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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars
19 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
13 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
6 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
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1 Star
2 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • Essential read for Delany fans

    This is a short novel displaying everything Delany is known for: beautiful writing, a cryptic plot, explorations of sexuality and gender, and much more besides. Well worth reading.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Great and original

    Unique story structure, plot, and settings. Like any great sci-fi it evokes thoughts and perceptions that are found no where else.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • confusing

    While a decent read I found parts of the story totally confusing without clear indication of how the story got to a certain point.

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Dated

    No doubt Babel-17 was challenging and thought-provoking when it was published. Now, unfortunately, it really isn't worth investing time in. Well-written, though.

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Terrible on Top of Terribly Dated

    Besides being a wet mess of a story based on pop psychology of the day, it is horribly dated. Horribly dated. And that is because it is not what I would call 'hard science fiction' that buffers the reader from older stories to a significant degree when well written. So if hard scifi is what you are looking for, straight up this isn't it. Rather it is written as if the author learned his craft from reading cheap screenplay writing books. You know, like ones that have movies being made that include concrete examples of what might be 'cool' for the day, but which we know will always look old against a future light. In movies we have all seen that futuristic pong video game that all cool cats from the 21rst century will be playing. Or in this book, he thinks a star ship will have folding wooden tables set up every day for meal time, reel to reel tapes for storing data, exchanging data by express mailing said reel to reel tapes, phone booths, cool 8 inch computer screens under the table, etc. etc. etc. And all couched with pseudo cool 1960s oh look at how cavalier we are about space travel (while the crew play marbles... seriously). And all to deliver a story based around pop psychology, including ESP. And 1960s era programming languages included as if they would even be heard of 500 or 1000 years in the future. Gag. I compare it to contemporary novels like those of Arthur C Clarke, or slightly later Larry Niven, where the authors have stuck to stories that live in a world of scientific principles and logical speculation on where the future is pointed, without trying to add the oh we're cool aspects that the authors know will look dated in even 25 years. All told, it is one of the worst science fiction books I have ever managed to complete reading. And I only read it all because I had to see if it ever rose above its own bad smell. It never did.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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