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Book Title: Nova|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 871 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.3
The author of the book: Samuel R. Delany
Edition: Bantam Books
Date of issue: 1969
Read full description of the books:
“NOVA!” – Queen sings – Ahhh-Ahhhh!
Reading this, I could not help thinking about the 1980 Mike Hodges film Flash Gordon starring Max von Sydow and Sam Jones. Many critics and reviewers have used the term “space opera” to label and describe Samuel Delaney’s imaginative Hugo nominated 1968 science fiction novel, and I think I will join those ranks.
Wikipedia defines “space opera" as follows:
Space opera is a sub genre of science fiction that often emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, usually involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, weapons, and other technology.
I call Nova a space opera because of the dramatic, chamber-like setting of a science fiction story. While Delaney explains his science well and his novel contains all of the usual elements of the genre, it is similar to John Ford’s 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance in that all or most of the action takes place in a closed setting, as if on a theater stage.
Comparing the novel to Flash Gordon and affixing the space opera label on the work may lead some readers to assign the novel to the campy or pulpy lower ranks of sci-fi mediocrity. This is far from the case. Delaney has crafted an adventure of far future cultural and socio-economic complexity and all wound together with a refreshingly original literary talent. It is readily clear that the author, a green but educated 25 at the time of submission, has a creative ability that generations of writers-to-be would give an artificial limb to possess.
Delaney’s science is cutting edge as well, and he anticipates the cyberpunk sub-genre (more than a decade early) while blending together a rich topography of classical, mythological and mystical constituents.
A must read for a true science fiction fan.
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Read information about the authorSamuel Ray Delany, also known as "Chip," is an award-winning American science fiction author. He was born to a prominent black family on April 1, 1942, and raised in Harlem. His mother, Margaret Carey Boyd Delany, was a library clerk in the New York Public Library system. His father, Samuel Ray Delany, Senior, ran a successful Harlem undertaking establishment, Levy & Delany Funeral Home, on 7th Avenue, between 1938 and his death in 1960. The family lived in the top two floors of the three-story private house between five- and six-story Harlem apartment buildings. Delany's aunts were Sadie and Bessie Delany; Delany used some of their adventures as the basis for the adventures of his characters Elsie and Corry in the opening novella Atlantis: Model 1924 in his book of largely autobiographical stories Atlantis: Three Tales.
Delany attended the Dalton School and the Bronx High School of Science, during which he was selected to attend Camp Rising Sun, the Louis August Jonas Foundation's international summer scholarship program. Delany and poet Marilyn Hacker met in high school, and were married in 1961. Their marriage lasted nineteen years. They had a daughter, Iva Hacker-Delany (b. 1974), who spent a decade working in theater in New York City.
Delany was a published science fiction author by the age of 20. He published nine well-regarded science fiction novels between 1962 and 1968, as well as several prize-winning short stories (collected in Driftglass  and more recently in Aye, and Gomorrah, and other stories ). His eleventh and most popular novel, Dhalgren, was published in 1975. His main literary project through the late 1970s and 1980s was the Return to Nevèrÿon series, the overall title of the four volumes and also the title of the fourth and final book.
Delany has published several autobiographical/semi-autobiographical accounts of his life as a black, gay, and highly dyslexic writer, including his Hugo award winning autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water.
Since 1988, Delany has been a professor at several universities. This includes eleven years as a professor of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a year and a half as an English professor at the University at Buffalo. He then moved to the English Department of Temple University in 2001, where he has been teaching since. He has had several visiting guest professorships before and during these same years. He has also published several books of criticism, interviews, and essays. In one of his non-fiction books, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue (1999), he draws on personal experience to examine the relationship between the effort to redevelop Times Square and the public sex lives of working-class men, gay and straight, in New York City.
In 2007, Delany was the subject of a documentary film, The Polymath, or, The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman. The film debuted on April 25 at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
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