sábado, 20 de julho de 2013

Robert Silverberg - Cover Gallery & Biography

Robert Silverberg é um escritor norte-americano, nasceu a 15 de Janeiro de 1935, Brooklyn, Nova York, E.U.A. 

Veja algumas de suas capas aqui: https://plus.google.com/photos/103998711237758699926/albums/5902751196765844081 

Silverberg, Robert
(1935– )

Over the course of his 50 years as a writer, Robert Silverberg has proven to be one of the most prolific in the genre, publishing over a hundred science fiction books, not including more than two dozen anthologies of his work. He has also written extensively outside the field, primarily non-fiction, but also including the highly regarded Majipoor series of fantasy novels. Silverberg sold his first short story in 1954, and his first novel—for young adults—a year later. During the 1950s he produced short stories at an incredible pace, more than 40 during 1956 alone. Under a variety of pseudonyms, and often in collaboration with Randall Garrett, he turned out a steady stream of adventure stories for several magazines, most of which were quite minor works.

Silverberg’s first adult novel was Master of Life and Death (1957), one of the earliest works to deal seriously with the problems of an overpopulated Earth, complicated in this case by the discovery of a practical means of achieving immortality. This was followed by a dystopian adventure story, The Thirteenth Immortal (1957). Invaders from Earth (1958, published in condensed form in 1965 as We, the Marauders), tells of corrupt officials who use advertising techniques in an attempt to convince colonists in the Jovian moons that a race of aliens poses a threat to them. The latter novel is the most impressive of Silverberg’s early efforts and has been reprinted several times since its original appearance. Recalled to Life (1958, revised in 1972) examines the effects on society when scientists discover a means of bringing the recently dead back to life, a device that Silverberg would return to much later in his career for the Nebula Award– winning BORN WITH THE DEAD.

More light adventure stories followed during the late 1950s and early 1960s, interspersed with young adult novels. The quality of his short fiction began to improve dramatically as he tackled more serious plots and more complex narrative techniques. Stories like “TO SEE THE INVISIBLE MAN” (1963), “Flies” (1967), and “The Pain Peddlers” (1963) began to attract more serious critical attention. Godling, Go Home! (1964) and Needle in a Timestack (1966) collected stories that seemed to have been written by two different writers; superficial adventure stories were mixed with others with deeper themes and more complex prose. Silverberg’s most productive and interesting period began roughly in 1967–68, and saw the publication of several new novels. Hawksbill Station (1968, also published as The Anvil of Time), which originally appeared in shorter form the year before, is set inside a penal colony that a future civilization has established in prehistory. A new arrival with some revolutionary ideas transforms the closed society in a surprisingly sophisticated work. Thorns (1967) featured his most complex characterization to date, the story of a sort of psychic vampire whose encounter with two other individuals has startling consequences. To Open the Sky (1967) is actually a series of shorter works assembled into a novel, detailing the history of a future overpopulated Earth in which two contending religions battle for control of human destiny. The Masks of Time (1968, also published as Vornan 19) features a traveler from the future who announces his presence in contemporary America. Although Silverberg published at least two minor novels during this same period, the dramatic change in his writing was more than evident.

His short fiction was similarly transformed. In 1968 and 1969 he produced several major shorter works, including “Nightwings,” which won the Hugo Award, “PASSENGERS,” which won a Nebula Award, and other outstanding stories, including “After the Myths Went Home” and “Among the Rememberers.” Dimension 13 (1969), The Cube Root of Uncertainty (1970), and Moonfern and Starsongs (1971) collected his better work from this period in book form. Downward to the Earth (1969) was Silverberg’s homage to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902). An executive who once helped ruthlessly exploit an alien world returns after it has been set free to undertake a personal voyage of self-discovery. Nightwings (1969) was an expansion of the novelette about Earth under the sway of aliens. In To Live Again (1969), a powerful and brilliant man has his personality recorded prior to his death, and a power struggle ensues with different parties intent upon acquiring the remnant personality for their own purposes. Up the Line (1969) is a superior time travel story; the paradox is generated by a love affair between a time guide and a woman from the past. In less than five years, Silverberg had made the transition from an entertaining but minor writer to a major voice.

In the 1970s Silverberg continued this transition. Tower of Glass (1970) is ostensibly a story of first contact with aliens, but it is actually a study in human obsession. Human psychology was also the subject of The Second Trip (1972), in which a new personality is installed in the erased mind of a criminal. A Time of Changes (1971), which won a Nebula Award, is a thoughtful and low-key dystopia. Paradoxically, as Silverberg matured as a writer and began experimenting with themes and styles, he began to lose some of his science fiction audience. With the exception of A Time of Changes, none of his novels ever won a major award, even though they were often considered critical successes. Son of Man (1971) described a man’s surrealistic visit to other realities. DYING INSIDE (1972), arguably his best novel, describes in moving detail the agonies of a telepath who discovers that he is losing his powers. The Book of Skulls (1972) deals with efforts by the protagonists to uncover a secret society that might possibly possess the secret of immortality. If his novels were increasingly underrated, his short fiction was not. “GOOD NEWS FROM THE VATICAN” (1971) won a Nebula, as did “BORN WITH THE DEAD” (1974) and “Sailing to Byzantium” (1985). “Gilgamesh in the Outback” (1986) won the Hugo, as did “Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another” (1986). Other major stories include “Breckenridge and the Continuum” (1973), “Trips” (1974), “Amanda and the Alien” (1983), and “In Another Country” (1989). The last was a sequel to “Vintage Season” by C. L. MOORE and Henry KUTTNER. By the middle of the 1970s, Silverberg’s output of novels had dropped dramatically. The Stochastic Man (1975) and Shadrach in the Furnace (1976) are both less than optimistic portrayals of the future, suggesting the loss of free will or the installation of a planetary dictatorship. Most of his book-length work for the next decade was in his Majipoor fantasy series, although he returned to science fiction with the episodic space opera Star of Gypsies (1986).

At Winter’s End (1988) marked at least a partial return to his old form. Thousands of years after a new ice age swept over the Earth, the temperature rises and primitive tribes emerge to reconquer the Earth. In the sequel, The New Springtime (1989, also published as The Queen of Springtime), they are forced to compete with a newly evolved species of telepathic insects. The Secret Sharer (1989) is another Conrad homage, this time featuring a spaceship captain inhabited by a bodiless intelligent creature. The 1990s marked a fairly energetic return to science fiction, including some of his best work. The Face of the Waters (1991) follows the travels of a group of humans on a water-covered world after they offend their native hosts. Kingdoms of the Wall (1992) also recounts a journey, this time a coming-of-age pilgrimage on a distant planet. Hot Sky at Midnight (1994) is set on a future Earth doomed by pollution in which the human race must genetically alter itself if it is to survive among the stars. Enigmatic aliens invade the earth in The Alien Years (1998), but seem indifferent to humans. His most recent novel Roma Eterna (2003), is set in an alternate history in which the Roman Empire never fell.

Silverberg’s short stories have been assembled into numerous collections. A comprehensive sampling can be found in Born with the Dead (1974), The Feast of St. Dionysus (1975), Homefaring (1983), World of a Thousand Colors (1983), Beyond the Safe Zone (1986), Ringing the Changes (1997), and In Another Country and Other Short Novels (2002). He also produced three novel-length versions of classic short stories by Isaac ASIMOV: Nightfall (1990), The Positronic Man (1992), and The Ugly Little Boy (1992, also published as The Child of Time).

Don D'Ammassa, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 2005.

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