Aye, and Gomorrah is a short story first published in Harlan Ellison's seminal 1967 anthology Dangerous Visions, and won the 1967 Nebula Award for best short story. It is narrated by a castrated space explorer, and revolves around how he and his kind are fetishized by people back on Earth called ‘frelks’. Aye, and Gomorrah is one of many remarkably interesting and unusual fictions that Delaney has used to tackle a wide breadth of issues: class, memory, language, sexuality, perception, race; all with an intellect and originality still not available in mainstream writing. Delany was born in Harlem, New York and has identified as gay since adolescence. He has written about his experiences with racism, homophobia, and the difficulties of succeeding as a Black and gay writer in a genre commonly dominated by heteronormative white writers and narratives in his numerous essays.
Unfortunately, he is often left out of established lists of “Great Science Fiction Writers” because of the highly sexual nature of his stories, but I think readers may find that through the explicitly erotic and alien, he creates characters and experiences universally human.
I first came across the works of Samuel Delany while researching the New Wave literary movement of the 1960s. Many strange and beautiful things were written in the ever-evolving genre of science fiction at the time, but the works of Samuel Delany are some of the most profound, bizarre, and commemorated.
Recommended by Alea Baker, Library Customer Service Officer (Special Collections)