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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  286 ratings  ·  9 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, Signet Q4834, 278 pages
Published November 1st 1971 by Roc (first published 1971)
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Nate D
Mar 16, 2014 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
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
Dec 31, 2013 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
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 chocked 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...more

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.]
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.
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!
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.
Brett Jed
Thoroughly enjoyed Life s a Series...
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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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