Samuel R. Delany

Easton Press Samuel R. Delany books

The Einstein Intersection - Masterpieces of Science Fiction - 1986
Babel-17 - Masterpieces of Science Fiction - 1992


About Samuel R. Delany

Samuel Ray Delany Jr., known as Samuel R. Delany, is an influential American author and critic, born on April 1, 1942, in New York City. Delany's work has significantly impacted the science fiction and fantasy genres, and he is recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to speculative fiction and his insightful literary criticism. Delany's early life was marked by a passion for literature, and he showed an early aptitude for writing. He attended the prestigious Bronx High School of Science and went on to study at City College of New York, where he began publishing science fiction stories in magazines while still a student. In 1962, at the age of 20, he published his first novel, The Jewels of Aptor, which marked the beginning of a prolific and distinguished career.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Delany produced a series of innovative and intellectually challenging works that defied traditional genre conventions. Notable among these are Babel-17 (1966) and The Einstein Intersection (1967), both of which showcase Delany's ability to explore complex themes of language, identity, and culture within speculative fiction. One of his most acclaimed works is the four-volume science fiction series collectively known as the Dhalgren series, with the central novel being Dhalgren (1975). This postmodern and experimental work is celebrated for its intricate narrative structure and its exploration of themes such as memory, sexuality, and social dynamics.

In addition to his achievements in fiction, Delany is highly regarded for his critical writings. His essays and reviews, often collected in works like The Jewel-Hinged Jaw (1977) and The American Shore (1978), offer profound insights into the craft of writing and the cultural significance of science fiction.

Samuel R. Delany is known for addressing issues of race, sexuality, and identity in his works, making him a pioneering figure in introducing more diverse perspectives to the science fiction and fantasy genres. His impact extends beyond literature, as he has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights and an influential voice in discussions about the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in speculative fiction. Delany has received numerous awards for his contributions, including the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. He holds a special place in the literary landscape for his ability to push boundaries and challenge conventions, both in terms of narrative structure and thematic exploration. Samuel R. Delany's work continues to be studied, celebrated, and appreciated for its intellectual depth and cultural significance.


The Einstein Intersection

The Einstein Intersection won the Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of 1967. The surface story tells of the problems a member of an alien race, Lo Lobey, has assimilating the mythology of earth, where his kind have settled among the leftover artifacts of humanity. The deeper tale concerns, however, the way those who are "different" must deal with the dominant cultural ideology. The tale follows Lobey's mythic quest for his lost love, Friza. In luminous and hallucinated language, it explores what new myths might emerge from the detritus of the human world as those who are "different" try to seize history and the day.

In an incredible far future, the known laws of Time and Space no longer apply to the world - and the seed of Man has mutated. Lobey is a mutant, different because he can hear the music in people's minds. And when he encounters the beautiful dead-mute, Friza, he knows he has found a kindred soul.

Then Friza is killed, by someone or something unknown, and Lobey, driven by a knowledge he does not understand, sets out to bring her back from the dead. His journey leads him to strange lands and stranger people: people such as Spider, the eternal traitor incarnate; the Dove, embodiment of beauty; and Green-Eye, doomed to be the victim of a ritual as old as Time.

And always in the background, always waiting, stands the shadow of the chilling, childlike killer from the sea. The being called Kid Death . . .


Babel-17 is all about the power of language. Humanity, which has spread throughout the universe, is involved in a war with the Invaders, who have been covertly assassinating officials and sabotaging spaceships. The only clues humanity has to go on are strange alien messages that have been intercepted in space. Poet and linguist Rydra Wong is determined to understand the language and stop the alien threat. (Paul Goat Allen)


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