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Empire Star | Study Guide

Samuel R. Delany

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Empire Star | Characters

Character Description
Comet Jo Comet Jo is the protagonist of Empire Star. He is an 18-year-old inhabitant of the satellite Rhys, which orbits the red giant star Tau Ceti. Read More
Jewel Jewel is a Tritovian, a member of an alien race, who takes a crystallized form to survive his spaceship's crash on Rhys at the beginning of Empire Star. He remains with Comet Jo throughout Jo's journey to Empire Star. Read More
San Severina San Severina is a wealthy multiplex woman. She has been assigned the task of repairing eight worlds, their civilizations, and their ethical systems in the wake of an interplanetary war. Read More
Lump Lump is a "linguistic ubiquitous multiplex," a hybrid of Lll and machine, who accompanies Comet Jo throughout much of his journey to Empire Star. Read More
3-Dog 3-Dog is the canine companion of Charona. He is an allegory for Cerberus, the three-headed dog that in Greek mythology guards the entrance to Hades.
Muels Aranlyde Muels Aranlyde is a member of the Lll, an enslaved race of accomplished engineers. He is also a noted writer whose mind, upon his death, formed the basis for Lump, the "linguistic ubiquitous multiplex" who helps Comet Jo get to Empire Star. The name Muels Aranlyde is an anagram for the author of Empire Star, Samuel R. Delany.
Charona Charona is the gatekeeper of the Transport Area on Comet Jo's home satellite, Rhys. At the end of Empire Star, she is revealed to be an elderly San Severina.
Uncle Clemence Uncle Clemence is Comet Jo's uncle, with whom Comet Jo lives on the satellite Rhys at the onset of Empire Star.
D'ik D'ik, short for "devil kitty," is an eight-legged catlike creature Comet Jo adopts as his companion.
Elmer Elmer is the captain of the spaceship Comet Jo travels on when he leaves his home satellite to go to Empire Star.
Lll The Lll are an enslaved race of engineers. They are eventually emancipated by a devastating interplanetary battle that could be viewed as an allegory for the American Civil War (1861–65). It could also be understood as a war against all forms of slavery.
Man in a white smock Comet Jo meets a man in a white smock when he crashes his spaceship into a research center. The man is part of a project to compile all the knowledge of the universe. He threatens to dissect Jo, who barely escapes.
Prince Nactor Prince Nactor is a member of the empire's royal family and San Severina's brother. In the battle over the emancipation of the enslaved Lll, he wants to take control of the empire to keep the Lll enslaved and under imperial control.
Ni Ty Lee Ni Ty Lee is a poet who visits Lump and Comet Jo as they orbit the planet Tantamount. He is revealed to have once owned the Lll writer Muels Aranlyde on whose consciousness Lump's mind is based.
Norn Norn is a passenger of the organiform spaceship that crashes on Comet Jo's home satellite, Rhys, at the beginning of Empire Star. He assumes the shape of Comet Jo and tells him to deliver a message to Empire Star, then he immediately dies. It is hinted in Empire Star that Norn may actually be Comet Jo in another, separate life.
Oscar "Oscar" is a disguise that Lump sometimes assumes when he goes out in public. The name is a reference to renowned writer Oscar Wilde (1854–1900).
Princess On the final leg of his trip to Empire Star, Comet Jo meets a princess of the empire who turns out to be a San Severina at age 16.
Ron Ron is a young shuttle-bum Comet Jo works with during his passage on the spaceship headed to Earth. Ron and Comet Jo play music for the Lll, to keep them happy while they are enslaved.
Theodore Sturgeon Theodore Sturgeon (1918–85) was an American science fiction writer noted for the romantic and sexual nature of his work. In Chapter 8 Lump refers to Sturgeon as an ancient science fiction writer who lived 4,000 years ago, who, uncannily, wrote as though he had experienced events from Lump's life.
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