It seems with Delany that you either understand him, and he becomes your favorite author, or you completely don't get it and are repulsed by all of his works. This was the first book I read by Delany -- since them I've read Dhalgren (what an awesome book) and the Neveryona series, and a bunch of his earlier works. The setting, Triton, was both believable and extremely surreal. The main character, though somewhat shallow... is absolutely fascinating and fascinatingly dense. This book is full of political, social, sexual and scientific commentary (as with all his later works)... I don't know what it was about it, but I personally couldn't put it down and stayed up all night reading it, and can't wait to re-read it. This is a beautiful and fascinating work, but not for everyone.
Although not one of his most critically acclaimed works, this is still a personal favourite amongst Delany's novels. The city of Tethys on Triton is an excellent venture of speculative sociology and provides a strong backdrop for the story. As ever, with Delany, themes of sexuality are prevalent too; the main character being a former male prostitute. Coming after the loose and rambling Dhalgren, Triton also represented something of a return to the tight plotting of his earlier books. Although not nearly as much of a rollercoaster ride as the likes of Babel 17 or Nova, we're treated to a story of interplanetary intrigue, mixed in with a more personal relationship story, and a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion to both. An enjoyable read throughout.
An intriquing character study - Delany puts you in the mind of his protagonist, and places his protagonist in an entirely plausible world (not just in the sense of planet), weird tho it be. All leavened with the cultural, philosphical etc. speculations and dialectics - many about sex of course - for which he is known. The actual sex is restrained, however (Thanks, SR!) Much more accessible than Dhalgren, tho I do not claim to understand all that is to be found or extracted from Triton. Enjoy!
Did you notice the recent spat in the UK press over feminist Germaine Greer and transgender issues. She questioned whether a male-to-female transgender individual could ever really become a real woman? She was slammed. If you are interested in these issues (whatever side of that debate you feel you are on) and want a brilliant creative take on them, then you will love this book. Written 40 years ago, this book is staggeringly prescient of those issues and gives a far more subtle and intelligently ambiguous look at the whole subject than recent public debates in the UK. Gender/sex politics aside it has the usual Delany literary tricks and games and poses the essential question of whether humanity can ever have utopia.