Samuel Delany

Starboard Wine

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A revised and expanded edition of a classic work of criticism exploring how science fiction is not about the future but about the potential of the present.
In Starboard Wine, Samuel R. Delany explores the implications of his now-famous assertion that science fiction is not about the future. Rather, it uses the future as a means of talking about the present and its potentiality. By recognizing a text’s specific “difference,” we begin to see the quality of its particulars. Through riveting analyses of works by Joanna Russ, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and Thomas M. Disch, Delany reveals critical strategies for reading that move beyond overwrought theorizing and formulaic thinking. Throughout, the author performs the kinds of careful inquiry and urgent speculation that he calls others to engage in.
“Samuel Delany is without doubt a fine writer and intellectual critic without equal.” —S. Raeschild, Choice
“After all the years since it was first published, Starboard Wine remains one of the three or four most important critical statements ever made about science fiction. No one with a serious interest in the field should be ignorant of it.” —Carl Freedman, author of Critical Theory and Science Fiction
“As a fiction writer, reviewer, critic, analyst, and theorist, Delany has done more than anyone to expand how people read, as well as write, science fiction and fantasy. His essays are a seminal achievement by one of the field’s most innovative thinkers.” —David N. Samuelson, professor emeritus, California State University, Long Beach
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