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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

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Walter John De La Mare Biography to Hilda Doolittle Biography

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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