Another in Delany's literary barbarian-fantasy series (Tales of Neveryon; Neveryona: Flight from Neveryon). The three long tales here are set in reverse chronological order and are followed by a preface. Once again, Gorgik the Liberator takes center stage. Gorgik, Minister to the Child Empress of the (prehistoric? timeless?) empire Neveryon, has, after long years of struggle, prevailed upon the Empress to end slavery. Gorgik's bitter opponent, Lord Krodar, a tyrannical pro-slave minister, has died; his funeral procession winds ominously through the countryside. Gorgik, waiting to join the procession, spends the night in a not entirely abandoned castle, where he meets Udrog, a barbarian boy who immediately expresses an interest in S-M/bondage sex. By no means averse, Gorgik must first explain to the hapless Udrog precisely what prompts his interest in such sexual practices--an autobiographical discourse that turns into an extended, arcane discussion of the relationship between freedom, slavery, political power, sexuality, and narration itself. (Bored, Udrog finally falls asleep.) Like most of Delany's output, not so much fiction as heavyweight intellectual disquisition. Thus, only for admirers of literary theorizing at its most ratified.