MoPOP Permanent Collection
Oooh! What is it?
The title and first page of “The Tale of Rumor and Desire” by Samuel R. Delany. Set in the sword-and-sorcery world of Nevèrÿon, this is one of three stories chronicled in Delany's 1987 book, The Bridge of Lost Desire.
Why does it matter?
Published in 1987, the book explores themes that are unusual for fantasy, such as slavery, bondage, economics, and the nature of narrative itself. Like many genre writers, Delany often explores big ideas. Yet his specific passions, such as ethics, LGBTQIA+ sexuality, and freedom of choice among others, remain uncommonly explored themes in the genre.
Why is it worth the trip?
History! Delany's work helped change the course of fiction writing. In 1967, he helped ring in science fiction’s New Wave with short stories emphasizing cultural speculation, the soft sciences and mythology, as opposed to technology and the hard sciences.
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