Item description for Neveryona, or: The Tale of Signs and Cities--Some Informal Remarks Towards the Modular Calculus, Part Four by Samuel R. Delany...
In his four-volume series Return to Neveryeon, Hugo and Nebula award-winner Samuel R. Delany appropriated the conceits of sword-and-sorcery fantasy to explore his characteristic themes of language, power, gender, and the nature of civilization. Wesleyan University Press has reissued the long-unavailable Neveryeonvolumes in trade paperback.
The eleven stories, novellas, and novels in Return to Neveryeon's four volumes chronicle a long-ago land on civilization's brink, perhaps in Asia or Africa, or even on the Mediterranean. Taken slave in childhood, Gorgik gains his freedom, leads a slave revolt, and becomes a minister of state, finally abolishing slavery. Ironically, however, he is sexually aroused by the iron slave collars of servitude. Does this contaminate his mission -- or intensify it? Presumably elaborated from an ancient text of unknown geographical origin, the stories are sunk in translators' and commentators' introductions and appendices, forming a richly comic frame.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Oct 31, 1993
ISBN 0819562718 ISBN13 9780819562715
Availability 0 units.
More About Samuel R. Delany
Author of The Einstein Intersection, Nova, and Dhalgren.
Samuel R. Delany currently resides in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Neveryona, or: The Tale of Signs and Cities--Some Informal Remarks Towards the Modular Calculus, Part Four?
Fantasy with a sense of reality Mar 22, 2003
The longest of the Neveryon tales (the other collections are of a bunch of stories each, some novel length, most novella) as well as the second volume overall, this one really gives Delany the chance to stretch out and explore the culture of this world he's created in such detail. The story of a teenage girl Pryn with a goal in mind but basically winds up wandering around all over, encountering all sorts of people and places. However the book is much more than a simple travelogue, and Delany is too smart to reduce the story to simple Point A to Point B to Point C writing. The themes of slavery and sexuality (and when they intersect) are still explored, though not as prominently, but instead Delany chooses to focus more on the nature of power and myth, and how the perception of reality can create myth and perhaps even alter reality. Pyrn herself is a lot of fun, a strong female character, clever enough to follow her own agenda but not completely immune to the forces of other scheming around her. Some other characters make appearances, Gorgik gets basically a glorified guest star appearance but like all the stories, even when he's not in the story itself, his presence informs the actions of all the characters. Pryn's quest takes her all over and if the novel has any problems it seems to ramble at points and not go anywhere, as if Delany couldn't find the right balance between showcasing his culture or making an intellectual point, both of which are harder to sustain over the course of an entire novel. However these are minor issues and will only marginally affect anyone's enjoyment in the book (you also don't need a doctorate in whatever to understand the themes, while a decent amount of this probably went over my head, you can read and enjoy the story just the same) and the rich detail of the Neveryon culture is intact and expanded on brilliantly, from the decadence of the cities to the noble squalor of the huts and villages. His culture feels real but the book doesn't feel like a dissertation. Probably the best prawise I can give is that even with all the highbrow stuff, Delany didn't forget to actually write a story, and given the usual state of fantasy, that's high praise indeed.