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Samuel R. Delany (Samuel Ray Delany) Biography

(1942– ), (Samuel Ray Delany), The Jewels of Aptor, The Fall of the Towers, Babel-17

city fiction science novels

American novelist and critic, born in New York City where he was educated at City College. His career began in the early 1960s with a number of science fiction novels in which space opera conventions were transformed by a baroque style. Most notable of these were The Jewels of Aptor (1962); the three novels assembled as The Fall of the Towers (1970); Babel-17 (1966), whose linguistic speculations foreshadowed much of Delany's later criticism; and The Einstein Intersection (1967). From Nova (1968), one of his most sustained space operas, Delany's output became more ambitious. Dhalgren (1975), an experimental novel set in a ruined city, was followed by Triton (1976) and Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand (1984). His criticism, collected in The Jewel-Hinged Jaw (1977), The American Shore (1978), Starboard Wine (1984), and The Straits of Messina (1989), applies the methods of contemporary European theorists to the mapping of science fiction as a conceptually distinct genre.

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