Robert Silverberg

GOLLUM

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Hmmm fantasy. Would rather find some of his SF. Isn't Majipoor similar to Michael Moorcock's works?
UM....not sure how accurate a comment that is but I can tell you that Majipoor is a Science Fantasy and well written. I've read several of Moorcock's work incl. Eternal Champion and I wouldn't say it bears much resemblance to Majipoor. Of course something Moorcock may have written does, he and Silverberg both being pretty prolific.

Some of those by Silverberg AE I've listed in my previous post are more SF...:)
 

Connavar

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Hmmm fantasy. Would rather find some of his SF. Isn't Majipoor similar to Michael Moorcock's works?
Edit I think you posted the wrong link there as there's no mention of Silverberg on that page

I have read only Man in the Maze by Silverberg and liked it.

Its a interesting SF book.
 

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UM....not sure how accurate a comment that is but I can tell you that Majipoor is a Science Fantasy and well written. I've read several of Moorcock's work incl. Eternal Champion and I wouldn't say it bears much resemblance to Majipoor. Of course something Moorcock may have written does, he and Silverberg both being pretty prolific.

Hmmm i wonder if there's a Majipoor omnibus out there.
 

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Hmmm being an avid SF reader I need to be convinced that the Majipoor books are worth looking for. I've read some reviews as well as articles on fantastic fiction but it all sounds fantasy to me with castle's lords and then there's mention of that fearful word Magic!
 

Fried Egg

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I've just finished "Tower of Glass" and was disappointed. Not up to the standard of the other two I have read. Funnilly enough, it was the first of his I've read to contain some hard science. Maybe he's best when he concentrates on the softer sciences?
 

Rodders

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I've only read a couple of Silverberg (Star of Gypsies, Kingdom of the Wall and a couple of collaberations with Asimov). I've found him to be a very enjoyable writer.
 

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I've just finished "Tower of Glass" and was disappointed. Not up to the standard of the other two I have read. Funnilly enough, it was the first of his I've read to contain some hard science. Maybe he's best when he concentrates on the softer sciences?

I have that on my shelf,awaiting a read. What were the other two books you read?
 

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I've just finished "Tower of Glass" and was disappointed. Not up to the standard of the other two I have read. Funnilly enough, it was the first of his I've read to contain some hard science. Maybe he's best when he concentrates on the softer sciences?

Was it anything in particular that turned you off? As I said above, I remember enjoying it a great deal but then something went awry, though I don't recall what it was. Maybe it was the same thing for both of us, or did you not enjoy it at all? On the science, itself, that could well be, since a psi novel is probably his best and he's probably most well known for works that many categorize as fantasy. (Dying Inside and the Majipoor stuff, respectively.) Also, when he writes non-fiction I think it tends to be archaeological and historical rather than, say, physics and math, though I haven't read any of that.
 

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Hmmm i wonder if there's a Majipoor omnibus out there.
Not really. There are several Silverberg omnibuses highligting some of his better work and some more recent graphic novel adaptations but sadly no majipoor omnibus I know of in existence.

I met Silverberg in '07 at WorldCon and got to hang out for a little while. In some ways I found him to be a little aloof but he was genuinley friendly and did sign some of my stuff which was nice....:)

I can recommend an excellent retrospective of Silverberg's work I have called Phases Of The Moon - Strories from Six Decades (1960s - 2000s) that collects his best short fiction. Not an expensive compliation and well worth a look.

Cheers...
 

Fried Egg

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Previously I've read "Book of Skulls" and "A Time of Changes" and they were both top rate novels. "Tower of Glass" wasn't a bad novel, just not of the high standard I was comming to expect from Silverberg.

~ Spoilers Follow ~

What was it exactly that let me down about this book? Not really the ending because I kept thinking I hope the ending is really good and lifts the story but it didn't. One disappointment was that not a whit was gleaned from the "Alien" signal. A fair amount of the story was spent contemplating the significence and meaning of the signal, then it strangely changed but for no reason that the reader was ever to learn of.

Good riddance to Krug who blasts off into space at the end looking for his aliens leaving the mess he had created on earth. He could so easilly have given the androids what they had wanted and still achieved his goals. He could have even just kept them hanging on indefinintely. Why did he just throw it all away with a mind shunt and expect Thor Watchman to just see the error of his ways and carry on like nothing happened. That just wasn't convincing.

I felt that the whole issue of human attitude towards androids was too superficiallly explored, the philisophical question of what makes us human was just skirted around. "They're just things!" Krug would irrationally exclaim whilst acknowledging that Thor Watchman (an android) was his closest companion, a being he would be happy to mind shunt with. Would he have been happy to shunt with a toaster?

That said, it wasn't terrible, it just could have been handled better.
 

J-Sun

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Previously I've read "Book of Skulls" and "A Time of Changes" and they were both top rate novels. "Tower of Glass" wasn't a bad novel, just not of the high standard I was comming to expect from Silverberg.

That's interesting. I haven't read Book of Skulls but, if I remember correctly, I liked A Time of Changes but liked it less than Tower of Glass. It seemed more consistent but at a slightly lower level. With "Glass" it was more like he was reaching higher, though he fumbled it a bit. (Which, obviously, could be a reason for rating it lower, depending.)

~ Spoilers Follow ~

What was it exactly that let me down about this book? Not really the ending because I kept thinking I hope the ending is really good and lifts the story but it didn't. One disappointment was that not a whit was gleaned from the "Alien" signal. A fair amount of the story was spent contemplating the significence and meaning of the signal, then it strangely changed but for no reason that the reader was ever to learn of.

Good riddance to Krug who blasts off into space at the end looking for his aliens leaving the mess he had created on earth. He could so easilly have given the androids what they had wanted and still achieved his goals. He could have even just kept them hanging on indefinintely. Why did he just throw it all away with a mind shunt and expect Thor Watchman to just see the error of his ways and carry on like nothing happened. That just wasn't convincing.

I felt that the whole issue of human attitude towards androids was too superficiallly explored, the philisophical question of what makes us human was just skirted around. "They're just things!" Krug would irrationally exclaim whilst acknowledging that Thor Watchman (an android) was his closest companion, a being he would be happy to mind shunt with. Would he have been happy to shunt with a toaster?

That said, it wasn't terrible, it just could have been handled better.

Yeah, part of that may have been it - like the book seemed to be about one thing and seemed to be going one way, and then somewhere along the line ended up changing to something else and missing its own core.
 

Fried Egg

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I've got a collection of his short stories to read next: "The songs of summer and other stories" so that should be interesting; I've not read any of his short stories before.
 

J-Sun

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Here's a review of what's described as a new "quasi-autobiography" of Silverberg. I will say that, as all the great old Masters have died and Silverberg's reputation persists or grows, I'd agree that he is today pretty much as Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein were in the 70s/80s.

I've got a collection of his short stories to read next: "The songs of summer and other stories" so that should be interesting; I've not read any of his short stories before.

I'm not familiar with that one but I hope you enjoy it. I do have Beyond the Safe Zone (1986) (which is essentially a re-ordered omnibus of Unfamiliar Territory (1973), The Feast of St. Dionysus (1975), and Capricorn Games (1976)), along with Born with the Dead (1974) which together collect most of his work from 1970-74, and I have Majipoor Chronicles (1982) and The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party (1984) which together collect most of his work from 1980-83. And, of course, he didn't publish any short fiction from 1975-9 around his "retirement" and I regard his peak periods as immediately before and after that vacation. I highly recommend those and I suspect you couldn't go wrong with many of his collections - the newer "Collected Stories" cycle probably covers this even better, now. In ways, I think he's stronger at short lengths (or shorter, anyway) than at novel length, though he's no slouch there, at least in those peak periods.
 

Daisy-Boo

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I have trouble finding his books here in South Africa but from what I've found, I like the following:

A Time of Changes
The Stochastic Man
The Face of the Waters
Kingdoms of the Wall

Also two of his short story collections (can't remember the titles now).

I definitely consider him to be one of the Greats of SF.
 

GOLLUM

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I've got a collection of his short stories to read next: "The songs of summer and other stories" so that should be interesting; I've not read any of his short stories before.
If you can get hold of Phases Of The Moon - Strories from Six Decades (1960s - 2000s) that collects his best short fiction. It's inexpensive and the best collection I know of.
 

iansales

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I recently reread Lord's Valentine Castle and was pleasantly surprised at how well it held up - see here.
 

GOLLUM

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I know its SF but whenever I read about this book it always sounds like fantasy!
Actually it's considered a Science Fantasy (part of Majipoor series) and along with Wolfe's Book Of The New Sun sequence amongst the best this sub-Genre has to offer.
 

iansales

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I've never really liked the idea of "science fantasy". To me, it's either science fiction or fantasy, and there's no overlap. It doesn't matter whether or not the technology is "magical", it's a more fundamental difference. Unfortunately, like all theories, the real world doesn't always want to play along... not just Lord Valentine's Castle, but is Morgan's The Steel Remains actually sf and not fantasy?
 

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