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Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand Paperback – Deluxe Edition, December 15, 2004
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“If H. G. Wells was the Shakespeare of science fiction, Samuel R. Delany is its James Joyce. Marginalized by both fate and choice, he has inscribed those margins on the consciousness of readers of science fiction, fantasy, and literary theory.” (David N. Samuelson, Professor of English, California State University, Longbeach)
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Top Customer Reviews
I recently reread Stars... and I still like it. Am I impressed with it as much as the first time? Not quite, but that may be because I know the plot and it's not quite as ground-breaking when read now as it was 30 years ago. Though if I heard that there was finally a sequel, I'd lunge for it. Having said that, it's light-years better written than so much current "I don't need no stinking' editor" drivel under the SF label.
One thing I should mention is that this is neither a "hard SF' nor a "fantasy" novel. It's basically a novel about people set in the future and it's about the people and their interactions. Delany presents some really interesting ideas about how things might work, but he wastes very little time talking drivel about how the Plasmatronic Hyper FluxBuster Drive translates the ship across galaxies. Rather, he takes the SF for granted and uses the powers of the FluxBuster drive to enable interactions that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Most importantly, his primary characters are wonderfully 3D and the characterizations are subtle and deft. Even some of his minor characters are decently done.
One more thing: This book does a beautiful job of asking what "alien" is and isn't, without once appearing to do so.
It is challenges the ideas of gender (yet it does it in a very surprising and intelligent way), it makes you realise how carnal pleasure is important and vital to you (and how beautiful experience it may bring once you accept who you are), it depicts a universe made up of six thousand worlds!
It is a beautiful piece of art. I draw pleasure not only from ingenuine ideas about the way the world could be but also (or even mostly|) from the fabulous language Mr Delany emplyed to depict his wonderful yet unsettling world.