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The Jewels of Aptor Paperback – 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Sf Collector's
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575071001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575071001
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,733,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Samuel R. Delany was born in 1942, raised in Harlem, New york and educated at the Bronx High School of Science. He is professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts. His many notable books include Nova, Triton, Driftglass, The Einstein Intersection and The Fall of the Towers trilogy.

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
0%
4 star
0%
3 star
57%
2 star
14%
1 star
29%
See all 7 customer reviews
There's too much of an explanation by a character that just doesn't fit.
TJSjr
And like most works written by such youthful writers, it has some flaws, and is certainly not as good as most of his later material.
Patrick Shepherd
What I can't forgive is the fact that much of the novel doesn't really make sense.
not4prophet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TJSjr on March 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Rarely does an author's early work match the brilliance of his more mature efforts, and Delany's novel _The Jewels of Aptor_ is no exception. The novel is enjoyable and provocative, but it shows signs of immaturity, signs that are common in science fiction.
As usual, Delany does more than just tell a story. He wants to convey a truth about humanity, and this time it's about the "double impulse" in all of life. It is an interesting theory, and one that deserves consideration. However, he,as narrator, is too "present" in the novel. Some of the characters' interactions are too preachy, too much of an explanation of this theory. The preaching is _almost_ in character, but not quite. Delany matures and presents his theories in the actions and stories of his characters much better (the characters do so in a way that is part of their character) in later novels and anthologies (such as the Neveryon series).
A stronger criticism is one that could be made about too many science fiction authors, and again it is the "presence" of the author in the narration. A few times it seems that Delany wants us to know how much he knows about science, history, or some other field. There's too much of an explanation by a character that just doesn't fit. This is a problem I have _not_ noticed in his later works. The story is a good one, and I recommend the book. However, it is not Delany's finest work. But no one should expect that; it is an early work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd VINE VOICE on August 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of Delany's very early works. While the copyright reads 1967, his signature at the end of this work indicates it was actually written in 1962, when he was just 19 years old. And like most works written by such youthful writers, it has some flaws, and is certainly not as good as most of his later material.

But it does have some points that are quite striking. Delany would later become known for having not only finely delineated characters, but characters that are very different from the average run-of-mill people. His characters for this work follow that mold of different, from the mute four-armed Snake to the bear of a man Orson, though perhaps their characterization is not as full-bodied as a later Delany would show them. Delany's other prime characteristic, prose so sharp it can cut, poetry in prose, is quite muted here, though there are flashes of it, and here and there the sense of being in a very different time and place becomes quite forceful.

The plot is somewhat standard, a post-holocaust world with bits and pieces of the former high-technology hanging around, and a quest to steal one of the few pieces of new technology (the "Jewels") before they can be used to destroy the viewpoint civilization. But here is where the most obvious flaws are, as the plot becomes quite confusing, as various beings are dragged across the reader's view as being the enemy or spies for the enemy, but are later revealed to be perhaps not what they first seem. Trying to keep track of who are really the good guys and who are the bad is difficult, though he does tie in this confusion quite nicely with his theme of there being dual natures to every action.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott Kennedy on February 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Review for this edition only; not for content.

This book is available for free on Project Gutenberg. This book is simply a port of freely available material (if you look at the preview, you'll see it references its Project Gutenberg source). There's no need to pay $2.99 for this when you can download it for free from a reputable site like Project Gutenberg, especially when you'd be getting the exact same edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lit Teacher on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Published in a period of BEM (bug eyed monsters) written primarily for adolescent boys and cheaply printed, this stood out for its consistency and narrative style. Certainly not close to his later work, Dahlgren and a few other things, Delaney shows promise here that did become realized later. If already a fan, worth the time to read, and if unacquainted, one might question. But those double books introduced me to many writers whose ideas found later and wider, fuller expression in larger, better books that brought science fiction into the mainstream of literature. After this book, seek out Dahlgren and Nova and enjoy.
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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.

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