book review: neveryona

Neveryona is another one of these used-bookstore Samuel R. Delany books I own. This one is a fantasy novel that from the cover (not shown at the link) looks like some 1970s epic sword and sorcery thing, with a man and woman looking out to sea (away from the reader). She’s sitting and wearing a white dress, while he wears a chainmail thong, buttcheeks all exposed to the wind. So yeah, if I didn’t know Delany’s books there’s very little chance I’d have picked it up. When you actually read the book it’s actually impossible to figure out who those people on the cover might be, as they match neither description nor actions of anyone you’ll find inside.

The book is about the birth of civilization, about living life in a world when all the stories are just being written. A girl sets out from her village to see the world and learn about power. She does. It’s pretty great. Not epic in sweep or anything, just character and setting studies of the places she goes. It’s basically a world-building book that delves into language, invention, design, mathematics, the whole shebang.

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