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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: (urth) RE: Possible Delany Comparisons
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 08:18:02 

Pippen wrote:

> In terms of "worked prose" and a highly nonchalant attitude to the
> future, perhaps Delany's "Stars In My Pockets like Grains Of Sand
> can compare to the Wolfean Long Sun and Short Sun series.  Does
> anyone know if Delany ever published his sequel to "Stars In My Pockets"?

No, he has not. He has made several different comments about this, which
add up to a kind of ambiguity. The two major points have been that (1) he
did indeed intend to finish it and worked on it from time to time but that
(2) since the advent of AIDS, and the devastation it wreaked among his 
friends and acquaintances, he has found it difficult to get back into the
kind of mental space in which he wrote the first volume.

I agree that it is comparable to Wolfe in the ways you suggest; and quite
different from Wolfe in almost every other way. Among the ways in which it
is similar is what you might call a time-bomb effect -- the way in which,
after you've been reading along for some time, you suddenly realize that
a common English word means something quite different in the mouth of the
narrator from what it means in modern (or post-modern) English, and this
forces a revision of everything you have read so far. (I remember the first
time I read it, back in '84, how difficult it was for me to adjust to the
way Marq Dyeth uses the commonest of pronouns!)

The one thing in your post I would question is the term "highly nonchalant
attitude to the future." To my mind, this is an intensely thought-out
future, one which considers, questions, and often rejects many (most?) of
the most commonly-made assumptions about "the future" we find in science
fiction: not least of which is the tendency for SF writers to conceive of
planets as ecologically and culturally monolithic. "The desert planet," "the

jungle planet," "the planet of sharp-trading gypsies," "the planet of 
pastoral Quakers," and so on, simply are _not_ likely to exist because (as
Marq repeatedly observes) worlds are _big_ places.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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