist whose pattern recognition skills, particularly in human interactions, border on telepathy. This is always at its best when riffing off of the major thematic concerns of language and meaning, which are fortunately well-worked into the fabric of the novel, as the very speech patterns and off-handed body-language descriptions of have key plot-points [...]

    3. I think some of my favorite SF/Fantasy stories are the ones that give language a special place in the universe. Bene Gesserit witches commanding people with "the Voice." Wizards in the world of Earthsea practicing magic by knowing something's "true name." Add to that list "Babel-17," a language so analytically precise it can give you telepathic-like abilities. At the heart of this fictional language is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which (in my crude layman's simplification) is the idea that your [...]

    4. If I could give this 0 stars, I would have. And to think I suggested this to our book club. I was embarrassed. I never was into sci-fi and thought this would be a great first entry because it was about language. Oh, it was so bad!

    5. Updated review: please see the last paragraph for a review of the Empire Star portion of this book!Babel-17 opens a new universe in the midst of intergalactic turmoil. There's starships, space pirates, genetically modified people, totally alien folks, and, of course, a poet. It's basically what I imagined a sci-fi world would be, but somehow it's all a backdrop for the main action on the interaction between thought, identity, and language. It's an energetic read and will engage those who are int [...]

    6. Delightful. Space poets, linguistics, aggressive body modifications, threesomes, and all somehow packed into a classic space opera plot (a galactic empire is at war with mysterious aliens) with enough fights and murders to make the pages fly by. Quite enjoyable. The second book is a long story, and feels more like a sketch, but is an agreeable philosophy-into-fiction kind of thing.

    7. An excellent birthday gift I received because I'm interested in the interaction between language and thinking. I enjoyed it very much and couldn't stop reading it.

    8. Babel-17This is pretty crazy. I thought I was going to have a lot of fun reading this book, apparently I was wrong. Babel-17 reads more like a work of thesis than a work of entertaining sci-fi. I'm not sure whether I completely understand whatever Delany wrote in this book. I don't think I do. This is the kind of sci-fi that you must read again and again to understand completely, because everything inside the book is so outrageously new that it is so hard to relate to all of it within a single r [...]

    9. That's 3 stars for Babel-17 and damn near 5 stars for Empire Star, averaging out to 4 stars.I had low expectations for this book after suffering through the pretentious mess that is Dhalgren. I'll admit: When I cracked open Babel-17 and read the opening line, 'Here, fumes rust the sky, the General though' I nearly threw the book out the window. The General didn't think that. No General would think that. But, cringeworthy dialogue and ponderous figurative language aside, there's a lot to like abo [...]

    10. Put together like the old Ace double-headers you get both the novel and the novella (mentioned in the novel!). Self-reference is everywhere and Delaney is a remarkably complex writer. I'm still not sure exactly what it was all about but it reminded me of Dick without all the psychotic baggage. It's remarkable that Delaney could toss off Empire Star in just five days. I've read some of Moorcock's rush jobs and they just don't even come close.I'll have to breakdown and read Dhalgren I guess since [...]

    11. I had to read this one twice. I think it a transitional novel between sf pulp and sf literature. The main character Rydra is asked by the military to decipher a code, Babel 17, heard over the radio shortly before incidents of sabotage that benefit the Invaders. She puts together a crew and goes into space. There are elements of the earlier pulps as Rydra is a starship captain and there is a scene where she fights enemies by literally going outside the ship without a spacesuit. But at the same ti [...]

    12. Just finished Empire Star, the novella published with Babel-17. By itself, I would give it 4 stars. Excellent, thoughtful read dealing with an interesting caste system and the complexities of Time. Delany's control of prose is masterful, although I didn't realize it right away--Although, considering this piece, that only makes it more obvious. I am glad this was the first of his works I finished. Now, I only want to read more.On to Babel-17.Occasional places where I was surprised the language go [...]

    13. The thing about this book is that it's not so much about the plot but a kind of treatise on ways that language and thought go together on one side and how complex thought and ideology go together. Plus time travel. I had a good enough time reading it but the end of empire star made me mad because it's like if you didn't see where this is going you're an idiot and I hate that kind of condescension. Unless I'm being too lol!sensitive and it's just a joke? I hope its just a joke. Anyways, I'd proba [...]

    14. Babel-17: this is Delany swinging for the fences, even though it is his early work. Queered relationships, hardcore linguistics, strong female protag, poetry, and something that doesn't show up much in his later work--action scenes. Well written action scenes, at that. Of all his works, this is the one that could become a movie most easily. HIGHLY recommended.

    15. In 50 or 100 or 200 years, The Complete Works of Samuel R Delany will be as important a tome as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare is today.

    16. An extremely creative book that has stuck with me despite the fact that I was not smart enough to understand most of it.

    17. I was pretty distracted during my protracted reading of Babel 17/Empire Star, and yet, I still noticed how these books were full of incredible linguistic ideas in extraordinary science-fiction worlds. Babel 17 was a little disappointing to me, because its ideas about language shaping the mind and culture and society are concepts I’ve rolled around in my head for some time, and I found the dollops of philosophical analysis superficial and lacking. The surprising consolation for this letdown was [...]

    18. Two excellent works, with Babel-17 being near prefect. (My only real complaint: the reveal of Wong as a credentialed captain is jarring, and doesn't fit the reader's first impression of her. You'll probably find that part a bit forced.)Read "Empire Star" first. The reason isn't a major one, but you'll see why.Both works are concerned with how language and thought shape one's perceptions of the world, including what aspects of that world one is able to perceive and grasp in the first place. Both [...]

    19. I don't have a lot to say about this one. I tried reading one of Delany's short story collections and couldn't get into it (I have a hard time with finishing short story compilations), so I picked Babel-17 at random based on the description. I ended up reading Empire Star first, because I didn't realize the book was set up that way. I liked Babel-17 better, but they were both interesting. The language stuff in Babel-17 was cool, but I don't feel strongly about the story overall. The characters w [...]

    20. Nebula #2b (1966) Babel-17The Alliance military approaches poet and intergalactic sensation Rydra Wong and contracts her to decode, and ultimately translate, a dense and powerful invader language, code-named Babel-17. Delany follows up with an insanely imaginative adventure filled with seedy back alley deals, high profile assassination attempts, space pirates, spys, and sabotage which all revolves around a fascinating exploration of the philosophy of language. So much fun, and enjoyable in spite [...]

    21. This is a really a 3.5 for me but I am comfortable bumping it up to 4. I enjoyed the language aspect of Babel-17 though I found it hard to follow parts of it. I found it funny that in all this technology, they were still using "tapes" to record things, ha! (it was written in the late 60's). The last 10 or so pages of Empire Star had me riveted though. Overall, a fun read, and I'm glad I got it.

    22. 5/5 for Empire Star, and a 4/5 for Babel-17 individually4.5/5 togetherI will update the review when my brain sufficiently marinates in the material. For now I will just say: Delany is en route to become one of my favourite authors,

    23. An interesting read. I'll def check it more by Delany in the future. Crazy to realize the man's been writing (and winning awards!) for several decades and I just found out about him a few weeks ago when he came through for a "Queering Sci-Fi" symposium.

    24. At its best it's profound and thought-provoking, especially on the topic of linguistics and the way it shapes human thinking, but some of the suspenseful scenes weren't really suspenseful at all but just confusing and the conclusion felt a little rushed.

    25. Babel-17 is perfect. I wish I read this before Dhalgren. Much more accessible than his longer work. Empire Star was merely great in comparison, but definitely worth reading alongside babel-17.

    26. A bit hard to jump in, the poetry/italics sections are beautiful, Rydra is a great character to follow, glad her voice ended the story rather than Mocky's voice in the dungeon.

    27. On dit beaucoup de bien de l'auteur, je l'ai vu alors qu'il donnait une conférence dans une université dans un vidéo youtube.J'ai ramassé le bouquin. Et déjà avec les premières phrases disparaissaient mon intérêt.

    28. This was the book that solidified SRD's position as third favorite sci-fi author. Previously, I had read Nova, which is a slightly more traditional space opera than Babel-17 (and Nova is my recommended SRD starting point, although I'm not an expert yet). This book is an old school flip over book popular back in the day. SRD apparently wanted it these two works to be published together, but for whatever reason, they were not. Now, for the first time, it's available a SRD intended. A lot of review [...]

    29. This is a duel- reader publication, which includes two works for the price of one: the 1966 novel Babel-17and (flip it over) the novella Empire Star from the same year. Empire Star appears as a fictional novel or series in the course of Babel-17, so it’s possible that it is a kind of “meta-sci-fi:” science fiction that was conceived as a sci fi novel that would appeal to people of the far future. It’s also just possible that Delany didn’t have that in mind when he wrote it, but needed [...]

    30. My introduction to Grandmaster of Science Fiction Samuel R. Delany came in a fun little package: the novel Babel-17 that flips over to become the (tangentially related) Empire Star!Babel-17, as its name suggests, is about language. I've gathered that Delany is well known for tackling heady, complex topics in his writing, and here he designs the entire story around an examination of how language and thought/conception are inherently connected. Rydra Wong (a polyamorous bisexual non-neurotypical A [...]

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