"I am an old man now, and I can still see Helen as Dave unpacked her, and still hear him gasp as he looked her over."
As science fiction gained respectability and began to be taught in the classroom, del Rey fought against its appropriation. He stated that academics interested in the genre should "get out of my Ghetto." Del Rey stated that "to develop science fiction had to remove itself from the usual critics who viewed it from the perspective of [the] mainstream, and who judged its worth largely on its mainstream values. As part of that mainstream, it would never have had the freedom to make the choices it did – many of them quite possibly wrong, but necessary for its development."