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Happy Birthday, Samuel R. Delany! Celebrating the Author's 78th

Delany continues to leave his indelible mark on sci-fi.

Today is Grand Master of Science Fiction Samuel R. Delany’s 78th birthday. His brilliant works have brought the complexities of race, sexuality, and society to science fiction and fantasy since he published his first novel—The Jewels of Aptor—in 1962. 

Throughout his career, Delany has won four Nebula Awards, two Hugo Awards, two Lambda Awards, and a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

RELATED: 9 Influential LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors

In the video below from our archives, Delany speaks on the intricacies of his novel Dhalgren, influences from his upbringing, and his thoughts about being the recipient of a Grand Master Award. This interview was recorded in 2014. 

Delany’s novels are written with a highly stylistic and compelling prose, capturing themes of lore, perception, repression, and memory. His works also explore sexuality, boldly standing as explicit works of adult fiction. Delany’s writing underlines the ways in which desire, particularly the desire of marginalized groups, is intertwined with socioeconomics in civilizations from the primitive to the futuristic.

Related: Space Opera Meets Arrival in Samuel R. Delany’s Babel-17

The boundary-expanding genius of Delany isn’t confined to his novels alone. For 40 years, until his 2015 retirement, Delany was a professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Creative Writing at SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Albany, and Temple University. Beyond that, Delany continues to write critical essays centered around science fiction writings.

Samuel R. Delany has made a name for himself as a highly influential and poetic writer of science fiction and fantasy. Broadening the horizons of the genre, Delany also stands as an inspiration for many generations of writers to come. Here’s to his 78th birthday, and to many more years of his wonderful works.

Celebrate this out-of-this-world author by downloading and reading his books below!


By Samuel R. Delany


By Samuel R. Delany

Tales of Nevèrÿon

By Samuel R. Delany


By Samuel R. Delany

Flight from Nevèrÿon

By Samuel R. Delany

Return to Nevèrÿon

By Samuel R. Delany

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

By Samuel R. Delany

The Mad Man

By Samuel R. Delany

The Motion of Light in Water

By Samuel R. Delany

This post is sponsored by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Portalist to celebrate the sci-fi and fantasy stories you love. 

Featured photo: Alchetron

Published on 01 Apr 2020

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