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Has anyoneread Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren (1 Viewer)

A Glass Thought

Senior Member
Has anyone here ever read Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren? And if not, what the hell are you waiting for?

I know I can't be the only person on this site to have read it. It stands as one of the greatest works in american literature this century(I should say last century now.) and it is relatively unknown among most readers. It is the most innovative piece of fiction I have ever read, In both style and content.

Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? If not, run out to a used bookstore and grab you a copy for $1.50. It's the best buck fifty you'll ever spend.


I read it a few years back, and I agree: criminally unknown. Should be required reading for anyone planning on writing science fiction, or just really good, poetic literature in general. I still reread random bits of it about once a month.

"Nova" is another good one by Delany. I need to pick up his short story collection sometime soon.

A Glass Thought

Senior Member
Nova was really good. I highly suggest that you do get a hold of his short story collection (Aye, and gamorrah.) It's amazing. Especially the first one in it, "The Star Pit." It may be the best short story I've ever read.


Senior Member
It's not really science fiction though, is it? Despite the strangeness of the city and what goes on there, there's no indication that it's set in the future or that any weird science is responsible for the weirdness in the city.

I read it a number of years ago and I think I was drunk for the few days it took me to read it - long story. All I really remember about the book is being confused, but loving it all the same. Whether that was down to the quality of the book or my own inebriated state I really can't say.

A Glass Thought

Senior Member
Science fiction doesn't mean it has to be set in the future or contain aliens. A good example is Philip K. Dick's Man In The High Castle. But yes, that story is set in an alternate history.
Since you were drunk for the book, let me point out a few things you missed. In a particular scene, there are two moons orbiting the planet, and in another, the sun is so large it takes up half the sky. That would be enough to consider it sci-fi.
Honestly, I believe Science Fiction can encompass nearly any story with truly original thoughts, theories, and ideas. It is the best medium in which to express new ideas, since the genre itself has no specific guidelines.
Yes, the book is long. If you were drunk, I imagine doubly so. But no matter how slow it gets, you still find yourself wanting finish.