"samuel delany"

Samuel Delany's 1977 Star Wars review: why is the future so damned white and male?

Samuel Delany (previously) is one of science fiction's titans, a pioneer who was the first openly gay writer in the field, as well as one of the first Black science fiction writers to attain prominence. Read the rest

An appreciation for Samuel Delany

Samuel R "Chip" Delany is a science fiction pioneer: a brilliant literary stylist with dazzling ideas who was one of the field's first openly queer writers, and one of the first Black writers accepted into the field. He is one of the fathers of afrofuturism. Read the rest

Humble Bundle Nebula Showcase: great, DRM-free science fiction, benifitting the Science Fiction Writers of America

The latest Humble Bundle features dozens of Nebula-winning and Nebula-nominated novels and short stories from past and present, everyone from Octavia Butler and Ursula K Leguin to Samuel Delany and John Brunner, to say nothing of Kate Wilhelm, Joanna Russ, and four titles from Serial Box. Read the rest

Fantastic fiction needs your help

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel, held on the third Wednesday of every month at the famous KGB Bar in Manhattan. They are looking to fund several more years of their popular reading series via a Kickstarter fundraiser, running from May 17th through June 14th, 2017. Read the rest

Read: The full run of If magazine, scanned at the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive's amazing Pulp Magazine Archive includes all 176 issues of If, a classic science fiction magazine that ran from 1952 to 1974. Read the rest

Newly discovered WEB Du Bois science fiction story reveals more Afrofuturist history

NAACP founder WEB Du Bois wasn't just a committed, effective activist for the rights of black people in America: he was also a prolific author of early 20th century science fiction and fantasy stories. Read the rest

Ian McDonald's "Luna: New Moon" - the moon is a much, much harsher mistress

We've projected our political and spiritual longings on the Moon since antiquity, and it's been a talismanic home to science fiction's most ambitious dreams for generations. But no one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one's Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible as Luna: New Moon.

Podcast: Ian McDonald talks about Luna: New Moon (also coming to CBS!)

Science fiction titan Ian McDonald's forthcoming novel Luna: New Moon is the subject of the latest installment of the always-great Coode Street podcast (MP3). Read the rest

Check out these cool new videos on Boing Boing's video page

We've gathered fresh video for you to surf and enjoy on the Boing Boing video page:

• Nine animated shorts about our relationship with cars during the Golden Age of the automobile. • Police in England are seeking two Oompa Loompas who attacked a man leaving a kebab house. • The surreality of slit-scan video as created with a Slit-Scan Movie Maker app. • Samuel Delany reading from his latest, 2012's Through The Valley of the Nest of Spiders. • Oppa Mongolian Style! PSY's viral hit remade in Mongolia. • Smart mice doing tricks.

Boing Boing: Video! Read the rest

Samuel Delany reads from Through The Valley of the Nest of Spiders

Here's a video of Samuel Delany reading from his latest, 2012's Through The Valley of the Nest of Spiders.

When Gloria Steinem and Samuel Delany clashed over Wonder Woman

Ann Matsuuchi's paper Wonder Woman Wears Pants: Wonder Woman, Feminism and the 1972 “Women’s Lib” Issue [PDF], published in Monash University's journal Colloquy, looks at the weird history of the Wonder Woman arc that Samuel Delany wrote, which was meant to culminate with Wonder Woman confronting anti-abortion demonstrators, and which was killed by Gloria Steinem, who didn't know where things were headed, but hated the fact that Delany had taken away Wonder Woman's traditional costume.

I came up with a six-issue story arc, each with a different villain: the first was a corrupt department store owner; the second was the head of a supermarket chain who tries to squash a women's food co- operative. Another villain was a college advisor who really felt a woman's place was in the home and who assumed if you were a bright woman, then something was probably wrong with you psychologically, and so forth. It worked up to a gang of male thugs trying to squash an abortion clinic staffed by women surgeons. And Wonder Woman was going to do battle with each of these and triumph. [Samuel Delany]

Delany’s fictional approach here considers, never assumes, the politics that inform daily life: how we eat, sleep and fuck. These mundane issues rarely arise in the universe of comic book superheroes. Wonder Woman faces an immediate need to “sell out” in order to support herself. The story proceeds in a manner that is at times as blunt and didactic as the traditional comic books often were, but identity and its formation is questioned here in a manner tied materially to everyday life.

Read the rest

An interview with China Miéville

Photo: Ceridwen (cc)

China Miéville is one of the most important writers working in Britain today. The author of ten novels of "weird fiction"—as well as short stories, comics, non-fiction, a roleplaying game, and academic writing on law and ideology—his 2011 science fiction novel Embassytown was acclaimed by Ursula K le Guin, among others, as "a fully achieved work of art" busy "bringing the craft of science fiction out of the backwaters".

We share the same British publisher, Pan Macmillan, and so—ahead of the publication on May 24 of his newest book, Railsea, a fantastical novel set in a world whose "seas" are an endless web of railway lines—I spent an hour with him discussing fiction, fantasy, giant moles, and the limits of contemporary geekdom. Read the rest

Sample chapter from Samuel Delany's forthcoming Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders

Will sez, "I thought you'd be interested in this chapter from Samuel R. Delany's much-anticipated new book, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders the story of a decades-long interracial romance between two men on the Georgia coast."

Barbara said, "That's a lot of trouble."

"Ain't no trouble at all," Jay said. "It's nice out on Gilead. Next time you get a day off, we should take you both. Cook hamburgers and hotdogs on the back deck. Bring that boyfriend of yours, Mr. Bodin, out, if y'all can stand us for an afternoon."

"Oh, Mom--come on! I'm seventeen, now. I wanna go out there. Today--tonight! Please?"

Jay said, "He ain't got to be back at work with Dynamite on the garbage run till Tuesday. The boy can come on out and see the place. We ain't gonna let him stay up all night, believe me. We're up and movin' by four-thirty--we'll have him back here when you get in for your shift. And we'll give you a call."

Twenty feet away, below the shingle, the sea made the sound of something rushing off somewhere, even while late-summer waves moved in toward grass, sand, and rock. At the world's rim, an elongated gray-green scab crossed part of the horizon, one end thicker than the other: Gilead Island.

Delany is one of science fiction's greatest masters, and this is indeed a long-anticipated work.

Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders (Thanks, Will!)

(Image: Samuel R. Delany "The Star Pit" 40th Anniversary 2007-10-02, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) Read the rest

Blogs of this year's Clarion sf writers' workshop students

Alex Wilson, a student at the legendary Clarion science fiction writers' workshop, has posted a roundup of the blogs of this year's Clarion and Clarion West workshops, who are currently at week five of their six-week programs. Clarion is an intensive, boot-camp style workshop, taught by leading professionals, with an excellent track-record of graduating talented, successful writers like Dale Bailey, Octavia Butler, Ben Rosenbaum, Bruce Sterling, Lucius Sheppard and many others. Since the early 90s, many attendees have published running journals or blogs of their Clarion experiences (I did this on the GEnie online service when I attended in 1992).

I was privileged to teach Clarion last year, and to be invited to join the Board of the nonprofit, charitable Clarion Foundation, which oversees the administration of Clarion. This year's instructor lineup includes Samuel Delany, Michael Swanwick, Nancy Kress, Joe and Gay Haldeman (pictured left), Holly Black, Kelly Link, Tobias Buckell and Jim Hines.

Reading Clarion journals is a great way to get a flavor of the workshop and a peek inside the extraordinary learning process that takes place there.

Link to Clarion East journals, Link to Clarion West journals

(Thanks, Alex!)

Read the rest

Samuel Delany radio-play MP3

Leszek sez, "In 1967, WBAI produced a two-hour radio dramatization of Samuel R. Delany's first short piece of SF, 'The Star-Pit', with narration by Delany himself. The URL links to a website where you can download MP3s of the entire show, and also links to a personal history of the creation of the show by Delany." Few science fiction writers are as important or as lyrical as Delany -- what a treat!


(Thanks, Leszek!) Read the rest

Transcript: Octavia Butler's conversation with Delany at MIT

Henry Jenkins of MIT's Comparative Media Studies program has posted a bunch of Octavia Butler related material in Ms Butler's memory. Octavia Butler was the first widely read African American woman science fiction writer, and her works wrapped up complex treatments of gender and race in palatable, fast-paced sf stories. She died on Saturday following a fall, leaving many of us shocked and saddened for the loss of one of literature's strongest, bravest, most inspiring voices.

Jenkins has posted the transcript of two of Butler's appearances at MIT, one a solo act, the other a conversation with novelist Samuel Delany, as well as a sharp essay Jenkins wrote following her visit.

Butler: I don't have access to this kind of thing on computer but, oddly enough, what you're talking about sounds very much like the way I start looking for ideas when I'm not working on anything. Or when I'm just letting myself drift, relax.

I generally have four or five books open around the house--I live alone; I can do this--and they are not books on the same subject. They don't relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I'll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.

Read the rest

Borders interviews Samuel Delany. "Look

Borders interviews Samuel Delany.

"Look at any part of your body (or anybody else's, for that matter), fixed and unwavering -- your face in a mirror, your thigh, your forearm -- and you begin to see the skeleton beneath the skin, the potential for decay and death that underlies all living flesh and sinew. The presence of a hallucinogen in your system can make that a quite spectacular -- and particularly unsettling -- experience.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Thomas!) Read the rest