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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  634 ratings  ·  40 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 July 1971)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  634 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Nate D
Apr 21, 2013 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
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
Only read a single story here out of curiosity, the second one actually named Driftglass.

It wasn't particularly great, just some disfigurement. Alas.

Maybe I'll come back later.
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-five years ago I read Driftglass /Starshards, which is an expanded edition of this volume, and I liked it a lot. Delany is, after all, one of my favourite authors. I rarely re-read books but when I saw this in a charity shop I bought it and began reading. I had expected to still like the stories but to find that perhaps they had dated a little (not a big problem for me) and that at best I would only like them as much as I had liked them the first time round.

To my surprise, I actually foun
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-freebie
This review is for the short story Driftglass by Samuel “Chip” Delaney, as read by LeVar Burton on his podcast.

Story was ok. The place, time and characters were real and present, the plot made sense and the reading was awesome, as it is with Mr, Burton.

It didn’t add up to much with me, as the story didn’t seem to have a purpose? Just kind of ended “and that was that”, the end.

So 3, middle of the road, stars. Not bad and definitely worth the listen. Sigh, LeVar Burton...
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Introspective, well written, but just didn't click for me. ...more
Jun 24, 2008 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 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 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 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 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
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Sumptuous, poetic prose, frequently defaced by a jarring lack of story. Wild alternation between zero exposition and dense, clumsy exposition burdened with heavy-handed social commentary that probably would have seemed stunningly insightful and deliciously transgressive if it had been read in 1972 and the reader was a little bit high. Climax and resolution all-too-often replaced with a simple (or ambiguous) punchline and sudden drop of the curtain, leaving the reader wondering wh ...more
Oct 13, 2013 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.
Chrysten Lofton
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.0⭐ "You chase a fish with one spear among you. And that spear would be Tork’s tonight.”

If you’re following my reviews, thanks for rolling with me. ♡

We’re on the Season 3 LIVE episodes of Stitcher’s LeVar Burton Reads, and we’re gifted with "Driftglass” by Samuel R. Delany.

I usually get these out a little faster (lying, me lying to you) but I wanted to hunt down the uncut version before I heard this one. Unfortunately, Driftglass isn’t available in the Kindle store. There are
Review of Driftglass by Samuel R. Delany only

4 stars

I was immediately drawn into the story, it was so effortless and easy, and the worldbuilding was delicate and comfortable, which is a superb skill. I was interested in every character and wanted more. My only qualm is I'm not certain what I was supposed to take away from the story, if anything, but it was highly enjoyable. I listened to this on the LeVar Burton Reads podcast during my daily walk, and usually during my walk my mind can drift. I
Cary Kostka
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This look into the depths of the ocean and the trials of the main character after an unfortunate event is very well written and thought out. This is definitely worth taking the time to read. IF you are unsure, Levar Burton does a short reading and interview with the author on his podcast, "Levar Reads". It was this podcast that provoked my interest in reading this piece in its entirety. ...more
I read the one short story called Driftglass about a world where some humans can choose to be changed into Ampha-men (not sure if I’m spelling that right) to lay power lines in the ocean and fish. Kind of a weird story but mostly about the trauma of one of these men and his struggle with it and then the realization that life and trauma goes on and continues.
Bent Andreassen
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All in all 4 minus. Some of the stories are very good.
Delany can write in a masterly way - very visual.
Best stories in my view:
The Star Pit (Hugo and Nebula Price nomination)
Dog in Fisherman's Net
Driftglass (Nebula Price nomination)
We, In Some Strange Power's Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line
Cage of Brass
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a haunting tinge to Delany's stories. Delany is an SF writer of the later waves. He's not interested in whizbang technology. He wants to tell stories about people and they are often hauntingly sad. Delany communicates feeling through his writing amazingly well and I'll be buying more of his work. ...more
Tom G
Oct 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled with the rating on this one. There are some really, really bad stories in this collection, basically the entire middle of the book is a slog. But the first two and the last two, especially 'Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo', are pretty damn good. You can feel Delany groping toward the surreal, dreamlike brilliance of "Dhalgren" in the best stories collected here. ...more
Eva Therese
An very interesting setting and a story that doesn't really live up to it. I can't think of any reason why this story couldn't just as well had taken place in present time and as such the sci-fi setting becomes a distraction, rather than adding anything. ...more
I only read Driftglass btw. I love how the story combines the sensibilities of Steinbeck with science fiction, but it is told with Delany's unique voice and vision. ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It's a great collection. My favorites are The Star Pit, Corona, and Aye, and Gomorrah. ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read by LeVar Burton on his podcast but this description doesn’t match the story. Hum...
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
I only listened to the short story read by Levar Burton. I loved Dahlgren, but this just seemed quite ordinary. Fishermen just are rather dull, even genetically engineered ones.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like the literary equivalent of someone “getting their sound together.” Worth it for “The Star Pit”, “Aye and Gomorrah” and “Time Considered As A Helix of Semi-Precious Stones”
Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some exciting experimental worlds in these stories, but at the end of some I wasn't sure what the point was. ...more
[Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones]( by *Samuel R. Delany* is a short story that's won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards back in the day, and rightfully so. The story is a good example of why I seem to like every Delany book I come across: brilliant, lyrical and association heavy style. In Space. Very human and tongue-in-cheek. ...more
Oct 24, 2013 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.
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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 7th Av ...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.”
“Loving someone... I mean really loving someone... means you are willing to admit the person you love is not what you first fell in love with, not the image you first had; and you must be able to like them still for being as close to that image as they are, and avoid disliking them for being so far away.” 0 likes
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