Samuel Delany

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try hogg next, then. no thrown bones in that one.

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Sunday, 14 August 2011 19:04 (eight years ago) link

Finally reading Auden's Dyer's Hand, which is everything Motion of Light in Water made it out to be and more -- the secondhand quote that Delany gives from it is golden -- and really perfect for Motion..., which is one of my fav Delany books, and fav. works of literary autobiography full stop. There's so many scenes that I remember really clearly from it -- the pockets thing, for example!

s.clover, Thursday, 18 August 2011 18:12 (eight years ago) link

a tour of a planet from the other set of aliens (the Family?)

as i understand it, the sygn and family don't exactly work like this ... you might be reading it a bit too much like star trek. the sygn and the family are names for philosophies, not rigid political groups like the federation and klingons.

i forget whether it's the north or the south where humans and evelm don't get along, but in that half of the world you might say the family philosophy is predominant - you are a human first, or an evelm first, and you find strength in that mentality.

in the sygn communities you are a free thinking subject first, and you sort of choose your family or define it as you see it, and your identity (racial, gender, cultural, whatever) comes second.

mr peabody (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 18 August 2011 18:45 (eight years ago) link

he is one of my favorite authors and i found him really tedious. i posted a thread about going to see him, it was an awful experience. he mostly talked about discovering he was bisexual, how he got into cruising times square porn theatres, and the gradual erosion of our shared times square porn theatre cultural heritage.

if you are a bicurious or a queer theory grad student you might find it highly stimulating? but as a sci fi fan, or just for kicks, no.

mr peabody (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 18 August 2011 18:50 (eight years ago) link


Jung Danjah (admrl), Thursday, 18 August 2011 18:51 (eight years ago) link

. this is in part due to a bit which isn't particularly central to the thrust of the book in itself, that part in the opening section where rat (?) finds a mental implant that lets him read/experience the entire western canon in seconds

this *is* central to the thrust of the book itself

mr peabody (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 18 August 2011 18:52 (eight years ago) link

he's one of martin skidmore's favorite authors. the guy doing martin's funeral service today read from something martin wrote about dhalgren, which i found really moving. it was martin's favorite book.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 18 August 2011 19:23 (eight years ago) link

really want to hear sam delaney monologuing about cruising

plax (ico), Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:39 (eight years ago) link

i found it hard to follow because a lot of it was in reference to cruising scenes in post-70s delany i hadn't read.

mr peabody (moonship journey to baja), Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:28 (eight years ago) link

i really want to read some more delaney, when i was in america you could pick up cheap paperbacks by him really easily but over here he's p hard to come by

plax (ico), Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:31 (eight years ago) link

really want to hear sam delaney monologuing about cruising

― plax (ico), Thursday, August 18, 2011

there's a whole book about this btw

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Friday, 19 August 2011 01:04 (eight years ago) link

yeah, baja's summary of the event sounds a lot like 'times square red, times square blue'

thomp, Friday, 19 August 2011 01:21 (eight years ago) link

that was the book!

mr peabody (moonship journey to baja), Friday, 19 August 2011 01:42 (eight years ago) link

I haven't read Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, but his book The Mad Man features a lot of cruising, the porn theatres are involved too, the book also documents the impact of AIDS on the gay community. The way Delany describes them, those porn theatres were really home to a kind of exchange and communication that is seldom seen nowadays, I'm not a queer theorist though.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Friday, 19 August 2011 11:54 (eight years ago) link

that's the thesis of times square blue (which is the second half of 'times square red...', the first ('times square red', natch) being a memoir of them): that the sexual motivation to go into those locales actually underscored and expedited a whole raft of non-sexual contact up and down the social scale, & that in 'cleaning up' times square (& in similar efforts elsewhere) we're making movement lateral to one's class boundaries much less likely. i don't know in what form it creeps into the novel; never found a copy of 'the mad man'. (almost wrote 'mad men'.)

thomp, Friday, 19 August 2011 12:00 (eight years ago) link

I think that argument is certainly a big part of the mad man novel. I should really give times square red, time square blue a read.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Friday, 19 August 2011 12:23 (eight years ago) link

seven months pass...
three months pass...

found a copy of 'the mad man'

thomp, Sunday, 29 July 2012 19:02 (seven years ago) link

nice! let us know how it is, i've never read it.

i've started on my draft of "the splendor and misery of bodies, of cities", brian herbert and kevin j anderson style

the late great, Sunday, 29 July 2012 19:08 (seven years ago) link

i'm at the part where rat and marq sneak into the xlv fleet and commandeer a stolen experimental fighter, it turns out that the rings of vondramach okk allow rat to interface w/ xlv biocomputers!

the late great, Sunday, 29 July 2012 19:09 (seven years ago) link

making movement lateral to one's class boundaries much less likely reminds me of Charlie Haden and others on living in 60s Lower East Side tenements, all those artists in dif genres and media in same bldgs--plus a lot of other characters--this way on into late 70s too

dow, Monday, 30 July 2012 00:43 (seven years ago) link

Not only easier to speak of, but it also has its real importance -- important enough so that when such encounters as the above three -- as opposed to any of the others I've described -- cease, one seeks out other cruising grounds. Several times since high school I've abandoned one area of the city for another, when forces I will never comprehend drive down the number of such accessible, satisfying exchanges, whose satisfaction is always, Sam, measured on a (or on several) scale(s) more complex than the sexual. Yet, in all cases, a dismal, gray and unresponsive ground is the incomprehensible template against which they occur, not throwing themselves into relief so much as providing a necessary obscurity to their outlines, making them bearable, even possible (making them hard of impossible for we who indulge in them to speak of in any terms save the sexual, even as they are, in their actuality, wholly social), in a world that largely denies they exist.

thomp, Monday, 6 August 2012 21:00 (seven years ago) link

which is to say that the mad man has its elements of elegy for the cruising scene too, though the action (structure?) of the novel is weirdly orthogonal to that.


Man, I'm just finishing up The Mad Man(took me 5 months wtf?! I've been busy). Insane book, really, but Delany really knows how to challenge and reward I think, just as you're becoming insensitive to some bloke shitting all over another blokes face whilst a group of other guys are jacking off all over the guy who is getting shitted on, he throws you a bone. Fantastic.

― historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Sunday, 14 August 2011 13:24 (11 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this seems like a really weird way to be reading this. ('that movie deep throat really manages challenge and reward the viewer, it's amazing how much you want to get to the end of the next blowjob..')

(weird how the rhythms of pornography are still deducible, compelling even if it's pornography you find (abhorrent? not to your taste? well, maybe reading some-hundred pages of it is enough to make it more the latter and not the former) -- either that or i secretly long to have homeless new yorkers of the 80s excrete in my mouth -- delany's reliance on parentheticals is both contagious and compelling.


i read this over like 72 hours, which is the quickest i've read anything of equivalent .. length, density .. in a while.


want to say something about the intersection of different narrative styles (campus novel, detective novel) with the novel's pornotopia, also the different characters as different biographical displacements of delany, also the enjoyably (deliberately?) stilted moments of dialogue common to all delany's 'serious' work. on the other hand, don't want to burn myself out when i will probably start in the valley of the nest of spiders tomorrow

thomp, Monday, 6 August 2012 21:28 (seven years ago) link

I found a used paperback of The Mad Man in a store in Gainesville in 2001. In the SF section, natch. brought it home and discovered a $20 bill in the middle. Like you, thomp, I couldn't put the book down and read it in the course of a few days. There was an element of tourism I'm sure, as a straight male on the vanilla end of the spectrum, but that was far from the only driver. It really is an amazing book.

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 7 August 2012 15:55 (seven years ago) link

Mad ol' me, have an unread copy of this since since '07. Will get onto it ASAP.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 7 August 2012 22:07 (seven years ago) link

on the other hand, i flicked ahead to see quite how long the first truck stop bathroom sex scene in ...spiders goes on for, and put the book down, and haven't picked it up again yet.

thomp, Thursday, 9 August 2012 10:57 (seven years ago) link

(it goes on for a lot of pages.)

thomp, Thursday, 9 August 2012 10:57 (seven years ago) link

god i wish he'd finished splendor and misery, i liked stars in my pocket sooo much. i've been keeping my eyes peeled for more but there's only one used book store in town and the only time i went there i overheard the owner slumped over his computer and grumbling "goddamn fucking faggots" and i haven't been back.

only other book i've read was dhalgren. where should i go from there if i'm going to shell out some internet dollars?

arby's, Monday, 13 August 2012 22:34 (seven years ago) link

Triton, Driftglass (short story collection with his best short work), Tales of Neveryon, Nova. If you like ToN, there are three more volumes in that series.

I think I'm going to go ahead and buy Nest of Spiders now in the 1st edition. I read the missing chapter online and it's just a couple of pages. Plus, with Delany's bad luck with publishers lately, I worry they'll go out of business before they ever come out with another printing.

Romney's Kitchen Nightmares (WmC), Monday, 13 August 2012 23:39 (seven years ago) link

Not an expert either, but you might try Triton, Nova and The Complete Nebula Award-Winning Fiction of Samuel R. Delaney (compiled in miid-80s,good used copies easy to find online)
Combined edition of two novels and two short stories which won the Nebula Award. Babel - 17 (winner, 1966 Nebula, 1995 James Tiptree, Jr. Award, Classics; nominated, 1967 Hugo Award; 1975 Locus Poll Award, All-Time Best Novel (Place: 36)); A Fabulous, Formless Darkness (original title The Einstein Intersection) (winner, 1967 Nebula Award; nominated, 1968 Hugo Award); Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones (winner, 1969 Nebula Award, 1970 Hugo Award); Aye, and Gomorrah (winner, 1967 Nebula Award; nominated, 1968 Hugo Award).

dow, Monday, 13 August 2012 23:47 (seven years ago) link


einstein intersection!

drift glass seconded.

the late great, Monday, 13 August 2012 23:47 (seven years ago) link

iirc there is a complete short sci fi that's sweet

the late great, Monday, 13 August 2012 23:48 (seven years ago) link

that's...a lotta stuff! thanks y'all. with school starting in a few weeks i'll scarcely read a thing for the next nine months :[

arby's, Monday, 13 August 2012 23:50 (seven years ago) link

Try the short stories when you can catch a breath, usually works for me

dow, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 00:11 (seven years ago) link

The Neveryon stuff is fucking great. Also, it starts out broken up into novella-like chunks which may aid in digestibility...

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 14 August 2012 15:23 (seven years ago) link

ten months pass...

haven't read a word of this guy... saw him read from his Times Square nonfic book before a showing of an early '70s gay porn film tonight.

He's kinda bored by gay marriage. "Tolerance, not assimilation" is the key to advancing civilization, he said.

playwright Greg Marlowe, secretly in love with Mary (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 7 July 2013 07:33 (six years ago) link

every time this gets revived now i'm worried that he's ill or dead.

what was the film?

the bitcoin comic (thomp), Sunday, 7 July 2013 07:43 (six years ago) link

also is there another delany thread we alternate with because i swear i remember talking about all the piss-drinking in 'through the valley ...'

the bitcoin comic (thomp), Sunday, 7 July 2013 07:56 (six years ago) link

ask sam delany a question?

WilliamC, Sunday, 7 July 2013 12:38 (six years ago) link

ah yeah

i better not get any (thomp), Sunday, 7 July 2013 15:02 (six years ago) link

film was The Back Row

playwright Greg Marlowe, secretly in love with Mary (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 7 July 2013 16:50 (six years ago) link

I have no idea whether to recommend Delany to you, Morbs -- either the sf or the porn.

WilliamC, Sunday, 7 July 2013 17:02 (six years ago) link

I just reread his Times Square book in may.

Thelema & Louise (Jon Lewis), Sunday, 7 July 2013 23:24 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

I recently started reading the tales of neveryon, i'm generally not a fan of short stories but since they're all set in neveryon, i'm interested in how the stories are going to relate to each other and if it's all going to fit together somehow.

whos next with plex (prettylikealaindelon), Thursday, 22 August 2013 11:38 (six years ago) link

five months pass...

saw him speak at the university of chicago for the second time tonight (he's just ending a visiting professorship). it was mostly sort of autobiographical this time; he told a great story about hooking up with a senegalese prince in paris in the mid-60s. i got him to sign my copy of trouble on triton

1staethyr, Saturday, 1 February 2014 03:52 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

72nd birthday today

Babby's on fiber (WilliamC), Tuesday, 1 April 2014 20:48 (five years ago) link

The only one of his novels I have unequivocally enjoyed was Babel-17, of which the ebook is on sale for $1.99 today- as has been noted before, both Shakey and I find his style maddening - but the critical writings I have read from him are grebt.

tl;dr5-49 (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 12 April 2014 20:25 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Good (first half of an) interview:

He was also interviewed by Gary Wolfe for the Coode Street Podcast — — but it seemed a bit lightweight and inessential. Getting a bit of press/doing a bit of promotional work for the new Vintage edition of three early novels.

dart scar rashes (WilliamC), Friday, 24 July 2015 15:45 (four years ago) link

i have a book of interviews with him and it is endlessly fascinating even when he repeats himself over the years.

scott seward, Friday, 24 July 2015 19:01 (four years ago) link

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