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Publisher's Summary

The Einstein Intersection won the Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of 1967. The surface story tells of the problems a member of an alien race, Lo Lobey, has assimilating the mythology of Earth, where his kind have settled among the leftover artifacts of humanity. The deeper tale concerns, however, the way those who are "different" must deal with the dominant cultural ideology.

The tale follows Lobey's mythic quest for his lost love, Friza. In luminous and hallucinated language, it explores what new myths might emerge from the detritus of the human world as those who are "different" try to seize history and the day.

©2018 Samuel R. Delany (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc., and Skyboat Media, Inc.

What listeners say about The Einstein Intersection

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Alien confusion over humanity's detritus

Samuel R Delany's The Einstein Intersection is a brief exploration of an alien species attempting to adopt humanity's remnants. This species has arrived at Earth after humanity is extinct presumably due to nuclear holocaust and is trying to take on human physiology and behaviors. Exactly how they arrived and why they have chosen this path is never detailed. There are artifacts of humanity that relate an incomplete and confusing story. The aliens are also dealing with the effects radiation induced mutations. The main character journeys to reclaim a lost love and encounters many mysteries and unique individuals along his way while he come to accept his unique qualities and learns to define himself through himself.

Delany is attempting to do with culture what a previous work did with language and convey the sense that differences may not be relatable between different cultures. These contrasts are portrayed both with respect to aliens versus humans as well as among individuals within the same species. While the message is clear, the brevity detracts from the granularity of the message.

Rudnicki does a commendable rendition with tone and inflection providing an other worldly quality. Pacing is brisk and the tale moves quickly.

6 people found this helpful

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It feels unfinished

I like stories with plots that resolve, that I understand what happened, and that the actions of the protagonist make sense. This is a dreamlike philosophical novel that seems to follow dream logic. Intriguing premise, but not satisfying.

5 people found this helpful

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Very well written

It is very well written. Now will someone tell me what I just listened to? The narrative felt disjointed. Ouch my brain hurts.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mo
  • 07-05-21

I'm confused...

...but I did enjoy this book. I wouldn't recommend it if you want a straight forward plot. What Delany does here, instead, is gradually take the reader through a very interesting reality without stopping very often to explain anything.
At the end there aren't many clear answers.
I think I'd like to look at a print version because I have some big questions about the book that are much harder to answer with an audio version.

3 people found this helpful

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A stylish piece

The characters in this book were drawn from ancient myth: Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades coming between the lovers, juxtaposed with a posthuman setting obsessed with history and somehow denying their origns. The mutant society makes distinctions between those who are more or less normal and those who are afflicted by the genetic afflictions which are prevalent in the aftermath of nuclear contamination, their main feature distinguishing them from people of our time being prehensile feet and toes. The main character is obsessed with with recovering the women he lost, possibly to death, which he blames on the demonic Kid Death, and consults various unusual beings on how to exact his revenge. He descends to the underworld, herds flying dragons, meets a world class celebrity beauty, and plays music for them on his combination flute-machete. There is a lot of dialogue in this book, most of it very stylized, and each each chapter is headed with epigrams going back to our own times. The author's emphasis is less upon a tight plot and much more on lyrical tone and settting. By the end I was not sure matters reached a real resolution or just stopped. The audiobook was well narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, who knows how to deliver the impression that something significant has happened without access to the details of what that something actually was.

3 people found this helpful

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A delightful piece of art

An excellent and intriguing story, very beautifully written. Is there really more that we seek than this?

1 person found this helpful

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How did this trash get a Nebula and almost a Hugo award???

Plot? Forgettable.
Characters? Poorly realized.
Good thing it was included with audible or I would have demanded a refund.

How did this trash get a Nebula and almost a Hugo award? Typically this means outstanding quality, a mind blower. This is definitely not the case with this worthless tripe. The only question that comes to mind is what books could it have possibly beaten that year? I just looked and it looks like only one other book was especially noteworthy: Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny which is clearly better. I guess the judges were bribed and/or Neil Gaiman was blackmailed there is no other acceptable explanation.

1 person found this helpful

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Maybe.. The Matrix before it’s time?

A struggling androgynous people faced with mutations post humanity. Radiation exposure, ancient computers, near instantaneous travel to other planets, unexplained gaps in the narrative like a glitch, returning people from the dead - choosing between reality and fantasy.

The book was written in 1967 but it could easily fit into some of todays television/movie storytelling like the Matrix or it’s like with odd logic and glitching timelines making me wonder how many of those shows may have influenced by readers of this story. It leaves you wondering at the end what you just listened to but stretches your awareness causing you to ponder what the author was saying.

It wouldn’t be out of place for a modern telling of this tale to suggest the situation is a decaying millennia old virtual matrix created by humans who have long forgotten they were uploaded. Written shortly before Star Trek debuted the concept would have been in the 60’s zeitgeist. But the vagaries leave much open to the imagination forcing the reader to fill in the gaps with their own experiences, beliefs and conclusions.

If you like brain benders it’s hard to go wrong listening to Stephan Rudnicky’s sonorous storytelling of this tale for half a day.

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Muddled fantasy

Some SF references but just a muddled fantasy tale. Has some discontinuities as in “how did that character get there?” Not a clear distinction between the story and Delaney’s notes.

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Einzigartig

Diese Geschichte ist einmalig, ich nenne das ein Kunstwerk, meinen Respekt. Es ist ein wirklich einzigartiges Kunstwerk

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  • Lizzie Biscuits
  • 05-14-22

Interesting

To me this book sat somewhere between SF and Magical Realism. It's, a poetic retelling of the tale of Orpheus and short enough to hold the attention and intrigue without dragging or annoying.

Peak late Sixties-SF and the narration seems to capture that tone perfectly.

Worth a listen, especially as it's included with Audible Unlimted

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-22

struggled

the reader was not consistent with the character voices. very confusing. mm aybe it's a book that should be e read and not listened to.