Aye, and Gomorrah, and other stories is an anthology of the majority of Samuel R. Delany's short works. According to the Wikipedia article one of the few items not included is:

a page-long prose poem, “The Dying Castles,” which appeared in a 1968 issue of the British SF magazine New Worlds (#200)

The article goes on to make the intriguing claim that Delany has no memory of having written any part of it, and that having his name attached to it "must be a jape".

I have not found any statements by Delany concerning the article - most sources seem to be verbatim quotes of the Wikipedia article. Have Delany, Moorcock, or Sallis, the authors to whom the poem is attributed, made any definitive statement about the authorship? Unfortunately the Wikipedia article does not cite its source (and I would be interested to read it!). As a side note, the poem was not published in 1968 as the article claims, but in 1970 which casts some doubt on the article's general level of accuracy.

The text of the poem is available on the Internet Archive.

"The Dying Castles" published in New Worlds 200; illustration on the left page, the poem on the right

  • 2
    Has anyone actually checked the anthology? That sounds like something that would go in a foreword.
    – Spencer
    Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


The Work Appears to be Partitioned into fragments credited (at least) to Moorcock, or possibly by Sallis and Moorcock

This link notes that the “Moorcock fragment only” was reprinted in Sojan (1977); this is confirmed elsewhere, which credit the Sojan work to Moorcock, or termed “also as by Moorcock.”

If the initial Wiki premise is correct, then this suggests the remainder of the non-reprinted fragments may have been written by Sallis — unless either Moorcock or Sallis have shed any more light on “the jape.”

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    So this means that Moorcock definitely wrote (some) of the poem, but I don't think it sheds much light on Delany's contribution. Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 9:32
  • I tried searching multiple Delany interviews for “jape,” and all I get so far are similar references that note the same thing as Wikipedia does. Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 13:49
  • 3
    Yes, that wikipedia article really needs a "citation required" on it. I haven't found a primary source either. Commented Nov 27, 2021 at 14:33

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