On Triton and Other Matters: An Interview with Samuel R. Delany The following text did not originate as any kind of formal interview. Instead it grew out of an. After the last post on Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, it made sense to me to read through Samuel Delany’s Trouble on Triton in my best of. The Dispossessed has the subtitle “An Ambiguous Utopia” and Triton answers with the subtitle “An Ambiguous Heterotopia.” In Delany’s long.

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This is my second Delany novel after Dhalgren. Thanks for reading and sharing your interesting thoughts about this challenging book. It’s what Delany intended.


Delany’s SF novel, originally published as Triton, takes us on a tour of a utopian society at war with. Certainly boys—especially white heterosexual boys—are the most privileged creatures in the Western social hierarchy. Now that we live in a society where the government and non-governmental state organizations corporations of one kind or another actually do have huge amounts of our information, the effect is rather spoiled, but it is delightful and fascinating, particularly the way Delany admits the possibility of a Stasi-like surveillance state that would tolerate the dissent that leads to the establishment of the booths.

Though the civilization of Triton offers everything that he could reasonably want, he is unhappy with his life, out of harmony with those around him, and continually looking for others to blame whenever things go wrong.

I am looking forward to reading more of Delaney’s work. Except that, of course, he never realizes even that much. Certainly Triton is run by sets of committees and individual administrators—somehow.

Then, at the very center of the brain, sits this little transcendental human form who receives it all and actually is the consciousness that understands, perceives, knows In that sense like the privileging of freedom of speechsubjective inviolability is an index to the general health of the society. It’s the main reason I haven’t read “Ulysses”, for instance.

Samuel R. Delany — On Triton and Other Matters: An Interview with Samuel R. Delany

But this is to move away from Triton and to start exploring questions raised in the later “Informal Remarks Toward the Modular Calculus”—i.

But precisely the part that can be done rigorously is logic.

What must pass truton system A to system B for us system C to be able to say that system A now contains some model of system B?

Once we’ve spoken an image, however, it becomes the SF job of the surrounding rhetoric—especially the pseudo scientific rhetoric—to make the image cognizable, believable: There’s a war, a terrible one that kills millions, although, conveniently, not really any of the major characters.


Much of the philosophy related in the book seems to champion a level of thinking that transcends standardized logic.

Does it mean that the Lacanian split subject is only another version of the homuncular fallacy? But some things cannot be given to you by external forces alone, and Bron really struggles to understand that purpose isn’t bestowed to you by another, it truton be built up from within.

The results of his transformation are, predictably, not good. I’ve read somewhere trtion you don’t refer to your work as science fiction. While the examination of reproduction as a “normal-off system” was interesting, as were the explorations of marginal sexual possibilities, these sometimes caused the novel to feel like a fanciful ethnographic study.

This is a complicated book. Trigon couldn’t help but imagine the cathartic enjoyment he experienced while writing the long-suffering Bron. This novel is pretty weird and isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed velany ride. He published nine well-regarded science fiction novels between andas well as several prize-winning short stories collected in Driftglass [] and more recently in Aye, and Gomorrah, and other stories [].

Certain parts of Slade’s philosophy carry with it radically skeptical implications about the difficulty, not to say the impossibility, of translating system A, the world of experience, into system Trion, the universe of discourse. I like the idea of different taxes for different needs. It’s uninformed, anti historical, and promotes only mystification —all three of which I feel are fine reasons to let this misused term die the natural death it actually came to 15 years ago.

But, no, I’m velany sure how, in the long run, it would work.

A skin graft is a heterotopia. View all 4 comments. Infodumps 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 people.

While I do think that it would be an intellectually challenging read for me, and thus, entirely fascinating, the character of Bron as you’ve described him does give me pause. I love the idea p.

Brom Helstrom, the novel’s protagonist, struggles to find happiness amid a backdrop of war and identity fluidity. Delany uses scientific thought as the basic assumption for his info-dumps, but he turns this scientific thought into metaphor.

But for better or worse, all the science in SF is ultimately like that. 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.


The whole mechanism starts to break down. So what has this all got to do with Triton? These groups range from the benign to the destructive. 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 publication.

The writing itself tends to be highly polished—at its best. The whole book is extremely, extremely enjoyable, shot through with a warmth and humanity that keeps the humor from getting too Evelyn Waugh, an bracing triyon, a vast insight.

It’s happened to them, they will tell you, too many times. He is amazingly self-centered and self-deceptive.

Appreciations: Samuel Delany’s Futuristic Trouble on Triton, 40 Years Later | Kirkus Reviews

Lafferty began the process with his satirical reading of Thomas More in Past Master. From then on, I had to figure out a world—and the events taking place in it—in which this or such a letter could be sent. Mar 19, Jo Walton rated it it was amazing. To have a term such delajy “hegemony”—not to mention the surveillance implications behind the Ego Booster Booths—right in the midst of such a “utopian” society, for me, at any rate, leaves the very notion of utopia pretty much shattered.

Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia

I’m not sure what I think about his repres Not as good as Dhalgren, but maintained my impression of Rtiton as an author working beyond his pigeon-holed genre. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

I’ve done many a guerrilla ‘performance’, I’ve walked down the streets of Baltimore dressed in totally bizarre clothes tritom high at 3AM KNOWING that it was always open season on people who looked different, that I cd be killed at any moment, that there was no such thing as police protection for peo This was probably the Delany bk that most intersected my own life.