I have to read more Samuel R. Delany. Last night I read his short story "Driftglass," which was quite fine. It didn't end on exactly the right note, but otherwise built a believable world and main character and held to its tone. A few times, the writing became overly precious or self-conscious. I'm also reading Nabokov's Pnin, where half the point is in the writing itself, but somehow his excesses aren't excesses; it's clearly established that it's a first-person narrative voice functioning like an omniscient narrator, and it's a winning, funny voice that fits the pedantry of its subject. Though Delany comes across as an excellent writer, in spots I less appreciated the writing than simply felt it obtrude into the narrative, whereas Nabokov's whole style has to do with a hyper-present narrator. Reading more Delany (I have his collection Aye, and Gomorrah, and Other Stories) is called for.
I have a vivid memory of being a teenager in the Paperback Booksmith (Oxford Valley Mall, Pennsylvania) and looking with fascination at the covers of Delany's novels Dhalgren and Triton--but finding them somehow too daunting to buy.