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Dhalgren (Vintage)by Samuel R. Delany
Synopses & Reviews
In Dhalgren, perhaps one of the most profound and bestselling science fiction novels of all time, Samuel R. Delany has produced a novel "to stand with the best American fiction of the 1970s" (Jonathan Lethem).
Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. Something has happened there. The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. And into this disaster zone comes a young man — poet, lover, and adventurer — known only as the Kid. Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, Dhalgren is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.
"A Joycean tour de force of a novel, Dhalgren...stake[s] a better claim than anything published in the country in the last quarter-century (excepting only Gass's Omensetter's Luck and Nabokov's Pale Fire) to a permanent place as one of the enduring monuments of our national literature." The Libertarian Review
"Ultimately, a study in identity and illusion, Delany's huge and difficult novel will interest admirers of Ballard, Pynchon, and the like, though one suspects there's many an unread copy of the original mass market edition floating around." Kirkus Reviews
"Dhalgren features themes of racial identity, religious faith, and self-awareness revealed in a multilayered plot that will be right at home with today's audiences." Library Journal
Journeying to the central United States city of Bellona, where all have fled save madmen and criminals, a poet and adventurer known only as the Kid wonders at the strange portents that appear in the city's cloud-covered sky.
Clans of the Alphane Moon deals with one of Philip K. Dicks favorite themes: mental illness and what that actually means. The Alphane moon may be full of people with clinical disorders, but are the "normal" people who are supposed to cure them really any saner?
On a planet run by escapees from a mental institution, the doctors who arrive to restore order may be the craziest of all.
For years, the third moon in the Alphane system was used as a psychiatric hospital. But when war broke out between Earth and the Alphanes, the hospital was left unguarded and the inmates set up their own society, made up of competing factions based around each mental illness. When Earth sends a delegation to take back the colony, they find enclaves of depressives, schizophrenics, paranoiacs, and other mentally ill people coming together to repel what they see as a foreign invasion. Meanwhile, back on Earth, CIA agent Chuck Rittersdorf and his wife Mary are going through a bitter divorce, with Chuck losing everything. But when Chuck is assigned to clandestinely control an android accompanying Mary to the Alphane moon, he sees an opportunity to get his revenge.
About the Author
After his seventh novel Empire Star (1966), Samuel Delany began publishing short fiction professionally with "The Star Pit." It appeared in Worlds of Tomorrow and was turned into a popular two-hour radio play, broadcast annually over WBAI-FM for more than a decade. Two tales, "Aye, and Gomorrah" and "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-precious Stones," won Nebula Awards as best SF short stories of, respectively, 1967 and 1969. Aye, and Gomorrah contains all the significant short science fiction and fantasy Delany published between 1965 and 1988, excepting only those tales in his "Return to Nevèrÿon" series. A native New Yorker, Delany teaches English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. In July of 2002 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
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