Triton AUTHOR Samuel R. Delany Free read ☆ 104

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In a story as exciting as any science fiction adventure written Samuel R Delany's 1976 SF novel originally published as Triton 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 uestion gender roles and se Everyone talks about how this is a political or cultural or social exploration novel and th

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Triton AUTHOR Samuel R. Delany

Xual 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 and complex till there is nothing left for him to do but become a Delany is one of my favourite writers but it has taken me a long time to get round to readi Fedrekult fra norsk folkeliv i hedensk og kristen tid that 20 years after it was written still make it a coruscating portrait of Facts of Life the happily reasonable man Bron Helstrom an immigrant Passenger 13 (Ben Hope, to Gansett Island Boxed Set Books 1- 10.5 the embattled world of Triton whose The Sunday Potluck Club (The Sunday Potluck Club, troubles become and complex The Mission Primer till Tao Te Ching: A New English Version there is nothing left for him Decorum to do but become a Delany is one of my favourite writers but it has Zen Doodle Unleashed taken me a long Thick time DIGIGRA sexy gravure vol395 yua kuramochi to get round Folk Shawls to readi

Samuel R. Delany à 4 Free read

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 seem i'm not sure how i feel about this at all the main character is absolutely UNBEARABLE but h

10 thoughts on “Triton AUTHOR Samuel R. Delany

  1. says:

    Everyone talks about how this is a political or cultural or social exploration novel and that's all true but what fascinates me about it is how incredibly PSYCHOLOGICAL it is The cultural and social stuff is pretty simple Samuel Delany has created here an honest to goodness utopia a world in which everyone can essentially be anyone they want to be You're a woman who wants to be a male homosexual? No problem There's a community for you You want to have scales and a tail? No problem There's a community for you You're white and you want to be black or orange? No problem There's a community for you There seems to be a complete acceptance of others in this world in regards to race sex gender sexuality professioneven theater artists are accepted But then what's the story? Ah that's the masterstroke The thing of it is the novel is narrated by a man who hates the place He is or less a 20th century guy He could be any guy from today perhaps on the slightly conservative side And Delany places this very modern seeming man into the far future and into a world where problems of personal identity have been or less eliminated and then tells the story of how that modern man of today just can't find his place in it He doesn't fit in; he doesn't get it It is the contrast between this utopia of malleable and universally accepted identities and this man's hatred of it that serves as the spine of this novel And I found it riveting The guy's impossible and yetand yet I sort of see where he's coming from Because I too am a man of today and perhaps I share some of the insecurities and prejudices of this asshole Frightening But that's why this book is so good As a reader I had to ask myself would I have been happy in this utopia? Would I be okay with anyone being able and encouraged to be absolutely whatever they want to be? Isn't that a bit childish? This is particularly topical in today's world isn't it what with people all being encouraged to embrace their true selves whatever that may be We applaud every person who comes out of whatever dark closet they had hidden their true identities The only person today evidently who has any right to say just who and what you are is YOU This is a very new phenomenon and I know a lot of people have an instinctive and visceral reaction against it So could I enjoy a world just like that a world without stability of identity without structure and limitations and labels? Or would I also be a miserable curmudgeon just like this guy? The novel invites self introspection and that is a rare feat And to anyone who fears they won't enjoy the novel because they won't sympathize with the narrator protagonist just know that you aren't meant to sympathize with him He's an unreliable narrator and if you were to sympathize with him you would misunderstand the themes and purpose of the novel Feel free to hate him It's what Delany intended Even as I saw where his discomforts came from I hated him He was a joy to hate This novel is about how even in a utopia some people just couldn't be happy and that's why I say the novel is so splendidly psychological It's about how stuck we get in our own patterns how resistant to change we are how obtuse we can be about other people's feelings about how we rationalize damaging other people It doesn't deliver any pat answers this isn't Dr Phil But it does present to my mind an extremely convincing portrait of the kind of human being who is all too common today even perhaps in parts of ourselves as social and cultural barriers to happiness start falling away one by oneRead it as a psychological examination of the character's misery and attitudes and inability to adapt to a world without boundaries and I believe you will get a great deal out of it Strongly recommended

  2. says:

    Trouble on Triton is supposed to inhabit a utopian heterotopic future when Earth is no longer the only hospitable planet where personal expression has evolved through a widened acceptance of differing sexualities and gender takes on radical new perspectives I appreciated the gender exploration but found it extremely hard to sympathize with the protagonist Bron Helstrom As a teenager Bron was a legal male prostitute but well into adulthood he seems homophobic This wasn’t the worse of his ualities He’s also egotistical self centered and unbelievably frustrating Despite this he manages to live in an all male commune the evolved living situation in Delany’s imagined future Convinced no one save himself understands his situation Bron chooses a radical future for himself that ultimately leaves him less satisfied than beforeThe homages to a uaint ancient Earth where manners and delicate social maneuvering like tipping and gentlemanliness are satire at its best Delany also challenges preconceived notions of gender and sexuality that along with his humor make Trouble on Triton worth the read Bron however ruined most of the novel for me but he also pushed me to think the most I wonder if using such an unsympathetic irritating protagonist so out of his element in a free sexually liberating universe to impose such an anomaly is to present a creature wholly relatable to an extant homophobic readership upon publicationMaybe the fact that Bron goes to such lengths to discover himself is really a plea or wishful thinking rather than the indictment of white male intellectual thinking Delany presents I’m inclined this direction only because Bron doesn’t in fact discover anything past the stubborn limitations of his psyche but he does seem to reach an honesty with himself at the end if a disappointing one Optimistically he did try albeit for the wrong reasons Close minded or not Bron Helstrom represents the worst in all of us; our frustration with him is a frustration with the limited prejudices we recognize in our own societyFor example men and women freely wander the pages of this book in little to no clothing without apparent embarrassment or fear In a society where sexuality has become so evolved and the human body less of a sin than a recognizable joy it’s no wonder and an odd restoration of peace among us that women as well as men can exercise that right However Bron freuently expresses extreme irritation when propositioned and even scorns the naked physicality of his male suitors choosing instead disgust rather than flattery if say Lawrence were female over his prospects despite not being gayIf you don’t mind a book that so openly features the best and worst of human sexuality gender and mannerisms in regard to either definitely pick up Trouble on Triton The only uestions I have are does Delany ever get tired of a naked cast or do his characters ever get cold?

  3. says:

    I suspect I'm not clever enough for it but you know I hear Dhalgren is very clever but similar to this I remembered while reading it I thought pockets of its description and arguments were interesting and highly original but the rest was bland and I'm always in a state of perpetual unease about who's going to sleep with whom and what I'm supposed to think of it even although I'm not engaged in the lives of any of the characters perhaps the underlying structure of either book is fascinating and rich and genius and masterful but I don't care to dig deep in frozen soilAnd I don't know if this counts as narrow mindedness but I like men not women and I don't consider any kind of future where everyone's asking everyone to frick then everyone fricking each other and then they both change gender and frick again that sounds like an identity seeking nightmare to me than a utopia It took thirteen year old me so much effort to get to the point where he was able to identify as gay that now twice the age I'm fairly sure I don't have the energy to identify or even to try anything else I'm married anyways so fuck Delany call me traditional Even fictionally it's exhausting to keep track of I'm seeing and that my perception of what is a novel and what isn't is much limited than I expected I think this is a response to reading the beautiful crafts that can come from writing like a tennis player with the net taut rather than have it sagging and letting all kinds of balls get past and long obliue philosophical discussions that only happen to take place on other planets or moons for reasons unclear neither seems to me to be a novel nor really sci fiStill Delany is capable of greatness and when I'm feeling adventurous I'll return to his intellectuo ethno sexual ballpits again

  4. says:

    Delany is one of my favourite writers but it has taken me a long time to get round to reading this one In fact Triton has been on my bookshelves since 1993 I think I was intimidated by the appendix on metalogic It looks like a 'difficult' novel but that's really an illusion It's a beautifully written complex but totally accessible and engaging workThe main character Bron Helstrom is simultaneously likeable and infuriating perceptive and unaware an authentic personality on the page The background events of his life in an 'ambiguous heteropotia' include a devastating war between the inner worlds and the outer satellites that is presented slightly obliuely and very convincingly And the society in which Bron has chosen to make his home is constructed with brilliant imagination and attention to detail It's a sort of utopia of choice not uite the perfect society but hugely preferrable to our ownDelany is a thought provoking writer but there is a lot of positive emotional energy in his work too Triton is the best novel I have read all year Without uestion

  5. says:

    It’s been almost five weeks since I did this so let’s hope my skills haven’t atrophied too much My student teaching practicum was awesome but it left me little time for reading and no time for reviewing Now I need to catch up So please forgive me if the details in this review are sparser than ordinary; there is a very good reason why I write reviews as soon as possible after finishing a bookFortunately Triton is a very memorable book which one might have expected coming from Samuel R Delany I love the edition I have another Bantam 1976 yellowing reprint similar to my edition of Dhalgren that I picked up at a used bookstore for 105 The cover alone makes me feel much connected to the zeitgeist in which Delany was immersed when he wrote this and that’s crucial to an understanding of this book If you allow me to get reader response on you for a moment Triton is a book that will affect you differently depending on your generation I know I say this a lot—you can call it a recurring theme of my reviews if you like—but it’s true in this case Politics runs through Triton like its lifeblood Sexual politics gender politics even military politics all play a role The characters themselves are like puppets in an intricate stage play of the human psyche in which they are battling for the one best way to express themselves to the outside world Hence the generational meanings—someone raised in the 1960s is going to interpret the politics and Delany’s themes differently than I do in 2011 However that doesn’t depreciate the book’s relevanceTriton is the story of Bron Helstrom’s struggle to redefine his identity in order to make his life less miserable After running into a travelling actor known as the Spike and sparking up a brief affair Bron’s own checkered and conflicted views on sexuality take front and centre Bron was once a prostitute on Mars where unlike Earth male prostitution is legal He had sex with both men and women for business Now he lives on Triton where people live in communes or co ops that are often divided by sex or sexuality He has chosen to live in an all male commune His next door neighbour is a homosexual man whom Bron views alternatively with respect and derision for Lawrence refuses the rejuvenation treatments that keep most people healthy and youthful Bron is much less comfortable with homosexuality with unconventional gender performance in general now that this is no longer his professionBron is also selfish He wants and wants and will often do things to get what he wants that he only perceives as harmful in hindsight—mildly sociopathic would be a good term perhaps This proves ultimately to be detrimental to his relationship with the Spike a fact that becomes apparent when they run into each other while Bron is part of a political delegation to the antagonistic Earth The Spike leaves Bron with a heartfelt dictated letter that tells him in detail why she cannot like him and this acts as the catalyst for the decision that offsets the last part of Triton from everything that comes beforeI would probably have to provide a play by play summary of the entire book to describe in detail the episodes that cause Bron to make his final decision Suffice it to say Triton is an intricate book Delany really does manage to create this amazing microcosm of a possible future society one where advances in technology make it practical to alter one’s sexual orientation and sexual and gender identities on fundamental biological and genetic levels Many science fiction authors create such societies in order to explore the implications of those technologies—and there is nothing wrong with that—but Delany elevates this exploration to another level creating the technologies to explore the issues they uncover These issues are already present simmering beneath the surface of society and occasionally bursting forth The technology of Triton makes them accessible for discussion—and the uality of that discussion is what makes Triton so memorableThe subtitle of this book is An Ambiguous Heterotopia alluding to The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin I can see the similarities and this does make a good companion read Both books present competing governments whose politics are in flux with individuals undergoing moments of intense personal crisis against the backdrop of this larger conflict I admit to preferring The Dispossessed though and that might entirely be due to the portrayals of Bron versus Shevek Bron is a jerk There I said itI am even intrigued however by the connection to Foucault’s ideas of a heterotopia as a type of privileged “other” space I suppose Delany sets up Triton itself as a heterotopia separate from the warring planets of Earth and Mars Triton is physically distant from the other two planets and the inhabitants of Triton consider people from “worlds” laughably different Our view of life on Earth and Mars is heavily biased of course but it seems like the moons are refuges from authoritarian regimes on the worlds For all its advantages however life on Triton is not without its hardships and its disadvantages—hence the ambiguity Bron confronts this at the same time that he confronts his dissatisfaction with his own lifeI confess I didn’t see the ending coming and it altered my opinion of the entire book It creates this very distinct division between what came before and what comes after I suppose the uestion which Delany of necessity leaves unanswered is whether Bron’s decision will actually have the desired effect Will this dramatic alteration to his life and lifestyle change him for the better? I think it was very drastic hence why I found it unexpected but it also makes a kind of odd senseLike Dhalgren Triton is another difficult book I didn’t find it nearly so difficult as Dhalgren to read but it raises difficult issues and stretches the mould of the conventional plot driven narrative I’m coming to see this as “typical Delany” and while not every writer can get away with that kind of intense devotion to themes he can Because Delany doesn’t back down and the result are books that are still relevant thirty five years later He raises uestions about sex and sexuality gender identity and performance And while Triton is without uestion a science fiction novel Delany makes that seem unimportant compared to the story he’s telling through his characters He makes offhand references to technology and science we don’t have and sometimes it doesn’t always seem plausible—but it’S always to a purpose Triton is a well constructed thoughtful thought provoking piece of literature

  6. says:

    In some ways Triton is as much about science fiction as it is about social and political modelsThe infodump or exposition is a vital part of the SF genre; it helps ground us in the imagined world of the story at hand and to contextualise those uniuely science fictional sentences Delany is so fond of formations like Heinlein's 'the door dilated' or a statement like 'her world exploded' which could have a much literal meaning in a science fiction novel than in a mundane novelInfodumps give us the necessary context to understand things that do not gel with our everyday experience they help understand social political cultural and technological elements of a story's background that are taken for granted when reading a book about our own times and our own peopleBut an infodump is not necessarily informative in the strict sense; there are endless examples of SF infodumps that offer an explanation for things that we know cannot be explained because they have not happened; further the explanation probably does not have much practical value because except in very rare cases no one has gone and done those things in the manner suggested therein although the device or techniue described may since have been developed in some different way Instead it is a sort of gesture a string of words with enough familiar terms to reassure the average SF reader defined by Delany as having the euivalent of a bright 13 year old's knowledge of science that this is 'proper science' mixed in with enough plausible sounding esoterica to convince that reader that something fairly authoritative has been saidOne of the first proper infodumps in this book happens when an attack has just been made on Triton and a government official is trying to tell his companions in a men's cooperative housing building that the brief gravity failure that took place is nothing to worry about He gives an explanation that starts by referring to things that seem to relate to 'real' science and rapidly becomes esoteric Them he is asked to tone it down so that a mentally deficient person present can understand He gives a simpler explanation that his person can understand and even this version makes no sense on our terms if looked at closely Just as the government agent does not really know uite what has happened but is asserting his authority by seeming knowledgeable Delany is giving his made up explanation authority by showing how even a mentally deficient member of his future society can understand what flied over our own head This is a very clever device and a way to both demonstrate and practice one of the chief uses of the SF infodumpBut there are many other infodumps in this book Some relate to a made up discipline of metalogics something which again has no relation to any real system of logic we might be able to conceive of some are in the form of descriptions of dramatic pieces couched in the jargon of academic cultural studies some relate to genetics and medicine Others are personalAll the infodumps that relate to disciplines of this future world start in terms that seem to make sense then move into or less incomprehensible realms for a very long time most of the mental context of these people is way way ahead of our own Delany seems to be implyingAnd then there are the personal infodumps These are much comprehensible even as they tell us things about society and politics on the different planets and sattelites of the solar system that are uite fantastic by today's standards But on the human level once we adjust a little they are perfectly comprehensibleExcept that the main character of this novel Bron Hellstrom seems to see very different things in these personal revelations than we do We begin by trying to empathise with what seems to be the main character and hence hero of this story And yet we slowly find that the people he resents are among the most integral self actualised and compassionate individuals he encounters and the society he hates is a sort of libertarian utopia that in many ways seems to superior to any current earth society This brings us to the commonly discussed aspects of this novel how it belongs to a dialogue on ambiguous utopias with novels like Ursula K Le Guin's 'The Disposessed' how different societies offer different kinds of liberties and privileges how much of this is governed by factors like resources and space and may not be possible or even desirable in other circumstances and what means are justifiable to preserve a desirable way of life There's also a commentary on gender relations and roles that is worth investigatingJust as interestingly Triton is a fascinating study of a completely dysfunctional individual but one that is told almost entirely via a closely focused third person narrative that gives us this individual's thoughts and perspectives rather than anyone else's It's easy to fall into subjectivity here like the people who are seduced by the prose in Lolita and forget that the narrator is a deeply sick sexual predator Delany's achievement is that Bron's anomie is made clear to us despite immersion in his viewpointI haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what there is to enjoy and think about in this novel; there is a passage in one of the appendices where Delany offers a comparison of the difficulty of understanding SF versus its potential range of expression as compared to mundane fiction that evokes similar dichotomies between tonal and atonal music representational and abstract art This alone is a point that deserves being engaged with in detail; that odd second appendix opens up even ideas The whole narrative is a mine field seeded with explosive ideas and concepts This is a science fiction novel that does it all engages in a dialogue with its genre offers deep thought provoking world building and gives us total character immersion It isn't so much that they don't write them like this any as that they hardly ever did

  7. says:

    i'm not sure how i feel about this at all the main character is absolutely UNBEARABLE but he is supposed to be it's the book's whole point but he really is so utterly unlikeable and horrifying that reading this book was a slog the entire way through he gets his comeuppance several times throughout the story but he never learns anything another point of the book i think which is almost satisfying? i don't know if i simply read this book at the wrong time in my life or in the wrong context or if there was something i was just missing or if i didn't get it or if maybe there actually wasn't that much there TO get and it was all just a lot of set dressing and cobbled together sf sociological ideasexperiments flung one after the other at the reader and never examined never interrogated except through the context of knowing who this author is and what his other works are like and that therefore his presentation of such ideas SHOULD have been thoughtful and interesting so perhaps it is just not the place to start with delany and perhaps there is a reason that the dispossessed by le guin is still spoken about so often and this book a self designated 'response' to le guin's book is not? i don't know i am utterly baffledi feel frustrated because i WANTED to get this book but reading this felt like reading certain books in high school books with points and meanings you knew were there and could sort of recognize but they were just utterly meaningless to you and your life or you thought that they were insufficiently analyzed or that they showed a poor or distasteful understanding of life and the meaning of being a person and so you just didn't care to 'get' them and you just read the book and took the test and moved on because there just really was not much there in the text for you at all despite the fact that it is a literary uote unuote classicalso i feel like the way this book addresses gender and gender confirmation surgery though that is not what it is in the book not really which is part of the problem is just unbelievably irresponsible and crude lmao coming from a gay author i expected ; but then again delany is not trans and that is a whole other issue the way cis gay people feel entitled to tellingunderstanding trans stories or ideas when cis gay people often really do not understand those things at all and really the point of this book has nothing to do with transness nothing at all but the unfortunate implications ARE there by nature of the book's content and i just did not care for it there is a great deal of depth to gender and transness that can be explored in a book in thought in life this book attempted to plumb that depth and seemed to think that it had done uite an interesting and valuable job but really it was excruciatingly superficial and flippant and boringthe writing style and syntax were worth reading though which is why i will continue with other works by delany also because i am fairly certain that this book is an outlier among delany's work and the issues i have with it are specific to this book in particular and i really shouldn't have started here after all because i do find delany in general to seem like he should be a thoughtful and interesting person and writer whose ideas and writing i am still interested in experiencing of BECAUSE he is known in sf literature for being different thoughtful incisive wordy conceptually novel think i'll finally read dhalgren next but not until this summer maybe

  8. says:

    Triton is one of those books that lingers in the penumbra at the edges of my understanding like a jungle cat stalking prey carefully choosing the perfect moment to pounce And yet and yet I couldn't put it down Delany's prose is irresistible and his ideas are tantalizing even if I'm not entirely sure I walked away with a clear understanding Triton is also an example of a particular type of sci fi that skips past the distraction of identity politics such as race gender and sexuality to get at larger issues which is not to say these things aren't discussed uite the contrary In fact the main thing that's widely known relatively speaking about this book is how the protagonist switches gender and sexuality Rather what I mean is that these categories that are so often divisive today cease to have the same impact in and of themselves in the larger world of the novelA post identity politics is by no means a Utopia nor is Delany interested in crafting a portrait of a would be Utopia He calls the novel a Heterotopia which is a term from Foucault that describes a space of otherness that in part functions to allow a Utopia elsewhere That's where Delany's real interest lies in the space of otherness Neptune's moon Triton is that space in the novel It's a place of radical individuality where nearly anything is permissible and in the unlicensed sector whatever scant regulations do exist are waived The basic needs of all residents are met and people can choose to work or not to earn credits if they're interested in elevating their standard of living But while Triton and the other outer satellites presumably play a vital role as Heterotopia for Terran and Martian societies though the novel briefly visits Earth and it's hardly a Utopia they remain targets for a cataclysmic war raging across the solar system We're never told the reason for the war only that Triton has managed to stay out of it for now Delany uses the tension of the war to propel the plot forward but that's not really the focus He's interested in examining erudite ideas like metalogicBrom Helstrom the novel's protagonist struggles to find happiness amid a backdrop of war and identity fluidity He spends his days playing board games and philosophizing with his co op neighbors and earns extra credits working as a metalogics specialist in the hegemony Metalogic being defined at one point early on in a manner that went largely over my head What I gleaned however was that humans rarely employ pure logic rather we rely on shifting parameters within discourse to approximate logic for any given circumstance to say that the Taj Mahal is white is in pure logic to deny that it is any other color But what is the Taj Mahal? Is it the building alone or also the grounds with it's green grass and blue water and yellow sand etc And if it's just the building then what of the shades of brown in the grout or the veins of various colors in the marble etc? Delany is stabbing right at the heart of narrative here Triton is a book about reading about knowledge or broadly human discourse and in that way it ties in nicely with the surface plot What is a Utopia or a Heterotopia without it's other and where is the distinction between the two drawn? When Bron's friend Sam reveals he used to be a different race gender and sexuality and when Bron himself undergoes a similar transformation Delany is offering a radical perhaps so in the '70s when the novel was published than today vision of personal freedom but he's also gesturing at the fragile nature of social historic political etc discourses which are held together like a complicated web of tension rods each balanced by the others in a stable metalogical way A place like Triton where nothing is immutable of course will represent a danger to that balance And so the war between the planets and the satellites rages And so Bron's affections continue to orbit the mercurial actress known as the Spike I think I'll return to this book down the line A single read is far from sufficientIf you liked this make sure to follow me on Goodreads for reviews

  9. says:

    This review and others can be read on my blog Black Forest Basilisks Triton also published under Trouble on Triton An Ambiguous Heterotopia by Samuel R Delany is one hell of a trip and surprisingly relevant to modern day discourse on gender and sex Originally written as a response to Le Guin’s The Dispossessed An Ambiguous Utopia Delany explores what it might be like to experience a progressive open society as a very traditional masculine male with conservative ideas about the roles and capabilities of men and women Where Le Guin explored life as someone who is LGBT in a predominantly straight “utopia” Delany explores the inverse Written in Delany’s always stellar prose Triton takes on uncomfortable perspectives designed to discomfit readers The narrator Bron has much in common with the incels of today He believes that he’s a good guy who deserves a chance and becomes uite angry when he is denied it He is the epitome of white male entitlement Although he lives in a world that is founded on everyone’s basic needs being met including those of sexual nature he finds that the women who he wants to love him are not the ones who love him in return He pursues women who are not interested in him projecting his ideal submissive woman onto them despite it being at odds with their actual personalities He is ultimately one of the most self centered narrators I’ve come across His truth is the truth and he can and will misrepresent actual occurrences in order to support it  Bron meets a theatrical artist known publicly as The Spike I would have loved to read a book from her perspective She is in fact interesting than Bron in every single way and it’s uite a shame that Bron himself is entirely oblivious to this fact He views himself as better than her wanting her to give up her lifestyle and dreams to come live with him and do what? He never stops to think about that because her life after it wouldn’t matter to him His happiness and his ability to possess her is the only thing important to him and he is aggressively jealous towards anyone and anything that stands between him and his prize In Bron Delany personifies the nightmare of every woman who has ever had a man place her on a pedestal with an uncanny degree of understanding almost certainly drawing on his own experiences as a ueer black man in the 70s Delany understands what power entitlement and discrimination looks like Bron is terrifying  No he narrowed his eyes at Miriamne who was a step ahead she said the Spike was just her friend Like me and Lawrence he thought Then the sudden uestioning Does she feel about the Spike the way Lawrence is always saying he feels about ? His eyes narrowed further at the gray caped shoulders ahead I’ll kill her he thought I’ll make her sorry she ever heard of metalogics Miriamne staggering drunk in the co op corridor grasping at the Spike caught in her arms falling down soused on the corridor floor He thought I’ll—Miriamne glanced back “You’re looking preoccupied again”  “Huh?” he said “Oh I guess I am” He smiled I will kill her I’ll kill her in some slow and lingering way that will hurt amazingly and unbelievably and continuously and will seem to have no source and take years In his journey to find fulfillment and satisfaction Bron has passed through many different social sects organizations and living situations On Triton many of these groups can become uite interesting and their creeds may involve self mutilation self imposed restraints or deal with ceremonies or mannerisms that someone today would find horrifying Bron at one point joined a group called the Mumblers who panhandle in the street with their eyes blinded either with a blindfold or by keeping them shut no mutilation for these folks at least while chanting “mumbles” He was hoping to find a group he could meld himself into but failed to make that connection  Men like Bron are the ones who are easiest prey for the alt right groups of our current political ecosystem Men who are aimless educated but self centered and entitled They don’t have a support network that fulfills their need to be better than others and so they find themselves drawn into a group that tells them that they are better because of their gender or race If Triton had not so assiduously stamped out such groups Bron almost certainly would have been a part of one As it is he is fortunate enough to have a support group even if he doesn’t listen to them or appreciate them It’s not enough for him to have peers and friends He needs to have someone who he can feel is beneath him and under his power and control And than that he wants it to be a woman who will be both submissive while also being motherly He expects a woman to sacrifice their own wants and dreams their own emotional needs in favor of his own When he tries to force The Spike into this role she pushes back because she understands its futility and his fundamental inability to become a fully independent human being  What’s the difference between that and emotionally injured? Emotionally crippled? Emotionally atrophied? Maybe it isn’t your fault Maybe you weren’t cuddled enough as a baby Maybe you simply never had people around to set an example of how to care Maybe because you uote feel you love me unuote you feel I should take you on as a case I’m not going to Because there are other people some of whom I love and some of whom I don’t who need help too and when I give it it seems to accomplish something the results of which I can see Disclaimer obviously not all men I hate that I have to add this but I know that I do If you're a considerate and kind individual you're obviously not the person this book is addressed at This book is aimed at the subset of white men who are like Bron and think it's okay to only ever talk about themselves and lecture about logic at young highly educated black women Although entitlement and privilege affect people than just white men they are a particularly privileged group wherein these issues are pervasive and encouraged in a way that is much less common in other demographics Historically they are the ones who have held power in Western civilization and this has lasting conseuences If you're aware of your privilege and do your best to use it well and to help others who face roadblocks you don't congrats you're not Bron  “Let me tell you a secret There is a difference between men and women a little tiny one that I’m afraid has probably made most of your adult life miserable and will probably continue to make it so till you die The difference is simply that women have only really been treated by that bizarre Durkheimian abstraction ‘society’ as human beings for the last—oh say sixty five years; and then really only on the moons; whereas men have had the luxury of such treatment for the last four thousand The result of this historical anomaly is simply that on a statistical basis women are just a little less willing to put up with certain kinds of shit than men—simply because the concept of a certain kind of shit free Universe is in that eually bizarre Jungian abstraction the female ‘collective unconscious’ too new and too precious” This book has grown on me and as I’ve thought about it When I first set it down my initial impression was that I’d wanted of the world and of the characters I found interesting despite understand that the point of the book was that Bron himself was too wrapped up in his own onanistic world to ever look outwards I felt a little dissatisfied I still do wish we’d gotten to see of Triton its various political maneuverings and the war that sat as a backdrop to the book; yet the social aspects hit closer and closer to home the I think about them Although some portions of the novel most certainly did not age well including some of the language surrounding race be prepared for slurs the underlying horror of white male entitlement remains a part of the fabric of our culture and is relevant than ever before  If you enjoyed this review please consider reading others like it on my blog Black Forest Basilisks

  10. says:

    sppoilerzzzI feel very weird about this book I love a lot of it but in the end it felt just too terrible to spend this much time with bron i kind of would have been elated with the book just ending after the spike's letter arrives and a Big Event happens in the war? the subseuent gender stuff is very gratifying to me on one level and very depressing on another i appreciate that pains were taken to establish that bron's Gender Journey is not typical but that also kind of grosses me out and I feel like I'm missing a key thing somewhere the street sign letters everyone is wearing? the deeper ironies of Bron being into metalogics? the meaning of the vlet Gods?? that were I to understand it would make the whole thing come clear to me but I did not find it i think I was just a lot interested in the spike than in bron's gross ways and something about the book's ironic ending being like the transsexual sits in her bar and many wish to love her but she can let no one in hit pretty hard I appreciate this book a lot it was extremely gratifying to see how swiftly society responds to bron's transition and there are multiple models of cis desire for trans t4t that are pretty magical for like 1973??? like no joke that is great but i feel like the book kind of wants it both ways trans ppl are both Very Normal and Somehow Unseemly and something about its final specter of transsexuality as Eternal Punishment again if you're an evil trans who does it for evil reasons not a true trans who will be happy felt sadI love the elemental restaurant very much

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