Robert Silverberg (born January 15, 1935) is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF. He has attended every Hugo Awards ceremony since the inaugural event in 1953.
Robert Silverberg in 2005
|Born||January 15, 1935|
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Novelist, short-story writer, editor|
|Genre||Science fiction, fantasy, anthologies (as editor)|
|Subject||Geography, history, nature|
Silverberg was born in Brooklyn, New York. A voracious reader since childhood, he began submitting stories to science fiction magazines during his early teenage years. He received a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, in 1956. While at Columbia, he wrote the juvenile novel Revolt on Alpha C (1955), published by Thomas Y. Crowell with the cover notice: "A gripping story of outer space". He won his first Hugo in 1956 as the "best new writer".
That year Silverberg was the author or co-author of four of the six stories in the August issue of Fantastic, breaking his record set in the previous issue. For the next four years, by his own count, he wrote a million words a year, mostly for magazines and Ace Doubles. He used his own name as well as a range of pseudonyms during this era, and often worked in collaboration with Randall Garrett, who was a neighbour at the time. (The Silverberg/Garrett collaborations also used a variety of pseudonyms, the best-known being Robert Randall.) From 1956 to 1959, Silverberg routinely averaged five published stories a month, and he had over 80 stories published in 1958 alone. In 1959, the market for science fiction collapsed, and Silverberg turned his ability to write copiously to other fields, from historical non-fiction to softcore pornography. "Bob Silverberg, a giant of science fiction... was doing two [books] a month for one publisher, another for a second publisher, and the equivalent of another book for a magazine... He was writing a quarter of a million words a month" under many different pseudonyms.
In the mid-1960s, science fiction writers were becoming more literarily ambitious. Frederik Pohl, then editing three science fiction magazines, offered Silverberg carte blanche in writing for them. Thus inspired, Silverberg returned to the field that gave him his start, paying far more attention to depth of character development and social background than he had in the past and mixing in elements of the modernist literature he had studied at Columbia.
Silverberg continued to write rapidly—Algis Budrys reported in 1965 that he wrote and sold at least 50,000 words ("call it the equivalent of a commercial novel") weekly—but the novels he wrote in this period are considered superior to his earlier work; Budrys in 1968 wrote of his surprise that "Silverberg is now writing deeply detailed, highly educated, beautifully figured books" like Thorns and The Masks of Time. Perhaps the first book to indicate the new Silverberg was To Open the Sky, a fixup of stories published by Pohl in Galaxy Magazine, in which a new religion helps people reach the stars. That was followed by Downward to the Earth, a story containing echoes of material from Joseph Conrad's work, in which the human former administrator of an alien world returns after the planet's inhabitants have been set free. Other acclaimed works of that time include To Live Again, in which the memories and personalities of the deceased can be transferred to other people; The World Inside, a look at an overpopulated future; and Dying Inside, a tale of a telepath losing his powers.
In the August 1967 issue of Galaxy, Pohl published a 20,000-word novelette called "Hawksbill Station". This story earned Silverberg his first Hugo and Nebula story award nominations. An expanded novel form of Hawksbill Station was published the following year. In 1969 Nightwings was awarded the Hugo for best novella. Silverberg won a Nebula award in 1970 for the short story "Passengers", two the following year for his novel A Time of Changes and the short story "Good News from the Vatican", and yet another in 1975 for his novella "Born with the Dead".
After suffering through the stresses of a major house fire and a thyroid malfunction, Silverberg moved from his native New York City to the West Coast in 1972, and he announced his retirement from writing in 1975. In 1980 he returned, however, with Lord Valentine's Castle, a panoramic adventure set on an alien planet, which has become the basis of the Majipoor series—a cycle of stories and novels set on the vast planet Majipoor, a world much larger than Earth and inhabited by no fewer than seven different species of settlers. In a 2015 interview Silverberg said that he did not intend to write any more fiction.
Silverberg received a Nebula award in 1986 for the novella Sailing to Byzantium, which takes its name from the poem by William Butler Yeats; a Hugo in 1987 for the novella Gilgamesh in the Outback, set in the Heroes in Hell universe of Bangsian Fantasy; a Hugo in 1990 for Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted Silverberg in 1999, its fourth class of two deceased and two living writers, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 21st SFWA Grand Master in 2005.
Silverberg has been married twice. He and Barbara Brown married in 1956, separated in 1976, and divorced a decade later. Silverberg and science fiction writer Karen Haber married in 1987. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the age of 30, Silverberg was independently wealthy through his investments and once owned the former mansion of New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.
Alpha 1 is a science fiction anthology edited by Robert Silverberg first published in 1970.Alpha 2 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 2 is a science fiction anthology edited by Robert Silverberg, first published as a paperback original by Ballantine Books in November 1977. No further editions have been issued.
.Alpha 3 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 3 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Robert Silverberg. It was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in October 1972.Alpha 4 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 4 is a science fiction anthology edited by American writer Robert Silverberg, first published in 1973.Alpha 5 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 5 is a science fiction anthology edited by American writer Robert Silverberg, first published in 1974.Alpha 6 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 6 is a science fiction anthology edited by American writer Robert Silverberg, first published in 1976.Alpha 7 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 7 is a science fiction anthology edited by Robert Silverberg first published in 1977.Alpha 8 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 8 is a science fiction anthology edited by American writer Robert Silverberg, first published as a paperback original by Berkley Medallion in November 1977. No further editions have been issued.Alpha 9 (Robert Silverberg anthology)
Alpha 9 is a science fiction anthology edited by American writer Robert Silverberg, first published in 1978.Collision Course (Silverberg novel)
Collision Course is a science fiction novel by American author Robert Silverberg, first published in hardcover in 1961 by Avalon Books and reprinted in paperback as an Ace Double later that year. Ace reissued it as a stand-alone volume in 1977 and 1982; a Tor paperback appeared in 1988. An Italian translation was also published in 1961, and a German translation later appeared. Silverberg planned the novel as a serial for Astounding Science Fiction, but John W. Campbell rejected the work and Silverberg eventually sold a shorter version to Amazing Stories, where it appeared in 1959.Collision Course details the response of the political leadership of Earth to an eventual collision of their aggressive expanding colonial empire with a newly discovered alien race.Gilgamesh in the Outback
Gilgamesh in the Outback is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert Silverberg, a sequel to his novel Gilgamesh the King as well as a story in the shared universe series Heroes in Hell. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1987 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 1986. Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, it was then printed in Rebels in Hell before being incorporated into Silverberg's novel To the Land of the Living. Real-life writers Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft feature as characters in the novella.
Robert Silverberg wrote that he was "drawn into" writing a story for the "Heroes in Hell" project. While he remembered that the central concept of the series was "never clearly explained" to him, he noted the similarity of "Heroes in Hell" to Philip José Farmer's Riverworld works, and decided "to run my own variant on what Farmer had done a couple of decades earlier." After writing "Gilgamesh in the Outback", he decided that, since the story "was all so much fun," to write two sequels, "The Fascination of the Abomination" and "Gilgamesh in Uruk". In writing those stories, as Silverberg recalled, he "never read many of the other 'Heroes in Hell' stories", and had "no idea" of how consistent his work was with that of his "putative collaborators"; instead, he had "gone his own way . . . with only the most tangential links to what others had invented."Silverberg compiled the three stories as To the Land of the Living, revising the stories to remove any references to other writers' contributions to "Heroes in Hell" to avoid copyright issues. To the Land of the Living was published in the British market in 1989 and reprinted in an American edition in 1990.Gilgamesh the King
Gilgamesh the King is a 1984 historical novel by American writer Robert Silverberg, presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh as a novel. In the afterword the author wrote "at all times I have attempted to interpret the fanciful and fantastic events of these poems in a realistic way, that is, to tell the story of Gilgamesh as though he were writing his own memoirs, and to that end I have introduced many interpretations of my own devising which for better or for worse are in no way to be ascribed to the scholars".Hawksbill Station
Hawksbill Station is a science fiction novel by American writer Robert Silverberg. The novel is an expanded version of a short story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction in August 1967. The novel was published in 1968 and was released in the United Kingdom under the title The Anvil of Time.Legends (book)
Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy is a 1998 anthology of 11 novellas (short novels) by a number of English-language fantasy authors, edited by Robert Silverberg. All the stories were original to the collection, and set in the authors' established fictional worlds. The anthology won a Locus Award for Best Anthology in 1999. Its science fiction equivalent, Far Horizons, followed in 1999.
The collection has a sequel, Legends II, published in 2003.Legends II (book)
Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy is a 2003 collection of 11 short stories by a number of fantasy authors, edited by Robert Silverberg. All the stories were original to the collection, and set in the authors' established fictional worlds. The first Legends was published in 1998.In 2004, the Legends II anthology was republished as two volumes, Legends II: Dragon, Sword, and King and Legends II: Shadows, Gods, and Demons.Randall Garrett
Randall Garrett (December 16, 1927 – December 31, 1987) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was a contributor to Astounding and other science fiction magazines of the 1950s and 1960s. He instructed Robert Silverberg in the techniques of selling large quantities of action-adventure science fiction, and collaborated with him on two novels about men from Earth disrupting a peaceful agrarian civilization on an alien planet.The Masks of Time
The Masks of Time is a science fiction novel by American author Robert Silverberg, first published in 1968. It was a nominee for the Nebula Award in 1968.It was published in the United Kingdom under the title Vornan-19.The Positronic Man
The Positronic Man is a 1992 novel by American writers Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, based on Asimov's novelette "The Bicentennial Man".
It tells of a robot that begins to display characteristics, such as creativity, traditionally the province of humans; the robot is ultimately declared an official human being.
The film Bicentennial Man, starring Robin Williams, was based both on the original story and the novel.