Black Sci-Fi Primer–Samuel R. Delany

After a brief hiatus from the primer (I will blame Memorial Day), I’m back.

This is a name that I am sure most of you have heard, but I am willing to bet that you did not think “Chip” Delaney looked like this:

No, that is not Santa Claus

Samuel Delaney is one of the singly most prolific science fiction authors of the 20th century (you know, the century that preceded this one).  His body of work includes more than twenty novels, several novellas, and countless short stories.  He published his first novel, The Jewels of Aptor, in 1962 at the age of 19.  Since then, his stories have gone on to win countless prestigious awards including the Nebula and Hugo awards. Delaney is currently a professor at Temple University.

Delaney’s works defy simple categorization.  The landscapes range from radiated and post-apocalyptic, fictional dystopias like his first novel (TJA) and his epic Dhalgren, to more mimetic and familiar worlds of New York in the 1980s (The Mad Man).   Thematically, they are just diverse, ranging from meditations on memory, language, sexuality, class, and more; many of which he probes through a speculative lens.

For samples of his shorter fiction, check out the Dark Matters collections.

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