- Jul 18, 2011
Silverberg wrote so much -- you should read what Malzberg has to say about him, apparently he had two or three distinct careers, starting in the 1950s.
That's possibly my favourite Silverberg novel along with Dying Inside and to a lesser extent Behold The Man. He is also quite good in the shorter form. I have a five decade retrospective collection of his shorter fiction I keep meaning to get into but as yet have not. To be honest if you read Nightwings and Dying Inside for the first time and aren't grabbed by either it may be you are destined not to be a Silverberg fan. I'm also a big wrap for his Majipoor series, one of the best 'large scale' science fantasy series I've read...I have "Nightwings" of his next to read. Hopefully that will live up to my expectations.
Yep....DOH.......my bad it's getting late here.. Anyway, I did enjoy that Moorcock book. As I said though, if you don't like Nightwings or Dying Inside you may not be destined to be a Silverberg fan, his shorter fiction notwithstanding."Behold the Man" is by Moorcock, not Silverberg!
AH..I thought your post read that you did not like A Time of Changes" and "Book of Skulls" and therefore had it in my mind that Silverberg was on his last chance with you vis a vis my previous comments on Nightwings and Dying Inside. Apologies. I was really out of it the other night..Well, I loved "A Time of Changes" and "Book of Skulls". I just want to read something of his again that will live up to those two.
Well, I loved "A Time of Changes" and "Book of Skulls". I just want to read something of his again that will live up to those two.
Hmmm i wonder if there's a Majipoor omnibus out there.
In order for human beings to live comfortably on so big a planet, the gravitational pull would have to be something reasonably similar to that of Earth — which meant a light core for the planet, very little in the way of metals. Metal-poor Majipoor therefore could not be a high-technology planet, Since it exists some fifteen or twenty thousand years in our future, though, it is able to take advantage of technological breakthroughs that seem like sheer magic to us, and so there is enough in the way of transportation, communications, and sanitation to provide a comfortable existence for the billions of inhabitants. And so forth. Each step in the construction of the planet led to the next logical development, and it was all fairly carefully worked out before I began writing the book.
The first notes I took about the book said, “The novel is joyous and huge — no sense of dystopia. The form is that of a pilgrimage across the entire sphere. (For what purpose?) A colossal odyssey through bizarre bazaars. Parks and wonders.” Then I paused and added, “The book must be fun. Picaresque characters. Strange places — but all light, delightful, raffish. Magical mystery tour.”
I've just finished "Nightwings". Here is my mini review:
At first I found that I wasn't particularly engaged by the story but I was expecting science fiction when in fact this is more science fantasy in the Dying Earth tradition. Indeed, it works much more as a fantasy novel than SF and once I had made the mental adjustment to the right mode, I began to enjoy it much more.
The human race has gone well past its peak and is now in the third age in which much of the technological marvels that it attained in the previous age have been forgotten and what is left is a rigidly stratified society that is technologically backward. We follow through the eyes of the wandering protagonist as he passes through a period of intense personal and social upheaval. He moves from one guild to the next as his old perceptions and beliefs are altered by the events in the world around him, the old social structure is torn down and from the ruins a new enlightened culture can emerge.
Robert Silverberg writes well here and that helped sustain my interest in the early part of the book before I had engaged with the story. It's not among my favourite of his novels I've read from this period but still well worth reading, particularly for fans of future fantasy.
My First Post: I've only just registered after browsing the "under-rated classic authors" thread and got diverted in here at the first mention of one of my favourite authors of SF, so please be gentle.
I wanted to speak up for the first Silverberg book I read, which has hardly gotten a mention; Downward to the Earth, which -- apart from a slow section at the beginning of the third act -- I found mesmerising and bizarre. Up until then I considered myself a hard SF guy, but no, I like silly things about aliens and pastiches of Conrad and Kipling; who knew?