A, B, C: Three Short Novels

4.4
A, D, C: Three Short Novels contains the first three ovels of Samuel R. Delany ’ s long and illustrious career.

The Jewels of Aptor is a science-fantasy story about a seafaring quest that sets out to find powerful magic jewels on a ystical, forbidden island where unimaginable danger lies.

The Son of Beta-2 is about a future academic searching for the true story behind an interstellar voyage, a journey over multiple generations that ended in tragedy.

They Fly at Çiron is a fictio about the clash between a marauding army and a peaceful village at the fee of a mountain from which a race of winged people oversees both sides.

Presenting these three novels in this omnibus volume for the seventh time, along with a new oreword and afterword by the writer, A, , C showcases Delany ’ s masterful storytelling ability and deep devotion to his craft.
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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published July 7th 2015 by Vintage
Original Title of the Book
A, B, C: Three Short Novels
Number of Pages
472

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gave it

Although I would give The Ballad of Beta-2 5 stars and the other two 4.For a long time I 've been intimidated by Delany 's reputation and so I had n't read any of his cra.

I was struck how fresh they still felt to me, like they were a road of SFF that not too many people have traveled down and done over and over ( to death) .The Ballad of Beta 2 is haunting.

Do n't try to tell me there have never been any girls in SFF.They Fly at Ciron was my least favorite, I think because I understood it most on the surface and least underneath.

gave it

By erecting these boundaries, Delany forces you to engage with the tory from an historical perspective.Held back at times by clunky and contrived dialogue framing, the protagonists are otherwise lots of un to accompany on their dventure.

gave it

_The Jewels of Aptor_ is, yes, Delany 's first work, cut brutally to fit the short side of an Ace Double and later restored ( and lightly reedited, revised, redacted ...

I 've read this book at least six or seven times in my life, from that Ace Double to this shiny new edition.It 's a fabl of four men of Leptar who, after a few harrowing incidents, find themselves on the forbidden island of Aptor, with a double mission: to retrieve the young priestess who is the current Argo Incarnate; and to steal the third of the three Eyes of Hama ( the titular Jewels), baubles of great power that Argo 's mother, Argo, wants for Leptar.

( No, _I_ did n't read it that long ago; I was not yet four when it was published and, while I was beginning to read, it would be a _bit_ longer before I was ready to read omething like this.) It can be read at a single sitting- I did- which, I think, adds to the impact. ( The subtitle is, after all, three _short_ novels.) The nove is laced with philosophical and pseudoscientific speculations, most of which stand up pretty well after ...

When he began to write _The Ballad of Beta-2_, Delany was in the middle of writing his _Fall of the Towers_ trilogy, and had indeed completed the first volume; but if you count _Fall_ as a single work, then this is the hird of the three novels to be completed.

But the ast of these ovels had, in some sense, been written before _Fall_, so go figure._Beta-2_ is a very lon nove, only eighty-six pages in this edition.

Wollheim rejected it, leading Delany ( as his Foreword to this book details) to a new understanding of why _Aptor_ worked and _Çiron_ did n't.

I read that too, for the third time since the magazine version ( which had n't _quite_ worked for me ...) was new.And here it is again, as ruthless as ever.Çiron is an idyllic, peaceful village that does n't even have a phras for " weapon. " They are invaded by the conquering armies of Myetra who, frankly, do n't give a rat 's ass how peaceful the villagers are; they are there on a mission to create for Myetra a vast span of _lebensraum_, and the resident of Çiron are just in the way.The next place the Myetrans plan to devastate is Çiron 's neighboring community, Hi-Vator.

gave it

The Afterword gets a bit academic, which may not be to everyone 's taste, but then I suspect most serious Delany fans are n't the type to scared by citations of Derrida and Wittgenstein and lengthy footnotes.Like most of Delany 's early work ( e.g., Nova), the storie are well written with hints of the depth of his later genius.

The allad of Beta-2 was my favourit, but I enjoyed the others more than I was expecting.

There are also some thoughts to be had on topics like the arc of history, magic, and echnology, although this one is pretty meager, philosophically speaking, compared to much of Delany 's other work.The Ballad of Beta-2, my favourite of the three, is one of the best dramatizations of the joys ( and angers) of academic research I 've ever read ( in this single way it sort of eminds me of The ame of the Rose).

I 'm lad at least one professor in the world of Beta-2 has n't forgotten the value of open-minded inquiry! I admit I was least excited about They Fly at Çiron.

gave it

Altogether, extremely valuable and inspiring for any writer/reader to look at and study as Delany ’ s stops along the way as he learned his craft and developed his genius; these are a chance to see him solve the math problem, and his later works are just more complex problems and the answers far more elegant.

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