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They Fly At Ciron: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 15, 1996

2.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nebula and Hugo winner Delany's latest novel expands on a short story he wrote in 1962, which his friend James Sallis "reworked" in 1969. In a prefatory note, Delany acknowledges Sallis's critical assistance but explains that none of Sallis's additions have been retained. It's not as stunning as Dhalgren , et al., nor as complex as the Neveryon fantasies, but it's enjoyable and stimulating nonetheless. Here, the peaceful village of Ciron faces conquest and domination by the army of Myetra, led by a cruel prince. A village youth, Rahm, encounters a Myetran advance scout, Lt. Kire, in the forest, and the Cironian's innocence confirms the already doubting Kire in his disgust for Myetran violence. Still, the Myetrans subdue Ciron, killing many and enslaving the rest. Rahm escapes and befriends one of the fearsome Winged Ones, humanoids with batlike wings. Meanwhile, led by the young village garbage collector and an itinerant singer, the Cironians resist where they can, as Kire struggles with his conscience and tries to ease the Cironians' burden. Delany invigorates a traditional fantasy plot and stylistic elements with his sensitivity and evocative language--the characters, even the Myetran soldiers, are portrayed with depth and sympathy.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Delany's latest, a rare foray into fantasy, is a masterful revision and expansion of a story first drafted in 1962. {€}Ciron is an almost idyllically peaceful, isolated village. The only imagined threat to it comes from the mysterious, black Winged Ones who fly overhead--the only threat, that is, until a brigade of violent intruders arrives. Led by the brutal prince Nactor, the invading Myetrans soon enslave the native {€}Cironians with their advanced weaponry and an easy willingness to kill. Struggling to maintain their peaceful values while being treated as beasts, the {€}Cironians form a sudden, fortuitous alliance with the surprisingly friendly Winged Ones and drive off the Myetrans on their own terms. Delany's added years of craftsmanship lend subtlety, depth of characterization, and even philosophy to an otherwise ordinary battle story. Must reading for Delany's fans and, for newcomers, a good introduction to an enduring talent. Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reprint edition (February 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812543173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812543179
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,110,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I began reading "They Fly at Ciron" expecting a social commentary, and I'd heard good things about Delany as a writer so was expecting something special; and the first few bits of the story were actually rather interesting. However, as I continued reading the story turned from interesting social commentary to something right out of an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. The story started to feel like an incomplete, immature rough draft, and was full of inconsistencies and holes. Delany mentions in the preface that "They Fly at Ciron" is a re-worked version of one of his earliest stories. It rather seems to me he should have worked on it a little bit more. There's the skeleton of a good story, but it doesn't quite seem finished yet. I gave up half-way through.
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By A Customer on July 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Myetran army advances and slaughters nearly everyone in its path. One of the officers, Kire, struggles to obey his conscience rather than his commander. At Ciron, where the local villagers are a peaceful lot, the Myetrans think they've gained the upper hand, but one of the Cironians named Rahm begins to fight back. By enlisting the aid of the Winged Ones, Rahm and a few of his fellow villagers defeat the army, and find themselves changed in the bargain. There are a lot of themes being addressed here, and not all are successfully elaborated. Delany hints at a lot of things (sexuality, politics, the nature of patriotism, etc), but ultimately glosses over some things in an effort to make the story streamlined. It's a good book overall, and well worth reading. After getting over the slow start, I was rather enthralled, especially by the low key sensuality throughout the story. I'd never really read anything by Delany before, and this book intrigued me enough to check out other books by him.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"They Fly at Ciron" is another suprising novel from a little known but excellent sci-fi writter. Even while's not my favourite Delany book, this story of a "ancient" civilization which meets a much more technologically-advanced one is a book i rediscover every once in a while. An excellent read.
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