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The Einstein Intersection Paperback – July 15, 1998

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Delany's 1967 novel won the Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Book. The plot follows a race of aliens, the Lo Lobey, who colonize Earth after humankind's departure and try to make sense of our existence (good luck!). This edition has a new foreword by Neil Gaiman of Sandman comic fame.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"When Delany describes to us what he has seen, what he can compute, adduce, intuit or smell in the underbrush, our reaction is to sit bolt upright and cry out, 'Of course, I have that very wound myself!' The ability to produce this reaction in people is one of the commonly accepted and apparently valid appurtenances of genius . . . I look forward to the explosion reading this will create within you." ―A. J. Budrys,

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; New edition edition (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819563366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819563361
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Samuel R. Delany is the author of numerous science fiction books including, Dhalgren and The Mad Man, as well as the best-selling nonfiction study Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. He lives in New York City and teaches at Temple University. The Lambda Book Report chose Delany as one of the fifty most significant men and women of the past hundred years to change our concept of gayness, and he is a recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to lesbian and gay literature.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Randy Buchanan on October 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
There is no doubt Delany can write well but I think you either like his style or you don't with not much in between. Much of his writing is more like science fiction poetry than prose and Einstein Intersection is the most extreme example of that I have read so far. Delany leaves a lot to the imagination and a lot to figure out on your own. I think his reputation as writing "literary" science fiction is well deserved. If you want everything laid out for you this isn't the book for you and Delany is probably not the author for you. On the other hand, if you want great writing that you will enjoy and that will make you think, then this and his other books will fit the bill. Babel-17, Empire Star and Nova are easier to read although even there everything is not laid out in great detail. Nova is probably the easiest to follow and most traditional if that is what you are looking for.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
The mythologies of Orpheus, the Beatles, Billy the Kid, Jean Harlow, and everyone's fave good ol' J.C. are intertwined here, replaying themselves among a race of alien wayfarers who've inherited the abandoned Earth and uneasily assumed the mantle of the vanished humanity. Told from the POV of Lobey, a "different" youth who is questing for his lost love Friza, this book deals with Delaney's usual concerns with art, Story, & the reality of events vs. the perception of events, and the complex ways in which they all interact. The engaging characters and exotic (but strangely familiar) setting, keep this from being just a rehash of familiar themes. One of Delaney's better works, the short length makes it a much less challenging read than his longer novels, but there's enough complexity here to satisfy any Delaney true believer. Love, death, redemption.. all this and dragons (decidedly non-fantastic), too- what more could you want?
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By calmly on October 25, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read thru it twice. Most of it could have been in Greek: perhaps very well-written Greek, very poetic Greek, perhaps imaginative and well-contained Greek, but not for me. Yet, whenever Kid Death was present, either directly or by reference from the other characters, those parts were intriguing. I'm not sure why. The name "Kid Death" somehow sounds cool, although death is hardly cool. But Delaney's writing seemed to come to LIFE when Kid DEATH was involved.

And so it was that I first read this book more than 30 years ago and all I remembered was: "Kid Death". And I found the book recently by doing a search here at Amazon for, what else but "Kid Death". I suppose I've changed. These two recent readings don't grab me. I may lack the imagination to keep up with this book.

But I won't pan it because I suspect the writing deserves better attention from me and because of Kid Death. There's somethng here even if it may take me a third, a forth, or a tenth reading to see it. I don't think this is a book to dismiss. It's an odd book, a rare book, whether you want to call sci-fi or fantasy or whatever. You may owe yourself to give it a read because it is unique, because 30 years ago it intrigued me and somehow still does ... and because you ought to meet Kid Death, one of the more unforgettable literary creations.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Leboeuf on November 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is essentially a retelling of myths and archetypes using what seems to be aliens or mutants. Now, bear with me for a second: This book is extremely well-written. I place it in the sci-fi section even though it is more like a fantasy on the surface. This is a world where people actually quote Ringo Starr and treat the rise and fall of the Beatles the way we treat the rise and fall of Achilles. We know it is our world, but something has gone awry. What, we never know.

This book won the Nebula and is full of rich, poetic prose. But I recommend it only to those people who love fantasy sci-fi with a good dose of poetic language on the side. For Delany's more straightforwardly "sci-fi" novels, see NOVA or THE FALL OF THE TOWERS.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
"The Einstein Intersection" is a slim novel and a "difficult" one, its unadorned prose easy to read and its unconventional structure hard to understand. Its various aspects--metafictional, surrealist, symbolist--defy readers expecting a straightforward narrative and place the novel firmly in the 1960s (with both the flashy complexities and trendy excesses associated with the decade). It is an odd combination of storytelling and navel-gazing; a spaghetti Western melded with the tedious minimalism of absurdist drama.

Forty thousand years from now, long after human civilization has ended on Earth, an alien species has taken up residence on the planet and for truly baffling reasons they have adopted and adapted our bodily forms, our souls, and our myths--from Helen of Troy and the Minotaur to Jean Harlow and Ringo Starr. (The cynic in me questions the alleged intelligence of these beings.) The hero, Lobey, embarks on a quest to rescue his lover, Friza, from the hands of Kid Death. Along the way, he meets up with some herders traveling across the plain, each of whom mirrors other mythic figures from four millennia of human storytelling. Armed with a "machete," a combination woodwind instrument and lethal blade, Lobey confronts fearsome dragons and Important Questions. Imagine the myth of Orpheus updated with the passion of Christ and the story of Billy the Kid and presented on a stage designed by Sartre during his "Trojan Women" years--and you'll have the general idea.

Interwoven with this modernist fare are excerpts (perhaps real, perhaps not) from Delany's journals during a stay in (appropriately) the Mediterranean, describing his thinking while he re-creates these various legends: "Billy the Kid is the last to go.
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