A, B, C: Three Short Novels contains the first three novels of Samuel R. Delany’s long and illustrious career.
The Jewels of Aptor is a science-fantasy story about a seafaring quest that sets out to find powerful magic jewels on a mystical, forbidden island where unimaginable danger lies.
The Ballad of Beta-2 is about a future academic searching for the true story behind an interstellar voyage, a journey over multiple generations that ended in tragedy.
They Fly at Çiron is a fantasy about the clash between a marauding army and a peaceful village at the foot of a mountain from which a race of winged people oversees both sides.
Presenting these three novels in this omnibus volume for the first time, along with a new foreword and afterword by the author, A, B, C showcases Delany’s masterful storytelling ability and deep devotion to his craft.
SFWA Grand Master Delany's collection of three early works is essential not just for the classics it contains but for the author's riveting 40-page afterword (as well as his shorter but equally entertaining preface). "The Jewels of Aptor," Delany's first published novel, is an entertaining postapocalyptic fantasy adventure in which a young poet named Geo and his friend Urson go on a quest for the high priestess of the goddess Argo. In the shortest work, "The Ballad of Beta-2," a student tries to discover what happened to a failed galactic expedition. In the final novel, "They Fly at iron" (one of Delany's earliest works, later substantially revised and eventually published in 1993), the titular fantasy-realm village is attacked by the army of a cruel prince, though one soldier questions their actions. All of the novels are excellent and must-reads for anyone interested in science fiction, and the additional autobiographical notes in the afterword add a wealth of material for Delany's fans.