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Samuel R. Delany collection

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Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Samuel R. Delany, born April 1, 1942, in New York City, is an author, editor, professor, and literary critic, noted for his work in the science fiction genre. Delaney's writing is often characterized by his interest in gender, sexual orientation, race, and social issues.

Delany identified as a gay black male, but for twelve years, he remained married to the poet Marilyn Hacker, whom he met in high school. During their marriage, the couple raised a daughter and co-edited a short-lived magazine

Quark , which had a print-run of four issues in the early 1970s. Delany has also edited Nebula Winners Thirteen , and many of his shorter pieces have circulated through numerous science fiction periodicals, anthologies, and collections.

Delany’s literary career began at the age of 20 with the publication of his first novel,

The Jewels of Aptor . Shortly thereafter, he published several more successful novels of science fiction that gained both literary acclaim as well as praise from writers of the sci-fi genre. Delany's science fiction, widely regarded as literary, carried many themes that raised questions of identity for individuals within the conventions of society. Specific lines of inquiry dealt with social and sexual politics as many of Delany’s characters were seen as representing women’s rights, gay rights, and racial equality. Established as an innovator in science fiction of the 1960s, Delany’s work has appeared in various forms of print media, and his talent and interests moved him beyond the boundaries of genre where he published non-fiction, literary criticism, film and book reviews, comic books, and transgressive literature.

Delany’s works of non-fiction explored a variety of subjects related to social causes and conditions. In his 1979 memoir,

Heavenly Breakfast , he related his own particular "summer of love" in 1967 while living at the time in a New York City commune. His award-winning 1988 memoir, The Motion of Light in Water , was based on the author’s reflections as a gay science fiction writer. Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999) described New York City's pornographic movie theaters and the eventual displacement of this sexual landscape in Time’s Square. Delany’s autobiographical work also took the form of a comic book in Bread & Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York .

Delany’s writing not only addressed social themes but raised questions about language, which is to say, how language "connects and constrains" the thought patterns of individuals within society, how myth and archetype influence reality, and how reality shifts depending on perceived experience through language. The depth and complexity of Delany's novels have attracted numerous scholars who have written book-length studies about Delany and his work. Delany's critical studies have peered into the language of science fiction through the lens of post-structuralism and semiotics, which has resulted in his work being well-received by the literary world. Since the late 1990s, Delany has taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, SUNY Buffalo, and Temple University.

"Samuel R. Delany." Contemporary Authors Online reproduced in Literature Resource Center. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC (accessed April 2010).

The Samuel R. Delany collection includes correspondence to publisher Bill Bamberger (Bamberger Books in Flint, Michigan), manuscript drafts of novels in progress, comic books, science fiction anthologies, and journals of fantasy and science fiction in which Delany provided contributions or served as editor.

Delany’s fourteen letters to Bamberger covered subjects that were both professional and personal. After permitting the reprinting of his book,

Heavenly Breakfast , Delany mentioned possible changes. The letters continued to discuss other writing projects while also delving into other topics, such as social politics, sexuality, and writing. Delany offered personal information about his past, described a fire that occurred in his apartment building, and discussed a conference he attended in Boston on gay writers.

The working titles of Delany’s manuscripts are

American Shore 1 , International Short Story , Heavenly Breakfast , The Politics of Paraliterary Criticism , Shadow and Ash , Notes on the Star-Pit , Tale of Gorgik , Tale of Norema , and Three, Two, One, Contact: Times Square Red, 1997 . The manuscripts cover all stages of the writing process and include many original typescripts that contain extensive holographic corrections, penned by both Delany and fellow science fiction writer Joanna Russ.

The printed materials of this collection include many first editions, comic books, anthologies, five periodicals edited by Delany, sixteen periodicals that include his contributions, and articles written about Delany.

  1. Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons.

Purchase, September 2006.

Processed and encoded by Christopher La Casse, April 2010.

Publisher
University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 April 9
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec

Collection Inventory

Letters to Bill Bamberger, 1993-1999.
Box 1 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

14 letters from Samuel Delany to publisher Bill Bamberger, of Bamberger Books in Flint, Michigan. Letters primarily concerned the publication of

Heavenly Breakfast , but also discuss other writing projects as well as detailed personal information about the Delany’s personal life and perspective of politics and culture. Also includes "file copy" of letter from Bamberger to Delany and Bamberger's response to Scott McLemee's review of Delany's Longer Views in The Nation . Physical Description

16 items

Clippings and articles, 1996.
Box 1 Folder F2
Scope and Contents

Includes Scott McLemee's review of Delany's

Longer Views . Physical Description

3 items

Scope and Contents

The manuscripts cover all stages of the writing process and include many original typescripts that contain extensive holographic corrections, penned by both Delany’s and fellow science fiction writer, Joanna Russ.

American Shore 1, circa 1977.
Box 1 Folder F3
Scope and Contents

Original corrected typescript, early draft 4 to 253 pages. Extensive holographic corrections with type revision slips inserted.

American Shore 2, circa 1977.
Box 1 Folder F4
Scope and Contents

Original corrected typescript, early draft 4 to 319 pages to be used as a setting copy for Dragon Press.

American Shore 3, circa 1977.
Box 1 Folder F5
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of page proofs. Eighteen copies were made for his students at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Tale of Gorgik, 1976-1977.
Box 1 Folder F6
Scope and Contents

One of two stories housed in custom-made, half-cloth slipcase box. Includes original corrected typescripts of

Tale of Gorgik , pages 4 to 64. Typescript contains extensive holograph corrections with additional corrections written by Joanna Russ.
Tale of Norema, circa 1977.
Box 1 Folder F6
Scope and Contents

One of two stories housed in custom-made, half-cloth slipcase box. Includes original corrected typescripts of

Tale of Norema , pages 4 to 80. Typescript contains extensive holograph corrections with additional corrections written by Joanna Russ.
Times Square Blue, 1979.
Box 1 Folder F7
Heavenly Breakfast, 1979.
Box 1 Folder F8
Scope and Contents

Author's corrected copy with minor ink and white-out markings. Used as the corrected text for the revised edition of the book. Includes original mailing envelop.

Shadow and Ash, 1992.
Box 1 Folder F9
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of publisher's page proofs including author's holograph corrections reproduced in facsimile. Also includes pages 4 to 30.

The Politics of Paraliterary Criticism, 1996.
Box 1 Folder F10
Scope and Contents

Original laser-printed typescript including pages 1 to 56.

… Three, Two, One, Contact: Times Square Red, 1997, 1997.
Box 1 Folder F11
Scope and Contents

Original laser-printed typescript includes pages 1 to 72.

Notes on theStar-Pit, 1998.
Box 1 Folder F12
Scope and Contents

Original laser-printed typescript including pages 1 to 11. "The Star-Pit was first broadcast by The Mind's Eye Theater over WBAI-FM in New York City, November 1967."

Language and the City: Art and Revolution: 1848, circa 1999.
Box 1 Folder F13
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of syllabus taught at the University of Massachusetts.

International Short Story, 1999.
Box 1 Folder F14
Scope and Contents

Original syllabus for a course taught by Samuel R. Delany at the University of Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents

The printed materials of this collection include many first editions, comic books, anthologies, 6 books edited by Delany, 16 periodicals that include Delany’s contributions, and two journals that include articles written about Delany.

"Corona,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 33, No. 4, October 1967.
Box 1 Folder F15
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Gregory Corso in Athens,"Riverside Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1967.
Box 1 Folder F16
Scope and Contents

Poem.

"Driftglass,"Worlds of IF: Science Fiction, Vol. 17, No. 6, 1967.
Box 1 Folder F17
Scope and Contents

Story.

"The Star-Pit,"Worlds of Tomorrow, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1967.
Box 1 Folder F18
Scope and Contents

Short novel.

"Power of the Nail,"Amazing Stories, Vol. 42, No. 4, 1968.
Box 1 Folder F19
Scope and Contents

Story co-authored with Harlan Ellison. Issue also includes Delany's review of

Black Easter by James Blish.
Review,The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 34, No. 1, January 1968.
Box 1 Folder F20
Scope and Contents

Review of "I have no mouth & I must scream," by Harlan Ellison.

"Lines of Power,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 34, No. 5, May 1968.
Box 1 Folder F21
Scope and Contents

Story.

"2001: A Space Odyssey,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 35, No. 2, August 1968.
Box 1 Folder F22
Scope and Contents

Film review.

"Cage of Brass,"Worlds of IF: Science Fiction, Vol. 18, No. 6, June 1968.
Box 1 Folder F23
Scope and Contents

Story.

"High Weir,"Worlds of IF: Science Fiction, Vol. 18, No. 10, October 1968.
Box 1 Folder F24
Scope and Contents

Novelette.

"The Illustrated Man,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 37, No. 2, August 1969.
Box 1 Folder F25
Scope and Contents

Film review.

"Barbarella,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 36, No. 2, February 1969.
Box 2 Folder F26
Scope and Contents

Film review.

"They Fly at Ciron,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 40, No. 6, June 1971.
Box 2 Folder F27
Scope and Contents

Novelette, with James Sallis.

"Fangs of Fire,"Wonder Woman, Vol. 31, No 202, 1972.
Box 2 Folder F28
Scope and Contents

Comic book, story by Samuel R. Delany.

"The Grandee Caper,"Wonder Woman, Vol. 31, No 203, 1972.
Box 2 Folder F29
Scope and Contents

Comic book, script by Samuel R. Delany.

"Prismatica,"The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 53, No. 4, October 1977.
Box 2 Folder F30
Scope and Contents

Novelette.

"Teaching Science Fiction: Unique Challenges,"Science-Fiction Studies, Vol. 6, No. 19, 1979.
Box 2 Folder F31
Scope and Contents

Proceedings of the MLA Special Session, New York, December 1978. Participants: Gregory Benford, Samuel R. Delany, Robert Scholes, Alan J. Friedman, and John Woodcock.

Starlog's Science Fiction Yearbook, Vol. 1, 1979.
Box 2 Folder F32
"The Tale of Gorgik,"Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1979.
Box 2 Folder F33
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Seven Moon's Light Casts Complex Shadows,"Epic Illustrated, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1980.
Box 2 Folder F34
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Reflections on Historical Models of Modern English Language Science Fiction,"Science-Fiction Studies, Vol. 7, No. 21, 1980.
Box 2 Folder F35
Scope and Contents

Article.

"In the Once Upon a Time City,"Locus, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1985.
Box 2 Folder F36
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Film/ Pigs (or, at any rate, grunts) in space"Night Cry, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1987.
Box 2 Folder F37
Scope and Contents

Film review of

Aliens .
"The Semiology of Silence,"Science-Fiction Studies, Vol. 14, No. 42, 1987.
Box 2 Folder F38
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Flow, My Tears…Theater and Science Fiction,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 1, September 1988.
Box 2 Folder F39
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Neither the Beginning Nor the End of Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics, or Deconstruction for SF Readers: An Introduction,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 6, February 1989.
Box 2 Folder F40
Scope and Contents

Article; part 1 of 3.

"Neither the Beginning Nor the End of Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics, or Deconstruction for SF Readers: An Introduction,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 7, March 1989.
Box 2 Folder F41
Scope and Contents

Article; part 2 of 3.

"Neither the Beginning Nor the End of Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Semiotics, or Deconstruction for SF Readers: An Introduction,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 8, April 1989.
Box 2 Folder F42
Scope and Contents

Article; part 3 of 3.

"How Not to Teach Science Fiction,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 13, September 1989.
Box 2 Folder F43
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Science and Literature,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 23, July 1990.
Box 2 Folder F44
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Modernism, Postmodernism, Science Fiction,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 24, August 1990.
Box 2 Folder F45
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Life of/and Writing,"New York Review of Science Fiction, No. 26, October 1990.
Box 2 Folder F46
Scope and Contents

Article.

"Corona,"The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, 17th Series. Ace Books, 1968.
Box 2 Folder F47
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Driftglass,"World's Best Science Fiction, 4th Series. An Ace Book, 1968.
Box 2 Folder F48
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones,"World's Best Science Fiction: an anthology of the year's best science fiction stories, 1969.
Box 2 Folder F49
Scope and Contents

Story.

"The Unicorn Tapestry,"New American Review 9. A Signet Book, 1970.
Box 2 Folder F50
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones,"Best SF Stories from New Worlds 7. Panther Science Fiction, 1971.
Box 2 Folder F51
Scope and Contents

Story.

"Driftglass,"World's Best S.F. 1: the Finest Stories of the Year. Sphere Books Limited, 1971.
Box 2 Folder F52
Scope and Contents

Story.

"The Star-Pit,"Alpha 5. Ballantine Books, 1974.
Box 2 Folder F53
Scope and Contents

Story.

"High Weir,"Wondermakers 2. A Fawcett Premier Book, 1974.
Box 2 Folder F54
Scope and Contents

Story.

Gardiner, H. Jane, "Images of The Waste Land in Delany's The Einstein Intersection,"Extrapolution, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1977.
Box 2 Folder F55
Morales, Robert, "Chip Shot (interview),"Heavy Metal, Vol. 6, No. 10, 1983.
Box 2 Folder F56
Vereshagin, David, "Words in Collision: Sex, Science Fiction and Samuel R Delany"Epicene: Canada's Gay News Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1987.
Box 2 Folder F57
Scope and Contents

Cover photograph of Delany.

Quark / 1: a quarterly of speculative fiction. Paperback Library, 1970.
Box 2 Folder F58
Scope and Contents

Edited by Samuel R. Delany and Marilyn Hacker.

Quark / 2, 1971.
Box 2 Folder F58
Scope and Contents

Edited by Samuel R. Delany and Marilyn Hacker.

Quark / 3, 1971.
Box 2 Folder F59
Scope and Contents

Edited by Samuel R. Delany and Marilyn Hacker.

Quark / 4, 1971.
Box 2 Folder F59
Scope and Contents

Edited by Samuel R. Delany and Marilyn Hacker.

Nebula Winners Thirteen. New York: Harper and Row, 1980.
Box 2 Folder F60
Scope and Contents

Review copy; published February 6, 1980. Edited by Samuel R. Delany.

Nebula Winners Thirteen. Bantam Books, 1981.
Box 2 Folder F61
Scope and Contents

Paperback edition. Edited by Samuel R. Delany.

Physical Description

3 items

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand(Bantam), circa 1984.
Box 2 Folder F62
The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965, circa 1987.
Box 2 Folder F62
The Bridge of Lost Desire(Arbor House), circa 1988.
Box 2 Folder F62

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