Samuel R. Delany:

Nova:

“Basically, gentlemen, Illyrion is something else.” And with those words the central conflict and quest at the heart of Samuel R. Delany’s Nova takes flight.


Set up to crash and burn like a Shakespearean tragedy performed in space, Nova follows the orphaned gypsy, Mouse, as he and a group of cyber stud renegades are recruited by the bullish pirate, Lorq Von Ray, to amass seven tons of the vital energy source, Illyrion. Thereby, shifting the balance of power and control in the galaxy to a new faction.

There’s just one planetary-sized problem. Procuring that much Illyrion in one go requires skimming the surface of the sun and entering a nova at just the right moment. Oh, and their crew isn’t the only one vying for that precious substance. Talk about bursting your super nova.

Nova was written and published at the height of the 1960s hippie movement, but out of touch and dated it is not. Its formative ideas behind race relations, free-flowing information overload, and questioning one’s own purpose are as relevant today as when the novel was released. And Delany’s inclusion of computer interfacing with mechanical limbs and implants predates the cyberpunk genre by years. He spearheaded the movement before the notion even existed. Prescience and Delany go together like Mouse and sensory-syrynx performances.

Samuel R. Delany (b. 1942) is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes fiction (especially science fiction), memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. His science fiction novels include Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection (both Nebula award winners), Nova, and Dhalgren. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. From January 2001 until his retirement in May 2015, he was a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The novel also features an array of motifs ranging from the occult — in the form of Tarot card reading — to aesthetes who discuss the merits of art showcased in the Alkane, a museum on the planet Vorpis. Plus, there’s a backwards talking dialect that even Yoda can’t refute.

If nothing else, Nova is a fast-paced, adventurous space opera so densely packed that by the end you’ll be spinning out of control wondering if the story will have enough time to resolve itself. But don’t sweat it. You’re only defying physics flying too close to the sun.


Introduction by Lavelle Porter, Artwork by Piotr Jablonski. Tarot cards by Russell FitzGerald.

Limited to 300 signed and numbered copies and 80 unsigned copies.

Signed by Samuel R. Delany, Lavelle Porter, and Piotr Jablonski.

Clothbound with top-edge stain and two-color stamping.

Fully cloth bound, gorgeous dustjackets, printed endpapers, ribbon markers, head and tail bands.

Cloth slipcase with stamping on the spine.

Original book price: $325.

First published as three separate volumes in 1963, 1964, and 1965, 'The Fall of the Towers' is here republished as three distinct volumes, each with an individual dustjacket and new frontispiece artwork. This edition of the trilogy includes all of Delany’s afterwords and forewords, an illuminating new introduction by Michael Swanwick, and new artwork by David Ho.


The volumes, entitled 'Out of the Dead City', 'The Towers of Toron', and 'City of a Thousand Suns', are oversize at 6½ × 10 inches, the same size as other titles in Centipede's science fiction series. The set comes with a clothbound slipcase.


Limited: 300 signed numbered hardcover copies.