Samuel R. Delany named science fiction and fantasy Grand Master


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Samuel R. Delany the grand master for 2013. He’ll be given the award at the Nebula Awards weekend in 2014.

Delany is the author of many science-fiction novels, including “Dhalgren,” “Nova,” “The Einstein Intersection” and 2012’s “Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders.” He is the winner of two Hugo Awards, four Nebula Awards and many others, including the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to lesbian and gay literature. Delany has been a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame since 2002.

The grand master -- officially, the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master -- is awarded for lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy. Previous recipients of the award include Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, Gene Wolfe and Harlan Ellison.


“This award astonishes me, humbles me, and I am honored by it,” Delany said in a statement. “It recalls to me -- with the awareness of mortality age ushers up -- the extraordinary writers who did not live to receive it: Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Octavia E. Butler -- as well, from the generation before me, Katherine MacLean, very much alive. I accept the award for them too: They are the stellar practitioners without whom my own work, dim enough, would have been still dimmer.”

Delany was born in New York City in 1942 and raised in Harlem. Twnety years later, his first novel, “The Jewels of Aptor,” was published. In 2001, he joined the faculty of Temple University in Philadelphia and for several years chaired its graduate program in creative writing. In addition to his science fiction, he has published an award-winning memoir and a number of works of literary criticism.

In announcing Delany’s section as grand master, SFWA President Steven Gould wrote, “Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential authors, critics, and teachers, and it is my great honor to announce his selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board, past presidents and members, the most frequent response I received was, ‘He’s not already?’ ”


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