Triton, the outermost moon of Neptune, was a world of absolute freedom, where every wish could be fulfilled. But for Bron Helstrom, one of Triton’s elite, life had lost its meaning. There, in a world of endless possibilities, Bron began a searing odyssey to find the elusive object of his desires ...
The door opened; she slipped out,
She wore white gloves.
She wore white boots.
Her long skirt and high-necked bodice were white. Full white sleeves draped her wrists. She reached up and pulled the white cloak around her shoulders. Its paler-than-ivory folds swept around.
Over her head was a full-head mask: white veils hung below the eyes; the icy globe was a-glitter with white sequins. White plumes rose above it, as from some albino peacock ....
The white mask turned to him .... Her gloved fingers fell from her white-scarved throat, came toward his.
He took them.
They walked along the corridor that, once more, became high, roofless street.
“Now. What do you want to know about me?”
After moments, she said: “Go on. Any way you can.”
Moments later, he said: “I’m ... not happy in the world I live in ....”
In a story as exciting as any science fiction adventure written, Samuel R. Delany’s 1976 SF novel, originally published as , takes us on a tour of a utopian society at war with our own Earth. High wit in this future comedy of manners allows Delany to question gender roles and sexual expectations at a level that, 20 years after it was written, still make it a coruscating portrait of “the happily reasonable man,” Bron Helstrom—an immigrant to the embattled world of Triton, whose troubles become more and more complex, till there is nothing left for him to do but become a woman. Against a background of high adventure, this minuet of a novel dances from the farthest limits of the solar system to Earth's own Outer Mongolia. Alternately funny and moving, it is a wide-ranging tale in which character after character turns out not to be what he— or she—seems.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR SAMUEL R. DELANY:
Given that the suns of Draco stretch almost sixteen light years from end to end, it stands to reason that the cost of transportation is the most important factor of the 32nd century. And since Illyrion is the element most needed for space travel, Lorq von Ray is plenty willing to fly through the core of a recently imploded sun in order to obtain seven tons of it. The potential for profit is so great that Lorq has little difficulty cobbling together an alluring crew that includes a gypsy musician…
Originally Published Under the Title
A hard-hitting, controversial title from one of science fiction’s legendary careers. has sailed the seas in a quest for every possible pleasure. Her crew is a collection of the young, the twisted, the insatiable. A drifter comes into their midst, and is taken on a fantastic journey to the darkest, most dangerous sexual extremes—until he is finally a victim of their boundless appetites. A reprint of Delany’s classic now bearing the author’s original title.
Won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story and Nebula Award for best Novelette in 1970.
Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. has happened there… The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. Into this disaster zone comes a young man — poet, lover, and adventurer — known only as the Kid. Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.
Text is full. The unclosed ending sentence can be read as leading into the unopened opening sentence, turning the novel into an enigmatic circle.