Monday, October 01, 2007

Samuel Delany on Tuesday

Ryan C. forwarded the following email from Big Rod about a special Samuel R. Delany (at right, VCU) reading and talk tomorrow evening (Tuesday, October 2, 2007):

The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings

South Street Seaport Museum presents
Samuel R. Delany
The 40th Anniversary Celebration of The Star Pit

Tuesday, Oct 2nd -- Doors open 6:30 PM
Free Admission -- $5 donation if possible
South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery
213 Water Street
(directions and links below)

"Two glass panes with dirt between and little tunnels from cell to cell: when
I was a kid I had an ant colony."
-- The Star Pit

Some 40 years ago, Samuel R. Delany narrated a radio adaptation of his Hugo-nominated novella, The Star Pit, for The Mind's Eye Theatre, Baird Searles' ongoing series of radio dramas at New York's listener-sponsored WBAI-FM.� We will celebrate the 40th anniversary of this landmark broadcast with a talk by Delany about the making of the radio drama, and a performance of segments from the original work.

The Star Pit was first published in the February, 1967, issue of Worlds of Tomorrow and subsequently nominated for the Hugo Award. The ensuing radio drama was a landmark: A sophisticated science fiction tale brought to the airwaves a decade after most radio stations had given up on drama altogether.

Samuel R. Delany was a published science fiction author by the age of 20, and quickly became recognized as one of the most prominent figures in literary speculative fiction. He published nine well-regarded science fiction novels between 1962 and 1968, as well as several prize-winning short stories (collected in Driftglass [1971] and more recently in Aye, and Gomorrah, and Other Stories [2002]). Among his most important novels are The Einstein Intersection, Nova, and Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand.� His tenth and most popular novel, Dhalgren, was published in 1975. His main literary project through the late 1970s and 1980s was the four-volume Return to Nevèrÿon series.

Delany has published several autobiographical/semi-autobiographical accounts of his life as a black and gay writer, including his Hugo award-winning autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water. He is also the subject of a recent film documentary, "The Polymath, or The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman."

Since 1988, Delany has been a professor at several universities. He spent 11 years as a professor of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a year and a half as an English professor at the University at Buffalo, then moved to the English Department of Temple University in 2001, where he has been teaching ever since. He has also published several books of criticism, interviews, and essays, and a best-selling book, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999), about the effort to redevelop Times Square and what it means for working-class gay men in New York City.

Press coverage:

The New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series is in its 19th season of providing performances from some of the best writers in science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, etc. (The magazine has just published its 20th anniversary issue.) The series takes place the first Tuesday of every month at the South Street Seaport's Melville Gallery, 213 Water Street. Admission is free, but $5 donations are encouraged to offset costs and buy dinner for the
readers. The producer and executive curator is radio producer and talk show host Jim Freund.

Review of last event
Tuesday, 10/2/07
Doors open at 6:30 -- readings begin at 7

The South Street Seaport Museum's Melville Gallery
213 Water Street� (near Beekman),+New+York,+NY

By Subway
Take 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, or M to Fulton Street; A and C to
Broadway-Nassau. Walk east on Fulton Street to Water Street

By Bus
Take M15 (South Ferry-bound) down Second Ave. to Fulton Street

By Car
• From the West Side: take West Street southbound. Follow signs to FDR
Drive Take underpass, keep right - use Exit 1 at end of underpass. Turn
right on South Street, six blocks.
• From the East Side, take FDR Drive south to Exit 3 onto South Street


  1. My first introduction to Delany was watching C-Span where he was part of a panel with other black gay authors. Other than a brilliant writer, he looks like a pretty nice guy.

  2. Bronzebuckaroo, he is both brilliant and very nice. Very approachable. He's written some of my favorite books of all time. If you ever have a chance to hear him read live and meet him, definitely do so.

  3. I do want the opportunity to present itself one of these days. :-)
    Then, maybe I should be happy with reading his work and my conjectures of him--a fear of being disillusioned I guess.