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Empire Star is the novella that started my interest in Samuel R. Delany, many many many years ago. As a teenager, it fascinated me, it opened up a whole new view of what a writer could do with language and story-telling. The story of “Comet Jo” stuck in my mind, who has to go on a journey to discover his true self, and meets himself again at the beginning of his journey. The circular nature of the story captivated me, and the frequent hints that all may be more complicated (or multiplicated) that it seems at first glance held my interest.
For a long time, Empire Star was out of print. It has now been published again together with Babel-17, because at about 90 pages, it is too small to be published on its own. I’m very glad to have it in my bookshelf again. I originally read it in a dreadful german translation, and have since lost the book that contained it.