In the fourth volume in the Why I Write series, the iconic Samuel Delany remembers 50 years of writing and shaping the world of speculative fiction.
Science fiction dwells mostly in the realm of possibility, where mysteries proliferate nevertheless, meaning is never static, and “time and history have convinced us that things are not as they seem”. So, too, does all language, argues Samuel Delany, in his vigorous justification for the writing life.
Chronicling his struggle with dyslexia, the evolution of his gay and Black identity during the AIDS crisis, and his experiences and relationships through five decades as a writer of fiction and nonfiction, Delany is a longtime observer of language’s inner workings. For Delany, the reasons to write are inextricably linked with the habits of reading. Like the number of galaxies in the multiverse, the possibilities are endless, but in the last analysis, we write to discover our own worlds in the worlds of others – and to promote an illusion of their sharing.
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