Robert Silverberg

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I was just going to the author section to check out the Robert Silverberg discussions when I realized there is NO forum dedicated to the man. Are you guys nuts?:p The man was a freaking genius. A brilliant stylist, great character writer, and he walked like no one else the fine line between SF and Fantasy. As a recent SF convert, I've only been exposed to a limited sample of his work (and also to the same extent to that of other SF writers too), but I can tell that he was clearly an above average writer. Classics like The Book of Skulls, Dying Inside, Majipoor Chronicles, Nightwings and Sailing to Byzantium should be enough of a ticket to the Chronicles hall of fame.

What do you guys think? Any other fans out there?
 

Ian Whates

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I was just going to the author section to check out the Robert Silverberg discussions when I realized there is NO forum dedicated to the man. Are you guys nuts?:p The man was a freaking genius. A brilliant stylist, great character writer, and he walked like no one else the fine line between SF and Fantasy.
Ehmm... was? Do you know something I don't? Admittedly I haven't seen Silver Bob since Worldcon in Glasgow, 2005, but he was certainly in the best of health then. :)

No, I do know what you mean -- he's been writing SF for so long it's easy to think of him only in terms of being a 'past' great, when actually he's still writing today.

In my humble opinion, Bob Silverberg produced his finest work in a narrow band of years from the late 60s to the early/mid-70s. Nightwings, Thorns, Downward to the Earth, The Book of Skulls, Dying Inside, and many other great books emerged during that period. He'd written some good work before that and has produced some since, but nothing to compare with the consistantly high quality of the classics that came out during those years.
 

Lenny

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I've read Lord Valentine's Castle a few times, and if my library ever gets them in, I'll pick up the next couple about Valentine without thought. I've never read any of his other works, though.

My neighbour is a massive Sci-Fi fan, and he's got a few of Silverberg's SF books.
 

Addy

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Ehmm... was? Do you know something I don't? Admittedly I haven't seen Silver Bob since Worldcon in Glasgow, 2005, but he was certainly in the best of health then. :)
Hm, ok, I know he's not dead, but many will claim that he's past his prime. I can't tell as I haven't read anything he's written recently. That's what I meant be "was". You and HardScienceFan seem to agree that he was, but you disagree as to when.:)
 

Ian Whates

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He actually took many years off from writing, to raise cactuses believe it or not (1976 -1980), and he has certainly written some enjoyable, well-crafted work since his return; I just don't feel it has matched the intensity, imagination and sheer class of the work he produced in the years I mentioned.

Of course, that could just be me... :)
 

j d worthington

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I think I'd agree with you, Ian, though with the distinction you had earlier: He has written things as good, just not with the same level of consistency. Those years (yes, I'd put it from the early 60s to mid-70s, too) darned near everything the man wrote was golden. Now, it's a little more uneven....

As for why there's not a subforum on him... this has been said about other writers: We need at least 5 active threads on the man and his work in order to merit a subforum. If you can get such going, then he'll have one. It took a devil of a long time to get Asimov, Niven, and several others that sort of distinction; C. S. Lewis still doesn't have it.

So... start threads discussing his work; see how many people join in the discussion, how active they remain... and hope.....
 

Addy

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I think I'd agree with you, Ian, though with the distinction you had earlier: He has written things as good, just not with the same level of consistency. Those years (yes, I'd put it from the early 60s to mid-70s, too) darned near everything the man wrote was golden. Now, it's a little more uneven....

As for why there's not a subforum on him... this has been said about other writers: We need at least 5 active threads on the man and his work in order to merit a subforum. If you can get such going, then he'll have one. It took a devil of a long time to get Asimov, Niven, and several others that sort of distinction; C. S. Lewis still doesn't have it.

So... start threads discussing his work; see how many people join in the discussion, how active they remain... and hope.....
Hm, ok. I can understand why C.S. Lewis still doesn't have a subforum, but I'd think Silverberg would have a bigger chance to have it than Niven, but there you go.
 

Fried Egg

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I haven't read anything of Silverberg's before but I picked up "Book of Skulls" in a second hand book shop the other day and will read it soon.
 

quidscribis

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I love Silverberg and read anything of his I can get my hands on. Sadly, since moving to Outer Darkness, that's become much more difficult.

I think my first introduction to him was the Majipoor Chronicles, courtesy of my brother, back in the 80s. Loved those books!
 

Connavar

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I havent read him but have wanted to read him for a while now.

I couldnt find none of his better books in the library.

Was wondering which one of Nightwings and The Man in The Maze you would recommend more. Those two sounded like an interesting place to start.

Im gonna buy one of them. Also im not asking which one of those two books you think is better but about which one of them is more suited for a RS newbie.
 

Ian Whates

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Both are very good; Man in the Maze was actually the first of his I read, but personally I'd go for Nightwings, which is one of my all-time favourite Silverbergs.

If you're looking for other recommendations, Downward to the Earth is another that I thought was fabulous. Even though I guessed the 'big reveal' early on, it still didn't stop me enjoying what was an excellent evocation of an alien world and the humans interacting with that environment. Dying Inside is another must-read -- totally different and very intense, but quite superb. Then there's Thorns... (sigh) :)
 

Addy

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I havent read him but have wanted to read him for a while now.

I couldnt find none of his better books in the library.

Was wondering which one of Nightwings and The Man in The Maze you would recommend more. Those two sounded like an interesting place to start.

Im gonna buy one of them. Also im not asking which one of those two books you think is better but about which one of them is more suited for a RS newbie.
I think you're probably going to enjoy Nightwings better, since it's more of a SF and Fantasy crossover. Yes, I know you like SF too, but there you go.
 

Connavar

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The Man in The Maze sounded interesting cause how the main guy ending up bieng nun human. Reminds me of Man Plus of Pohl which i enjoyed alot.


Still Nightwing it is, sounds good and most importantly i havent read many books that have both SF and Fantasy elements.
 

GOLLUM

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You must try his Majipoor series then. Probably my favourite Science Fantasy sequence of all time outside Gene Wolfe's Book Of The New Sun.

No-one mentioned Dying Inside yet? It's one of his materpieces!
 
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