Samuel Delany’s first published short story was The Star-Pit and ran in the February 1967 issue of Worlds of Tomorrow.
Arguably considered the best science fiction story of 1967, Black Gate noted the accolades this story received:
The Star Pit was a finalist for the 1968 Hugo for Best Novella, which went in a tie to “Riders of the Purple Wage” by Philip Jose Farmer and “Weyr Search” by Anne McCaffrey. It was in Judith Merril’s SF 12, the very last outing for her seminal series. Robert Silverberg anthologized it twice – not just in Alpha 5 but in the Arbor House Treasury of Great Science Fiction Short Novels. Gardner Dozois put it in his anthology with a similar title (and ambition) to Silverberg’s: Modern Classic Short Novels of Science Fiction. And Richard Lupoff chose it for What If? Volume 3.
Delany himself collected “The Star Pit” in his great first collection Driftglass, and in a later collection, Aye, and Gomorrah.
In early spring of ’67, when I was living intermittently with Marilyn on East 10th Street, I received a phone call from someone who said he was Baird Searles—Drama and Literature Director for WBAI-FM. His name was unfamiliar, but I knew of WBAI and had listened to it on and off. In the year of his death, it had been my father’s favorite radio station. “I really enjoyed that story of yours in Worlds of Tomorrow this last winter—‘The Star-Pit.’” Mr. Searles told me. “I was wondering whether you might like to write something on that order as, say, a radio play.” I responded immediately: “Why not simply do ‘The Star-Pit’ itself?”
WBAI-FM would go on to present Delany’s The Star-Pit at Thanksgiving over the next ten years.
Primarily for New Yorkers treated to this Thanksgiving tradition, was there any special reason why this was played at Thanksgiving?