DELANY FOR BEGINNERS
The books below are excellent introductions to the genius and range of Samuel R. Delany. His heartbreaking DARK REFLECTIONS is a perfect novel for those with a more realistic bent. His memoir THE MOTION OF LIGHT IN WATER is among the finest documents of a black gay artist's coming of age in New York in the 1960s. It would also be impossible to understand the changes that have forever altered NYC without Delany’s indelible insights from TIMES SQUARE RED / TIMES SQUARE BLUE. And of course, Delany became famous and continues to receive acclaim for his genre-shaking science fiction works such as NOVA and BABEL-17. If you are just discovering Delany, you are in for quite a voyage.
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award.
"Dark Reflections is one of the most honest books I've ever read about the martyrdom of the writer in the contemporary world. Samuel Delany, who has entertained readers for decades with his rich fantasies, now gives us the truth and nothing but the truth. At certain points, I wanted to put this book down because it was so sad--but I couldn't because I was so engrossed by its spare beauty and its searing frankness."
Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of Its Year.
"The background is unusually dense, as always with Delany, with layers and implied further layers and texture. There are multiple cultures, even within the one side of the conflict we see, there are people of all colours, shapes and sizes and social classes. There are castes and classes, there’s also the sense that working people actually work, with a notion of things they actually do. There’s also body modification for fashion and lifestyle reasons (solid roses growing from your shoulder, like a tattoo) that have social significance as class and status markers. . . . If Babel-17 were published now as a new book, I think it would strike us an great work that was doing wonderful things and expanding the boundaries of science fiction. I think we’d nominate it for awards and talk a lot about it. It’s almost as old as I am, and I really think it would still be an exciting significant book if it were new now."
--Jo Walton, What Makes This Book So Great
"[Nova] reads like Moby Dick at a strobe-light show!"
--Roger Sale, Time
"Samuel R. Delany, right now, as of this book, Nova, not as of some future book or some accumulated body of work, is the best science-fiction writer in the world, at a time when competition for that status is intense. I don’t see how a science fiction writer can do more than wring your heart while explaining how it works. No writer can. The special thing that science fiction does is to first credibly place the heart in an unconventional environment. A particular thing that recent science fiction has been doing is to make that unconventional environment a technological one. Another has been to make it a romantic one, sometimes calling it an intensely humanistic one . . . All of these things are accomplished in Nova."
--A.J. Budrys, Galaxy Magazine
"One of the most complete and fully realized pictures of an interstellar society that I have ever read."
--Norman Spinrad, Science Fiction Times
Times Square Red / Times Square Blue
20th Anniversary Edition Coming Soon!
"Reading this book reminds me, as few others in a lifetime of reading have done, just why it is that we so love our cities, what we value in them, and why the great ones become so. [Delany is] one of our finest social critics and one of our great writers."
--James Sallis, Rain Taxi
Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village
Winner of the Hugo Award
"A very moving, intensely fascinating literary [auto]biography from an extraordinary writer. Thoroughly admirable candor and luminous stylistic precision; the artist as a young man and a memorable picture of an age."
"Absolutely central to any consideration of black manhood. . . . Delany's vision of the necessity for total social and political transformation is revolutionary."
--Hazel Carby, Race Men
"The prose of The Motion of Light in Water often has the shimmering beauty of the title itself. . . . This book is invaluable gay history."