The Fall of the Towers

by Samuel R. Delany
Reviewed date: 2012 Mar 17
Rating: 2
413 pages
cover art

I don't know why I continue to read Delany. I rarely like his work. This trilogy, though he seems to have considered it a masterpiece, is nearly incomprehensible. It starts out well, but descends into chaos and stupidity. Why do writers think it's a good idea to invent some kind of alien life that is incomprehensible to human beings, and then spew dozens of pages of so-called poetry at the reader to describe the undescribable? It's just dumb.

One thing I did like was the idea of a completely phony war: the soldiers were sent off and plugged into a big virtual reality tank. They thought they were fighting a war out in the misty forests beyond the radiation barrier. In reality, they were lying in a big warehouse, participating in a computer simulation. The really nasty part is that those who died in the simulation were killed. The whole thing was an exercise in population control and to relieve social tensions in the Toron society.

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