How could this man possibly go wrong? Samuel R. Delany’s 1968 sci-fi novel about Captain Lorq von Ray and his hardy crew on their quest to retrieve an unbelievably precious element from an imploding star: good stuff. The plot is moving incredibly fast (whole worlds are sketched in half a paragraph, key characters are dispatched in a sentence), and there’s a smart but light-handed mythical/tarot subtext I particularly enjoyed. Whet my appetite for more science fiction. Juan Jose: get this. Or maybe I’ll send you mine.