Samuel R. Delany’s “Driftglass” was first published in the June 1967 edition of If, but I read it in The Legend Book of Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois and published in 1991. I am ashamed to say that I have never read anything by Delany before but I will be catching up on his fiction very soon because I enjoyed his style and the story very much.
This is a highly imaginative story about a near future world in which thousands of young people are surgically altered to be able to survive on land and in the sea for long periods. They work at laying cables, among other things.
The author takes his time to tell the story and yet it is never boring or slow because the prose is well-written and interesting. I liked his parenthetical remarks, which serve to draw attention to the details, but without taking you out of the story or interrupting the flow. Nicely done.