Boston: Gregg Press, 1977. First Hardcover Edition. Significant copy of Delany's most ambitious work, first issued as a paperback original by Bantam Books in 1975. "To the depopulated city of Bellona, which is subjected to occasional distortions of time and space, comes a youthful hero hungry for experience and keen to develop his powers as a creative artist. A dense and multilayered novel that alienated some readers who had previously applauded Delany's colorful fantastic romances, but reached a much wider audience. Convoluted and fascinating, it remains one of the key works of avant-garde SF, by an author determined to extend the limits of the genre" (Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4-165). Delany was living in London during the editorial process of his 12-pound manuscript, and due to a mailing and scheduling mix-up with Bantam, had very little time to correct the 900 pages of galleys; as a result, the Bantam edition was riddled with errors, some of which were corrected by the sixth printing. Delany himself compiled a list of around 100 errors, which were corrected between the sixth printing and for the Gregg Press edition.
Delany and Frank Romeo met on July 14, 1977 at the Variety Photoplays Theater in New York City, during Delany's separation from Marilyn Hacker, and according to the bio on Delany's website, stayed together for seven and a half stormy years - many of them marked by physical fights due to Romeo's insecurities, and extensive travels together throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S. While Delany and Romeo collaborated on a number of short films, the relationship came to an end in 1988-89. A significant association copy with a surprisingly intimate inscription. Peplow & Bravard A30. Item #5040
One of ca.350 copies. Thick octavo (21cm); sage green cloth, blocked and titled in red and gilt on spine; lvi,879,pp. Inscribed by Delany on the title page to his romantic partner, Italian singer and actor Frank Romeo: "With great love to Frank, who is responsible pretty much for all that has come after that's of any worth at all - Samuel R. Delany / L.A. / 7/6/80." Softening to spine ends, light wear to extremities, corners gently tapped (though still sharp), with a faint, smoky odor; Very Good+ without jacket, as issued.