My interest in Driftglass stemmed from reading a James Blish short story called Surface Tension. In that story, humans have to adapt to a ocean. “Driftglass” is a lovely story about a type of military unit which uses technology to allow humans to live underwater. The main character, Tio Cal. Driftglass [Samuel R. Delany] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Science fiction by a master of the genre.

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From Ganymede to Gomorrah, a bizarre breed of planet-hopping humans sell their sexless, neutered bodies Far beneath the surface of the planet earth, a doomed architect lives out the rest of his years in a hideous life-sustaining coffin And in a remote outpost near Canada, a lone cluster of Hell’s Angels prepare for the final battle with a society which demands that all men share in the good life This is the universe of Samuel R.

Rooted in the present, projected into the future, it is an existence where anything can happen—and does! Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Driftglass by Samuel R. Driftglass by Samuel R. PaperbackSignet Qpages.

Published November 1st by Roc first published July To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Driftglassplease sign up. Lists with This Book.

Recommended to Nate D by: Well, these are great. Delany didn’t write a de,any of stories — preferring, apparently, the longer form — but when he did, they’re unsurprisingly excellent.

Short Science Fiction Analysis: Driftglass, by Samuel R. Delany

The Star Pit NYC, Oct 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 Well, these are great.

And it’s even better, developing a rather more complicated system of ideas about freedom and superceding constraints of place and world-view. Specifically, it’s about that need to get out of your small home town and limited perspective, but stretched from an opening image of an ant-farm to intergalactic-scale problems and beyond.

Actually, a similar theme to Empire Star’s, but elaborated in a different sort of series of nested layers, kept endlessly readable with various intrigues and plot twists, Delanian unconventional family groups a kind of pre-echo of the commune he later lived in and wrote about in Heavenly Breakfasta junkie telepath projecting her withdrawal onto those around her.

Like most 60s Delany it’s as idea-driven as it is entertaining. In NovemberDelany turned “The Star Pit” into a two hour radio drama, in which he starred, and which was broadcast annually in New York for a decade.

Along with his apparent film work, see the detailed chronology here.

Driftglass by Samuel R. Delany

Dog in a Fisherman’s Net Mykonos, Jan Delajy then Delany writing in Europe on that trip, here in and about the Greek isles, in a surprising realist mode concerning itself with certain tensions between Greek Orthodoxy in town life and delqny pagan rites and idols of driftgalss shepards in the hills. Oh, and some more about provincialism and perspective. While he was out there seeking to broaden his own.

Perhaps because they’re dense not so much with plot as with warm and involving character. Granted, The Star Pit has a pretty dense plot, too. This one concerns the crippling effects of an ESP driftlgass forces a child to receive the strongest mental broadcasts of others — almost always their most traumatic life events and memories. It’s an oddly grim and affecting vision of what ESP could mean.


The balancing character opposite this child, having suffered all-too-believably-ordinary damage from an uncaring relany, manages to be equally well-drawn. The first deals with the new gender identity of young astronauts, and its cultural fallout, spun in an exhilarating swirl of places and vividly half-described incidents. The latter concerns a new and drastic career move, and the life of one barred from it by chance disaster, poetic and quietly tragic.

We, in Some Strange Power’s Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line Rifton, November I’ve been adhering to Delany’s habit of giving a date and location of completion for all of his works, and here’s where these dates start to get especially interesting. Novemberof course, falls during Delany’s stay in the Heavenly Breakfast commune in the East Village, and it shows. He marks an incident that particularly stuck with him: This encounter would seem to be the clear antecedent to the outsider gangs featured both here and in much great depth in Dhalgren.

Except rriftglass would also seem to have only just driftglasx at Heavenly Breakfast in November ’66, posing something of a puzzle.

Had his interest in this sort of counter culture already been so piqued before even encountering such?


As for what was going on in RiftonI’m sure I could pinpoint it as well if I go find my copy of Heavenly Breakfast I recall several trips upstate. It’s a quick one, and fun. Conveyed entirely via the disembodied dialogue of characters who can’t actually see eachother, in dystopian future-prison, which Venetian digressions. As such, kinda redundant. I think part of my love for Delany is his recurring focus on outsiders. This is a longer one and it benefits from the greater development.

Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo New York, October Dellany ending in a rapid, scintillation of strange plot points, seemingly on the subject of the uncertainty uncontrollability? Maybe the drifttlass selection of the bunch, but still affecting in its odd way.

Though like all good sci-fi, it reaches considerably beyond its genre, even as it toys with the tropes. May 06, Bradley rated it really liked it Shelves: Only read a single story here out of curiosity, the second one actually named Driftglass.

It wasn’t particularly great, just some disfigurement. Maybe I’ll come back later. 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 found I liked them more on a second reading. Stories that I recall as only being fairly good ‘The Star Pit’, ‘Dog in a Fisherman’s Net’, ‘Driftglass’ turned out to be dwlany stories I recall as being brilliant ‘Night and the Loves of Joe Diconstanzo’ turned out to be nearly perfect; and even the few stories I recall as not liking very much ‘High Weir’, ‘Corona’ turned out to be ingenious, entertaining and utterly worthwhile.

These stories are fifty years old but they feel fresh and vigorous and pertinent. Delany was drifgglass ahead of his time, not so much with the nuts and bolts engineering aspects but with the social insights, the attitudes to questions of gender, sexuality, culture.

And in fact even the engineering aspects hold up well. The manned intergalactic spaceflights come across as allegorical and drifgglass more than crusty and redundant, and there are many plenty of examples a prefiguration of the internet in ‘We, in Some Strange Power’s Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line’ delaby Delany was more advanced than most of his ‘hard SF’ contemporaries. It is like something from Samuel Beckett that has been crossed with Borges. Very disturbing, gothic, fantastical, moody, atmospheric and saturated with the madness of solipsism.


One of the best short stories I have ever read in drftglass genre. Delany’s style is incredibly poetic and yet has great momentum. I am looking forward to reading his novel Nova next In his first known use of the term, in his 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 drifthlass fantasy.

Heinlein may have come up with the term himself, but there is one earlier citation: Delany’s the archetypal Speculative Fiction writer. Science may play a part in his SF but, dtiftglass importantly, possibilities of social development are explored.

Here are the titles of the stories in this collection: That wd be the title of some speculative faction by myself. So far I’ve read two stories in this book: 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.

He’s sustained some gruesome injuries. Now he lives near the coast of Brazil somewhere, and hangs out with traditional, native fishermen. He meets a young girl who’s in the aqua corps; he also meets another corps member who is being sent to perform the same deadly job where he sustained his injuries.

I won’t spoil the ending, in case you want to read it. It’s well-written, but somehow I don’t think it will stay with me. It was originally commissioned for Harlan Ellison’s collection, “Dangerous Visions. Here, Delany invents a new sexual orientation and shows its awkwardness and its consequences including a new form of prostitution. Apr 21, Maria Chiquinha rated it it was amazing. 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 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.

I enjoyed all of the stories but a few that really stood out for me were: For someone who might be looking to check out Delaney’s Sci-Fi work but might not want to slosh through something big like Dhalgren or harder to understand like Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, Driftglass is a great place to start.

Jun 09, Chris rated it really liked it Shelves: 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.