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Empire Star | Study Guide

Samuel R. Delany

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Empire Star | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • One night on Rhys

    Comet Jo and D'ik the devil-kitten find Norn's crashed spacecraft.

    Chapter 1
  • Immediately following

    Jewel the Tritovian crystallizes, and then Norn tells Comet Jo to take a message to Empire Star.

    Chapter 1
  • A few moments later

    D'ik finds Jewel in the wreckage and gives him to Comet Jo.

    Chapter 1
  • Later that night

    Comet Jo returns home then runs off because his Uncle Clemence is angry at him.

    Chapter 3
  • Afterward

    In Transport Area, Comet Jo tells Charona about his mission and shows her the crystallized Jewel.

    Chapter 3
  • Within a few hours

    Comet Jo meets San Severina and departs Rhys on her transport ship, bringing along D'ik and Jewel.

    Chapter 4
  • Just after takeoff

    San Severina gives Comet Jo diction lessons and explains why she owns seven enslaved Lll.

    Chapter 5
  • Six days later

    The ship stops off at Ratshole, and San Severina buys Comet Jo new clothes and has him groomed.

    Chapter 6
  • A week later

    San Severina and Comet Jo go to Earth, where she leaves Jo and tells him to find someone named Lump.

    Chapter 6
  • Later that night

    Comet Jo meets a man called Oscar, who takes Jo to the moon and there reveals that he is Lump.

    Chapter 6
  • Three weeks later

    Lump agrees to accompany Comet Jo on his mission.

    Chapter 7
  • A short time later

    After an encounter with a crazed researcher, Comet Jo meets Lump in orbit around planet Tantamount.

    Chapter 8
  • Shortly afterward

    Poet Ni Ty Lee visits Comet Jo and Lump. The three have a multiplex conversation about literature.

    Chapter 8
  • Three hours later

    Jo is conscripted in the Empire Army, and Lump puts Jewel in Jo's eye, widening Jo's perception.

    Chapter 9
  • A little while later

    Because Comet Jo refuses to go to Empire Star, Lump says they must go see San Severina.

    Chapter 9
  • Soon afterward

    Comet Jo and Lump visit San Severina and discover that owning seven Lll has driven her insane.

    Chapter 10
  • Immediately following

    Comet Jo agrees to join the army and complete his mission.

    Chapter 10
  • A little while later

    After reporting for duty, Jo meets a princess of the empire, who is hiding in a storage room.

    Chapter 11
  • Soon after

    Comet Jo agrees to help the princess assume rule over the empire and free the Lll.

    Chapter 11
  • In the literary present

    Narrator Jewel gives the reader clues for piecing together Empire Star's mosaiclike narrative.

    Chapter 12

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Delany quotes 20th-century British poet W.H. Auden and French author Marcel Proust before the first chapter. The Proust ... Read More
Chapter 2 Chapter 2's events happen concurrently with the events in Chapter 1, recounting the spaceship crash on Rhys that Comet J... Read More
Chapter 3 Comet Jo walks home from the spaceship crash, playing his ocarina, which is a wind instrument. Jewel is in a pouch on hi... Read More
Chapter 4 Charona walks Comet Jo through the gates of the Transport Area. Once there, she leaves him to find a spaceship on which ... Read More
Chapter 5 During San Severina's study session with Comet Jo, she senses his confusion over how she can bring herself to enslave se... Read More
Chapter 6 Apart from the sadness he feels playing his ocarina for the enslaved Lll, Comet Jo finds his routine as a spaceship's sh... Read More
Chapter 7 Comet Jo has been on Earth's moon with Lump—a linguistic ubiquitous multiplex—for three weeks. He is frustrated because ... Read More
Chapter 8 On his way to meet Lump at planet Tantamount, Comet Jo's spaceship collides with the Geodesic Survey Station. Its occupa... Read More
Chapter 9 Comet Jo, Lump, D'ik, and Jewel are in Lump's organiform spaceship, drifting about 170 miles away from Prince Nactor at ... Read More
Chapter 10 Lump, in this chapter, without explanation, reassumes the form of Oscar, the shape he had when he and Comet Jo first met... Read More
Chapter 11 Comet Jo takes an immediate dislike to being in the Empire Army. Shortly after boarding the military spaceship with the ... Read More
Chapter 12 In this final chapter of Empire Star the narrator Jewel—a Tritovian in crystallized form—directly addresses "the multipl... Read More
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