A, B, C: Three Short Novels

Samuel R. Delany. Vintage, $16.95 ISBN 978-1-101-91142-6
SFWA Grand Master Delany’s collection of three early works is essential not just for the classics it contains but for the author’s riveting 40-page afterword (as well as his shorter but equally entertaining preface). “The Jewels of Aptor,” Delany’s first published novel, is an entertaining postapocalyptic fantasy adventure in which a young poet named Geo and his friend Urson go on a quest for the high priestess of the goddess Argo. In the shortest work, “The Ballad of Beta-2,” a student tries to discover what happened to a failed galactic expedition. In the final novel, “They Fly at Çiron” (one of Delany’s earliest works, later substantially revised and eventually published in 1993), the titular fantasy-realm village is attacked by the army of a cruel prince, though one soldier questions their actions. All of the novels are excellent and must-reads for anyone interested in science fiction, and the additional autobiographical notes in the afterword add a wealth of material for Delany’s fans. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/2015
Release date: 07/07/2015
Genre: Fiction
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