Triton, the outermost moon of Neptune, was a world of absolute freedom, where every wish could be fulfilled. But for Bron Helstrom, one of Triton’s elite, life had lost its meaning. There, in a world of endless possibilities, Bron began a searing odyssey to find the elusive object of his desires …
The door opened; she slipped out,
She wore white gloves.
She wore white boots.
Her long skirt and high-necked bodice were white. Full white sleeves draped her wrists. She reached up and pulled the white cloak around her shoulders. Its paler-than-ivory folds swept around.
Over her head was a full-head mask: white veils hung below the eyes; the icy globe was a-glitter with white sequins. White plumes rose above it, as from some albino peacock ….
The white mask turned to him …. Her gloved fingers fell from her white-scarved throat, came toward his.
He took them.
They walked along the corridor that, once more, became high, roofless street.
“Now. What do you want to know about me?”
After moments, she said: “Go on. Any way you can.”
Moments later, he said: “I’m … not happy in the world I live in ….”
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 question gender roles and sexual 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 more and more complex, till there is nothing left for him to do but become a 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—seems.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR SAMUEL R. DELANY:
“A writer of consistently high ambition and achievement … Delany’s fiction demands—and rewards—the kind of close reading that one ungrudgingly brings to serious novelists … Sentence by sentence, phrase by phrase, [he] invites the reader to collaborate in the process of creation. The reader who accepts this invitation has an extraordinarily satisfying experience in store for him/her.”