Samuel R. Delaney

Samuel R. "Chip" Delaney is a noted science-fiction author. One of his most famous novels is "Dahlgren," an apocalyptic tale which received rave reviews in 1975.. The bisexual theme of the novel clearly reflects its author's private life. He was born in New York City on April 1, 1942. His family owned a mortuary in Harlem. As a child, he was reportedly fascinated with math and science as well as books, theatre, and music. At age ten, he discovered his major sexual preference was homosexual. His mother's discovery of a binder of his masturbatory fantasies led to a round of psychotherapy. He attended the Bronx High School of Science but also wrote his first novel at age 13 and composed music (including a symphony).

In 1961, Delaney married the talented young poet Marilyn Hacker. They had to travel to Michigan to get married because of laws against miscegenation and different age of consent laws for men and women. Hacker knew of Delaney's homosexuality but they had become sexually intimate and she was impregnated. This is what led to the decision to marry. They divorced in 1980.

Delaney's first novel was The Jewels of Aptor. By age 26, he had won four Nebula Awards, though he made little money from any of these works. In 1967, he briefly explored a career as a musician and performed with the band Heavenly Breakfast. When he returned to science fiction in 1970, his books became more intellectually challenging. Dahlgren was followed by Triton: An Ambiguous Herotopia in 1976. It was received both as a masterpiece and as unreadable in its depiction of a future where sexual difference is the norm. His Neveryon series included parallels with the AIDS crisis. He has been quite influential in science fiction - a remarkable achievement considering his "outsider" status as a gay, African-American man. He made the keynote addresses at the 1991 International Gay and Lesbian Studies Conference and at the 1993 Outwrite convention

In his 1988 memoir, The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965, Delaney describes the subterranean sexual life on the streets of New York and his nocturnal visits to cruise among the trucks parked on the waterfront at Christopher Street.

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