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Silverberg, Robert

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Sc-Tr)

(US, 1935– )

Silverberg was born in New York, published his first novel while a student at Columbia University, and has since written over 300 science fiction and fantasy books, both under his own name and using pseudonyms. Begin with Hawksbill Station (1968), set in a bleakly imagined future. Time travel is used to banish political prisoners to a camp located in the Cambrian era where much of the action occurs. Hot Sky at Midnight (1994) envisions attempts to genetically redesign human beings to make possible survival in a terminally polluted world. Ruthless commercial interests struggle for control of habitable territory in space. Planet Earth has been destroyed in a catastrophe in The Face of the Waters (1991). Among the survivors is a group who sail ceaselessly over a sea-covered planet searching for a rumoured island. Silverberg's best known fantasy novels make up the Majipoor trilogy, which begins with Lord Valentine's Castle (1980). Following his dethronement, Valentine, cursed with loss of memory, wanders through Majipoor seeking his identity. The stories contained in The Majipoor Chronicles (1980) survey the culture and ecology of a world where humans coexist with alien species. Their uneasy peace is shattered in Valentine Pontifex (1983) when the Metamorphs make a bid for domination. Power is thrust upon Valentine, and Majipoor's fate is in his hands.

Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula Le Guin, David Eddings  DH

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