Samuel R. Delaney is an American author, literary critic, and professor of English and creative writing. By the age of 27, Delany had won four Nebula Awards and a Hugo Award. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2002. And in 2013, he was named the 31st Damon Knight Memorial Foundation Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Delany is best known for his sci-fi and fantasy tales, which often explore themes of race, sexuality, and social identity. Some of his most notable works include Babel-17 (1966), The Einstein Intersection (1967), and Dhalgren (1974), all of which won the Nebula Award for Best Novel.
He has also written non-fiction works, such as The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction (1977) and Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999).
Samuel R. Delaney is also known as Samuel Delany or Chip Delany.
Samuel R. Delany was born in New York and grew up in Harlem. He attended the Dalton School and regularly spent summers at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia from 1951 through 1956. Later, he was selected to participate in Camp Rising Sun, the Louis August Jonas Foundation's international summer scholarship program, during his time at the merit-based Bronx High School of Science.
Delany's passion for writing emerged early on, his first short story, Salt, appeared in the literary magazine Dynamo, published by Bronx Science, in 1960.
In 1961, Delany persevered and married translator Marilyn Hacker. The couple settled in New York's East Village neighborhood at 629 East 5th Street. Hacker was an assistant editor at Ace Books and played a crucial role in Delany's literary career. She helped him become a published science fiction author at the young age of 20. Delany debuted with The Jewels of Aptor shortly after dropping out of the City College of New York after a single semester.
His subsequent work was the The Fall of the Towers trilogy, followed by The Ballad of Beta-2 and Babel-17. This trilogy made him renowned and brought him literary success.
Outside of writing, Delaney has also advocated for LGBT rights and served on the board of directors for the Lambda Literary Foundation. One of his latest, Big Joe (2021), illustrated by Drake Carr and Sabrina Bockler, became a Lambda Award winner in 2022.
Professor Samuel R. Delany taught literature and creative writing at the University of Massachusetts and Temple University but retired at the end of 2015.
Samuel R. Delaney lives in Philadelphia with his partner, Dennis Rickett.
Photo credit: www.samueldelany.com