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The Jewels of Aptor (1962)

af Samuel R. Delany

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605929,534 (3.02)15
When Argo, the White Goddess, orders it, Geo, the itinerant poet, and his three disparate companions journey to the island of Aptor to seize a jewel from the dark god, Hama, and return it to Argo so that she may defeat the malign forces ranged against her and the land of Leptar. But, as the four press deep into the enigmatic heart of Aptor and the easy distinctions between good and evil blur, their mission no longer seems so straightforward. For Argo already controls two of the precious stones, and possession of the third would make her power absolute. And the four friends have learned that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely...… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
I know I’ve read this before – I’ve certainly had the Sphere paperback edition pictured for several decades – so it was probably back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. And having now reread The Jewels of Aptor, nothing pinged any memories. Oh well. A poet and a sailor sign aboard an expedition to rescue the Goddess Argo’s sister from Aptor, a distant continent of horrors and monsters. They are joined by a four-armed boy who is telepathic. Once Geo and Orson and Snake have explored some of Aptor, it’s clear the continent was once technological and suffered an unspecified “atomic” disaster. Quite how this exists alongside a mediaeval style civilisation on Leptor, which is where Geo, Orson and the Goddess Argo are from, is never explained. Perversely, if the book has a flaw, it’s that it has too many explanations. Whenever something happens, Geo and Orson speculate on what it might mean, or what is being planned. Most of the time they’re wrong; most of the time, it reads more like the author is trying to figure out the plot. But for a work by a nineteen-year-old, this is a better novel than by some current authors twice Delany’s age when he wrote it. Yes, it’s an early work, and the plotting is a bit hit and miss, but the beginnings of the language are there, as is the singular approach to the genre. When I think about what Delany has written over the years… He was a genre stalwart and award winner but has since moved out to the edges of genre, and yet has continued to be one of the real innovators in science fiction, both as a writer and a critic, and more people in genre should pay attention to him. ( )
  iansales | Sep 4, 2020 |
Samuel R. Delany started with this book. Originally half an Ace double, the 1968+ editions have all of his text restored. This edition was mine. The plot is "Let's go rescue the princess! She's on the other side of the Nuclear rubble!" Everyone has to start somewhere. ( )
1 stem DinadansFriend | Dec 5, 2018 |
As his debut, this novel is not as polished or philosophical as Delany's later material. However, as a fairly straightforward quest fantasy, it's great. Even his debut shows off Delany's fantastic narrative voice, and the plot is great, albeit a tad predictable. It's definitely not a book I would recommend as someone's first Delany, but if you've enjoyed other books by him, it's worth the read! ( )
  jameschatham | Jul 13, 2017 |
Delany's first published novel is short, fun, and highly imaginative. The Jewels of Aptor is a much less challenging read than some of his later novels, (Dhalgren, The Einstein Intersection, etc), but it does contain portents of stylistic things to come. The plot is a bit on the naive side as our heroes blindly blunder along being guided by larger forces - most of which are gratingly benign - but it's still a rollicking good adventure yarn featuring some truly unique ideas and characters. ( )
  ScoLgo | Feb 10, 2016 |
Note that the original 1961 edition (copyright 1962 Ace Books) was severely cut. The 1967 edition (copyright 1968 Samuel R. Delany) restored the cuts and made some other changes. The 1967 edition is a huge improvement, IMO. Much easier to follow plot and character motivations. and not tremendously longer. ( )
1 stem anthonywillard | Oct 14, 2014 |
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When Argo, the White Goddess, orders it, Geo, the itinerant poet, and his three disparate companions journey to the island of Aptor to seize a jewel from the dark god, Hama, and return it to Argo so that she may defeat the malign forces ranged against her and the land of Leptar. But, as the four press deep into the enigmatic heart of Aptor and the easy distinctions between good and evil blur, their mission no longer seems so straightforward. For Argo already controls two of the precious stones, and possession of the third would make her power absolute. And the four friends have learned that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely...

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