THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION by Samuel R. Delany

EinsteinI haven’t got the foggiest  as to where the recommendation for this book came from.  But boy, is it weird with a capital weird. The Einstein Intersection is a 1967 science fiction novel by Samuel R. Delany. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1967 and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1968.

It is a bizarre commentary on the role mythology serves in our lives, and stars Lo Lobey and Kid Death, Lo Lobey possibly being representative of Orpheus.

Basically, the story, as I am able to tease apart the threads, is about  the planet which has been abandoned by humans many thousands of years ago, leaving only a highly radioactive core and some computer software which is still functioning.  The radioactivity would seem to be the reason for the abandonment.

The creatures now inhabiting the earth are all mutants of some form or another, with a range of functionality.  The worst at kept in kages in the villages, fed and cared for.  The functional ones earn the title Lo, or La for females, and Le for non gendered.   But even among the functional population are members who are ‘different’.  The irony font would be useful here to express my astonishment that anyone any different than the rest of this weird population would be noticeable.

Lo Lobey’s difference is that he can hear music in the head of others and can play it on his flute-y instrument which is the handle of his machete.  This of course, is the different difference from his feet which have finger and opposable thumbs, and thick scaly type skin.  So I think we can be forgiven if we are not astounded by the hearing music thing.

A mute female appears and he falls in love with her.  She mysteriously dies, and he goes on a quest to find and kill whatever killed her.  And that would be Kid Death, who seems to have supernatural powers.

OK, so there are battles with some huge monster thing, which he wins, and the herding of dragons thing,  and the whole oddly philosophical theme of difference and mythology.

Intersperses throughout are diary entries by a kind of author/human that make no sense, and all in all, I care not for this book.   Weird just isn’t my cup of strangeness.

 

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