10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This is an allegorical story, it's just a question of how far the allegories extend. Many stories of the 60's had space empires/federations/civilizations as extensions of the modern day world where a faster-than-light/space manifolding ship replaces the ocean-traveling-ship/airline of today and the political/economic alignments of star systems represent alignments of countries on earth. In Nova the confederation of stars and planets are broken down into three groups, Draco in the center, of which earth is part of, the outer colonies, and the Pleiades. It's not clear if Delany meant for these to represent the West, the Warsaw Pact and allies (as of 1968 when the story was written), and the third world, or to represent the upper class, middle & lower classes, and nouveau riche, or status quo, progressive, and the masses, or all, or some, combination of the above. As Draco the Dragon is a constellation in the northern hemisphere, one of six constellations Delany could have picked earth to be part of, there's the sense that he meant something negative as Draco was also the name of an autocratic Athenian law-maker (thus leading to the term draconian). The outer colonies are mostly hard working, hard living miners. And the Pleiades is a globular cluster comprised of hot, young stars that are out of the galactic plane of the Milky Way.
The story pits our protagonist from the young, hot stars of the Pleiades, against the antagonist from Draco, with a third character somewhere in the middle until she selects her side at the end. The main energy source in the story is Illyrion and the societies use, acquisition, and distribution of can easily be referred to the same for oil today. Our protagonist believes he has developed a way to acquire this energy source in large quantities, albeit in a risky way. With oil prices having soared this year, this is still as relevant a subject now as it was when the story was written 40 years ago. The ramifications of having such huge quantities of the energy source would lead to large changes in the societal structure in Nova, just as having a huge and inexpensive quantity of oil or another energy source would have today. There are those in the story that would want to limit such a large quantity of inexpensive energy hitting the market and those that would want the benefits of it (this leads to slight difference today in which certain groups would want to obtain large quantities of oil but *not* a different energy source and visa versa). Thus the conflict of the story is set up. The allegories however, could extend further. There's a part in the story where they talk of an assassination of a political figure and how, through the sensory transfer of information of the time, everyone felt the emotion of those surrounding the assassination victim. With the book being written in 1968, just five years after the John F. Kennedy assassination, it's hard to believe that Delany was not referring to that. Also the wife of the assassination person was written as being the most well known person in the galaxy which can easily be a reference to Jacklyn Kennedy. Where the story becomes interesting is that our protagonist, Lorq Van Ray, is supposed to be the nephew of this character, so is he supposed to be a Kennedy, perhaps the young boy who saluted at JFK's funeral. With the Kennedy mystic, one then understands that the protagonist is supposed to be the hero not just in the story, but of today (or of the time the story was written). (I guess the characters are different to enough to still allow the usual notice on the copyright page that 'any reference to those living or dead is purely coincidental'). Another point is that the antagonist fires the first salvo at Van Ray, by calling him, and his family barbarians and pirates, which seemed a little bizarre the way it was laid out in the story but makes sense in the context of the Kennedy fortune having been acquired from rum-running, and the story flows with this historical context in mind with how much the antagonist, which is in the upper crust of society, despises Van Ray. What I liked about Nova is that it actually did refer to a nova, so one need not be aware of all the layers of allegory to appreciate the story. For those that may not know, a nova is the death throes of sun-class star where the ongoing nuclear fusion of the star cannot support it's weight thus it implodes (forming the heavy element that represents the energy source) and sheds it's mass as a nova explosion.
I thought the character buildup to be OK. The story is told from the viewpoint of several other characters, but I just couldn't get into them and I thought they were just OK. There is a poetic element to Delany's writing which, as another reviewer noted, may have seemed brilliant in 1968, but this is 2008, and it comes across as a bit overdone. In terms of space civilizations layouts, it was again just OK. I did think the ending was a bit cruel to certain characters and it seemed that Delany was vanquishing certain haunts of his own. I'm not sure if they were to be someone that slanted Delany in a social situation or represented a class of society he despised, but this group in the novel lost and the victory attained for the others was considerable, but the losers had to lose pathetically, disgustingly, and a bit viciously. For all these reasons I gave it 3-1/2 stars rounded down to 3. Four stars or higher are books you should definitely go out and read, but this did not fit in that class. There are better and more interesting books out there. But three stars are enough that if find the subject matter interesting or like the author's writings, then the novel is worth reading. There are those that will rush to click the unhelpful button since this is their favorite book of all time or whatever, but I always thought this was to be forum for opinions of all sides to be fairly represented to allow those that have not read the book different perspectives to decide if they should take the considerable amount of time to read a book, what with job pressures, family pressures and so on.