Samuel R. Delany
Nova Cover

Nova - not a stellar explosion of a read


After reading Babel-17 I thought this was going to be great - and for those who like a story of a space race between two warring families, the result of which changes the fortunes universe based on who gets the the rarest element in exsitence first - it will be a very entertaining read - but for me I felt the flaws outweighed the adventure:

At times Delaney was so sparse on narrative it was hard to understand key moments in the book and even after re-reading key scenes several times - check the opening chapter - I still wasn't sure what was going on. This then was counterpointed with pages of detailed intellectual waffle associated with the concept of writing a historical novel which ends up as being nothing really to do with the plot.

Therfore I think expectations need to be set before you read. If you want a Harry Harrison like romp this will do; if you want a challenging and original read this isnt it as the characters themselves are hard to relate to. Its almost as if two different novels have been thrown together here.

Runner up status for a Hugo is rightly deserved here in my opinion.