It's cold (the radiators don't work) at Headquarters, so I'm writing you from the nice community college down the hill from us. I'm getting over viral pneumonia, my right arm feels like it has a mega-pinched nerve, and my thoughts fly towards...Trouble on Triton?
Anyway, I've always been a Delaney fan. Back in the day (1977-1986), my friends and I speculated on his race and sexual preferences (and were quite pleasantly surprised when we found out...) For some reason, I read all the early stuff, Nova, Dhalgren (still my favorite beach book), but not Triton (as it was being marketed in those days). People said it was "difficult", which was hardly a handicap for me: after all, it was shorter than Dhalgren, by several hundred pages. They also said it was awful, just awful.
Well, they were right. This doesn't mean that I don't like it, however.
On one hand, we have Delaney's spot-on take on the Northeastern Establishment of the 60's and seventies: his account of how he tried to get kicked out of a party on the Ring (vomiting on the art? Have a pill...) sounds far too hilariously accurate not to be true. Similarly, there is "vleit", a send-up of early (noncomputer) wargaming, with dice and cards, plus (holographic?) realistic microscenery, sound effects, and a Mystical Cube, whose scoring system is based on a ludicrously complex equation in vector calculus, as well as a visit to a hilariously luxurious restaurant (you've got to read it to believe it). The Spike (I can't believe no one ever pointed out that my old nickname and hers were the same) reminds me strongly of Twyla Tharp for some reason, or for that matter, any number of slightly-older-than-Boomer women in the arts. (That some reviewer referred to her as a "young woman" I can't imagine -- in 1976, to be 34 was to be "middle aged".) Life in a society where it doesn't matter (much) whether you're gay, straight, bi, transgendered, or whatever sounds pretty much like life at the turn of the Millenium, for good or ill.
The problem is, people talk about it. And talk, and talk, and talk some more. About prostitution and prostitutes, which for some strange reason, almost never get referred to by their more homely terms. (And if everyone's so damned sexually free, how can a brothel exist?) About economic systems, and about the Laws of Form. Even a conversation with someone acknowleged to be "severely retarded" includes enough heavy-duty physics and fake math/logic to make me skip ahead a few pages until something happens again.
I'm into the war parts now, and praying something happens again. The new edition has a preface by Kathy Acker (figures....)
Meanwhile, I'm sleeping in the kitchen tonight if it doesn't warm up. Later....