Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand
I know, I know. But this book didn't do anything for me, if anything it just made me angry.
Well maybe that is because you are a white heterosexual male and you deserve to be made uncomfortable about the part you have played in the oppression of women and colonial peoples.
Yeah, I guess so. I guess I just don't see what the point of writing ...more
Once upon a time (around 1986 or 1987?), I had an opportunity to meet Samuel R. Delany at an ALA or ABA [now BookExpo]. Taking advantage of my position as a buyer for a large book distributor, I monopolized some of his time in the Bantam booth while he waited to do a signing—something that is surely tedious for many authors, some of whom will seek diversion with anyone willing to talk with him or her. In our brief discussion, I remember him most for being surprised at his students’ reluctance to...more
Boy, was I wrong.
It's turgid, it's obfuscatory, and it's mutton dressed up as lamb. "Cut through the galaxy's glitter; slice away all night. What thoughts did I dole out to that world (out of the six thousand, which, according t ...more
The answer is, yes! He does. Someone has to.
Get off your lackadaisical bum, you shoddy reader you, and expect something more from yourself and the writer. Stop kowtowing to the school of thought that indicates, "a simple word instead of an esoteric one." What the hell are all the rest of the words in the dictionary for? Why have com ...more
Samuel R. Delany is an interesting author for someone like me to ...more
Samuel R. Delany joins this list. The main protag ...more
As I did expect, it is fantastical and ironic. But it is not light comedy. It is a story contrived to reflect on complicated, unresolved philosophical ques ...more
I have not slogged through a more difficult read since Gene Wolfe's lictor/new sun saga, and I didn't get the payoff from this that I did from them.
If this is the "masterpiece" that the cover blurb claims, I'm afraid it is one that passed right over the top of my li'l pumpkin head. As a character novel, it failed me: I never connected with narrator Marq Dyeth and was never supposed to grasp he cipher Rat Korga. As a plot novel, it failed me: it too ...more
Most of the novel takes place on a world in which humans of both genders and three-gendered aliens (the lizard-like evelmi) have sex with each other in all combinations of species and gender, sometimes as part of long-term relationships, sometimes anonymously in places called runs. This is the backdrop to a love story between two men, and thi ...more
Rat Korga is the sole survivor of the obscure planet Rhyonon, a place where misfits are treated with Radical Anxiety Termination, a 'synapse-jamming' surgery which turns them into docile slaves.
Marq Dyeth is an Industrial Diplomat, one of the few whose job entails travel between the six thousand two hundred colony w ...more
I cou ...more
All is not as it seems, as one might expect from Delany, ho ...more
The core of this story is essentially a romance between Rat Korga, a man who'd submitted to voluntary slaver ...more
Well worth the read, to me in my subjective position. Quite interesting to see a "monogendered society defaulting to the she/her pronoun" that predates (say) Ancillary Justice by so many years--and especially from the point of view of a gay male author writing a gay male character.
The "enjoys a well-crafted ...more
Unfortunately, this review only really discusses the first half of the book.
The first half has Delany in full flight, and the book is dazzling in the depth and quality of characters and scenes. I think it's the best world-building I've encountered with Delany (Triton #2?), with whole alien conspiracies (what do we know about the Xlv?), cultural extremes (what is "cultural fugue"), and just a constant rush of details. (Oh, and I can't miss one of the neatest things whose constant presence makes i ...more
Some may find that the great level of detail is too tedious as many pages have long descriptions of customs( food and meals included), architecture, and formalities in this far future tale. I found it incredibly inventive ...more
Mark D'yeth (pronounced "death")—industrial diplomat from the planet ? and our trusty narrator.
Rat Korga—sole survivor of ? and Mark's "perfect erotic object to six decimal places" (no joke).
Korga's decision to undergo "Radical Anxiety Termination" (i.e., become a "rat"); his employment as a slave laborer; his escape from slavery; the destruction of his planet; D'yeth's life as an industrial diplomat ...more
This books is largely an exercise in queer world building. Delaney goes to great length to paint the varied customs of what might be described as a post-gender future. He makes a powerful literary choice by referring to all characters, male or female, by female pronouns and titles, rather than inventing a gender-neutral pronoun. Had he done the latter, readers would have defaulted to male c ...more