Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS): Samuel R. Delany

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Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS): Samuel R. Delany

Babel-17 (S.F. MASTERWORKS): Samuel R. Delany

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It's also an influential book so I guess it's worth reading for those interested in the history of SF, intertextuality and all that stuff. Finally, he has this intriguing series of Neveryona novels using the trappings of sword-and-sorcery, which apparently explore very hefty issues like slavery, domination, the dawn of civilization, the nature of narrative, and semiotics, but these books are so self-reflexive and experimental, I wonder if anyone other than literary critics can actually enjoy them. Delany plays around with the Saphir-Whorf hypothesis, but it's so poorly interpreted to be almost unintelligible. Given the short length of the book the other characters are at least adequately developed, but again I did not feel any emotional investment in them.

Nevertheless, I have nothing but respect for most of what he is doing, and encourage readers to seek him out and investigate for themselves. While that's not a new idea (probably not even in 1966 when this was published), I thought it was well done. I hauled myself to the end of this one out of duty, dragged along by the feeling that I should finish such a well-regarded work. so much so that I wondered if there was some kind of allegory to the sixties I was too thick to get. Some parts of it seemed pretty unique, especially considering how ideas from books published in the 60’s have often been re-used and feel like old hat when one reads them for the first time in the present day.I usually don’t mind the way that older SF (this was published in ’66) is often full of temporal markers that give away the era in which it was written. As her understanding of the language increases, she is able to predict where the next attack will be and gathers a team to go to the predicted location of the attack. It ‘programs’ a self-contained schizoid personality into the mind of whoever learns it, reinforced by self-hypnosis—which seems the sensible thing to do since everything else in the language is ‘right,’ whereas any other tongue seems so clumsy. The invaders have somehow been mounting damaging sabotage attacks deep into Alliance territory, with only strange, coded radio messages giving any clue to how they are being carried out. It's the name for a rather involved set of deterministic moral evaluations taken through a relativistic view of the dynamic moment.

I can’t work out if this book should be 5 stars and in my favourites folder, or if it was just quite good. With Empire Star I can see more clearly the rollicking, adventurous, humorous sides of Delany's writing. Humanity has encountered other races from other galaxies, some of whom are part of an Alliance with them and others who are enemies referred to as Invaders. A, of course extremely evil, triumvirate of space opera, Hard Sci Fi with elements of cyberpunk, astrophysics, scientific theories,… and social sci-fi controls the output of the genre, leaving many of the too alternative concepts and narrative styles with less hope for large sales. The novel is not only about linguistics but also a great space opera - with interstellar fighting, space pirates, telepathy, body modification and future family constructs like triple marriage.In the end I am guessing that I will give this 4 stars and say it was a really enjoyable SF book, nothing more, nothing pretentious, nothing deep, just a good book. It’s one of the most defining aspects of our humanity—and as anyone from a marginalized identity group is aware, language and vocabulary can be important in asserting one’s agency too. A simplex person is a one-sided person, a simple person who accepts everything at face value, rarely asks questions or questions anything, and sits pat on firm conclusions; but a simplex can also be very intelligent, just not multifaceted (Dubya and others come to my mind). Some people have delved deeply into the linguistic nuances of this book and I have to admire both their knowledge and insight, to me though it was just a well written book, with the interesting linguistic focus.

Rydra decides she needs to take out a starship and crew and investigate the site of an upcoming attack by the Invaders, one that will help her understand the nature of Babel-17 once and for all. It was joint winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1967 (with Flowers for Algernon) [3] and was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967. Perhaps it may be a little difficult in places, but if you devote a bit more time to read it through, it is a very rewarding experience. He has the conscious minds of dead people serving as ship’s crew, decades before the transhumanists regularly began writing about upload civilizations. It´s difficult to understand just pieces of this amazing work, as it´s complexity is so interwoven with special innuendos and the author doesn´t care about genre or even writing conventions, making my poor brain hurt.The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. When Rydra speaks in Babel-17, time slows down because she is able to communicate with much more precision. Rydra and crew escape to their ship, but the vessel seemingly takes off on its own, after more Babel-17 messages are mysteriously sent. Delany wants to create a baroque far-future universe in just a few hundred pages, and he manages to do that incredibly well. I needed to have my head and heart stirred and stimulated in precisely the way that this book did after reading a couple of stolid, predictable books recently.

Delany uses terms for ethnicities that, while common in the 1960s, have long since fallen out of favour (and therefore it’s kind of jarring to see them show up in a setting in the far future). Male or female, corporeal or discorporate, professional or hired help, the characters in this book each have their own chances to show off what they can do without the kind of jingoistic editorializing that Asimov brings to his characterization. I think I became much more interested in languages partly as a result of reading Babel-17 at an impressionable age, so really it had a very good effect on me. In 2007, Delany was the subject of a documentary film, The Polymath, or, The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. His prose is incredibly vivid, and in just a handful of pages he builds an engaging setting, intriguing characters, and a central mystery that had my attention from the off.Le Guin [ citation needed], Embassytown by China Miéville, "In Luna Bore Coda" by Joshua Nilles, and, more evidently, the short story " Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang [ citation needed]. Possibly because I am so far removed from the time (and less familiar with psychotropics than many of the era lol) and possibly because of the subject matter. In any case, I'm only willing to allot time to reading his shorter, earlier works (with Nova and Einstein Intersection on deck), and I really enjoyed Babel-17. I make a sport of spotting such markers- characters reading paper newspapers on starships in the year 2500 for example, while they chain-smoke filterless Camels. I know that even though you left when very young, you had enough of a reputation so that, six years later, the people who remembered you said unanimously--after they had struggled with Babel-17 for a month--'Send it to Rydra Wong.



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