Book of the Week: 04/08 - 04/14



By: Samuel R. Delany

In 1975, Bantam Books released Dahlgren to much critical acclaim and commercial success. Yet today, it’s known as a very difficult novel, told in a stream-of-consciousness style by an unreliable, amnesiac protagonist nicknamed Kid. With graphic depictions of a variety of sexualities and an inconsistent narrative, to say the least, it’s not for the faint of heart—and is still considered controversial, a feat for a book over 40 years old. But readers who are looking for a challenge will be rewarded with this seminal work of Afrofuturism that stands the test of time, remaining both impossibly modern and downright trippy.

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As an African American raised in Harlem and educated in some of the most prestigious schools in New York City, Samuel R. “Chip” Delany has to his credit more than 20 novels and numerous collections of short stories, memoirs, and critical essays on the writing of science fiction. Since the 1962 publication of The Jewels of Aptor when he was 20 years old, Delany has been increasingly recognized as one of the stylistic pioneers of science fiction writing; his short stories and novels have received many honors, including the distinguished Hugo and Nebula awards. Author Felice Picano, writing in Publishing Triangle,noted that it is “difficult to assess Delany’s influence upon science fiction writers and readers and equally difficult to assess how deeply and widely he has influenced all of literature’s openness to the world of gay men and to people of color.”