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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  414 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews

The Star Pit (1967)
Dog in a Fisherman's Net (1971)
Corona (1967)
Aye, and Gomorrah (1967)
Driftglass (1967)
We, in Some Strange Power's Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line (1968)
Cage of Brass (1968)
High Weir (1968)
Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones (1968)
Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo (1970)
Paperback, #451-Q4834, 278 pages
Published November 1971 by Signet (first published 1971)
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Nate D
Apr 21, 2013 Nate D rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: outsiders
Recommended to Nate D by: (hell's) angels and (electrical) demons
Well, these are great. Delany didn't write a lot of stories -- preferring, apparently, the longer form -- but when he did, they're unsurprisingly excellent.

The Star Pit (NYC, Oct 1965)
So apparently immediately after writing the exuberantly entertaining interstellar fairytale Empire Star in something like 10 days in order to finance a trip to Europe, before even getting to leave, Delany sat down and wrote this one, another novella of nearly Empire Star length. And it's even better, developing a r
Jun 24, 2008 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
My bookshelf for this is named "SF" precisely b/c of the ambiguity of having SF possibly stand for "Speculative Fiction". According to WikiPedia, "The term is often attributed to Robert A. Heinlein. In his first known use of the term, in his 1948 essay "On Writing of Speculative Fiction," Heinlein used it specifically as a synonym for "science fiction"; in a later piece, he explicitly stated that his use of the term did not include fantasy. Heinlein may have come up with the term himself, but th ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Williwaw rated it liked it
So far I've read two stories in this book: "Driftglass," and "Aye, and Gommorah." Driftglass was interesting because of how quickly Delany was able to build a world. In the world of this story, some humans, before adolescence, elect to join an aquatic corps, where they are biologically modified. They are given gills so they can live underwater, and then they engage in various undersea projects like laying electric cable.

"Driftglass" is told from the perspective of a crippled aqua-man who almost
Maria Chiquinha
Apr 21, 2015 Maria Chiquinha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot remember exactly how I came upon this book but I am so glad that I did because it introduced me to my favorite author and a world of science fiction that wasn't just good in theory but legitimate reality as well. As someone who loves science fiction when its good, but acknowledges that so much of it isn't, an author like Delaney is a serious breath of good clean fresh air. His concepts are original and his writing style is artful, engaging and thought provoking. I enjoyed all of the sto ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Dense, difficult, tightly wound and bursting with ideas, this collection of some of Samuel Delaney's short fiction was rough going at times, but mostly rewarded the effort. Like Phillip Dick, this is sci-fi concerned with ideas and implications more than characters or even plots. Some pieces were chock full of giant spaceships and galactic spaceports, while others could have been a tale of fishing out of an obscure Hemingway collection. As one other reviewer wrote here, one gets the sense that D ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Austin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The great thing about Delany short stories is that the weird factor is a lot more manageable. In some of his longer works, I sometimes feel like I'm lost and that I don't know exactly what he's doing in the overall narrative or why a particular piece of the story is so important. In bite-sized chunks, there are fewer moving parts and it's easier to see what's happening. That came in handy because acclimating to every story is a two or three page process for me, so I always ended up having to dou ...more
Oct 13, 2013 Matus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

And what was up with the predicitons of worldwide computer networks in a story from 1968 ("We, in some strange power's employ, move on a rigorous line"), and light-based computer memory and hopfield net reconstructions ("High Weir" (1968) and "Time considered as a helix of semi-precious stones" (1969)).

ALSO NOTE THE SWEET bob pepper COVER ART omgomgomgomgomg

[Personal note: read this to relax right after thesis defense.]
Sean Leas
An outing of mediocre short stories, with a few standouts. I loved both Corona and Driftglass as well as Star Pitt. The rest I really couldn’t get into but were entertaining none the less. Many of the stories felt like there was a rush to conclusion or we started midway through without any backfill.
Oct 24, 2013 PSXtreme rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I think Delany was trying too hard to write the next Jabberwocky-styled classic instead of sticking with what he knew best. Too many of the short stories started in the middle, never really had a firm ending and were stuffed full of extraneous cheddar cheese. Not very enjoyable and difficult to read. Try something else.
Nov 27, 2015 Neven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trippy and florid like Bradbury at his purplest, with notes of Vonnegut's impatient shouting at the page. Delany's voice is memorable and his themes and details lovely, though the plots meander without delivering, and the humor is often too on-the-nose.
Sep 11, 2016 Eoinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-challenge
This is a really nice short story collection, I liked Corona and Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones in particular. However, Delanys language and habit of trowing you straight in to the plot can make the stories hard to penetrate.
Mar 28, 2009 AT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories it took me a long time to get in the right mindset for. And now I realize he didn't really write that much short fiction. Oh well.
Mar 21, 2014 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read three of the stories before sending it back to the library, but I would totally pick it up again. Star Pit and Driftglass were great!
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Samuel Ray Delany, also known as "Chip," is an award-winning American science fiction author. He was born to a prominent black family on April 1, 1942, and raised in Harlem. His mother, Margaret Carey Boyd Delany, was a library clerk in the New York Public Library system. His father, Samuel Ray Delany, Senior, ran a successful Harlem undertaking establishment, Levy & Delany Funeral Home, on 7t ...more
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“Driftglass," I said. "You know all the Coca-Cola bottles and cut-crystal punch bowls and industrial silicon slag that goes into the sea?"

I know the Coca-Cola bottles."

They break, and the tide pulls the pieces back and forth over the sandy bottom, wearing the edges, changing their shape. Sometimes chemicals in the glass react with chemicals in the ocean to change the color. Sometimes veins work their way through in patterns like snowflakes, regular and geometric; others, irregular and angled like coral. When the pieces dry, they're milky. Put them in water and they become transparent again.”
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