Wednesday, March 4, 1970

Author - Delany, Samuel R.

Birth: April 1, 1942

Death: Still alive and teaching.

Comments: Samuel R. Delany is one of the best science fiction writers alive. His name is actually Samuel R. Delany, Jr., but he goes by the name "Chip". He has been a professor of literature and writing at The University of Massachusetts Amherst,. SUNY Buffalo, and Temple University. Delany began his science fiction writing career quite young, getting his work first published when he was only 19. His early career was marked with brilliantly inventive science fiction works that were showered with accolades: back to back Nebula Awards for The Einstein Intersection and Babel-17, and numerous Hugo and Nebula nominations (as well as two other Nebula awards and two Hugo awards for works other than novels including the brilliant short story Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones). The first section of his career ended with one of my favorite science fiction books, the brilliant cyberpunk space opera Nova.

Delany stopped publishing for five years, and the returned to the science fiction field with the beautifully ambitious Dhalgren and a collection of other science fiction books dealing with sexual taboos and the repeated motif of cultural decay like Triton and Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. Basically, Delany picked up where he had left off five years before and also added mature sexual themes to his writing, exploring how sexual mores affect all of the motifs that had always been present in his books, adding a deeper layer of meaning. Delany then turned to fantasy writing the Return to Neveryon series which translated all of his recurring science fiction motifs into a fantasy setting and explored how they would be dealt with in a more primitive milieu. Whenever I pick up a book written by Samuel R. Delany, I know I am going to get a skillfully written work that will deliver a compelling story chock full of thought-provoking ideas.


My reviews of Samuel R. Delany's books:

Other books by Samuel R. Delany that I have read but not reviewed:
Stars In My Pocket, Like Grains of Sand

Short fiction by Samuel R. Delany appearing in works that I have reviewed:
Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones found in More Stories from the Hugo Winners, Volume II

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