Review: The Book of Silverberg

Posted: December 13, 2014 in Book Reviews, Science Fiction
Tags: , , , ,


Silverberg(The Book of Silverberg: Stories in Honor of Robert Silverberg, Gardner Dozois and William Schafer, eds. Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2014, 291 pp.,  hardcover, $35)

reviewed by Zeke Teflon

Regardless of whether you’re a Silverberg fan, it’s hard not to love this book’s concept: a collection of short stories written by well known science fiction authors using as their starting point the novels and short stories of Robert Silverberg, one of the deans of the sci-fi field. This collection of nine lengthy stories–the shortest is 24 pages– includes tales by Kage Baker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick, Connie Willis, Elizabeth Bear, and Nancy Kress; it also features a tribute by Greg Bear, and an introduction by the under-appreciated Barry Malzberg. As you’d expect, given these authors, all of the stories are well written.

And as you’d expect, and is almost inevitable in short story collections, the stories vary in quality. The three standouts are Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “Voyeuristic Tendencies” (based on Silverberg’s Dying Inside), Nancy Kress’s “Eaters” (based on Silverberg’s “Sundance”), and the collection’s concluding tale, “Ambassador to the Dinosaurs,” by Tobias S. Buckell (based on Silverberg’s “Our Lady of the Sauropods”).

Rusch’s “Voyeuristic Tendencies” is a taut psychological tale of a telepath who has been putting her talent to questionable uses; Kress’s “Eaters” is another tense psychological tale–of colonization, the legacy of colonialism, and barely sentient aliens; and Buckell’s “Ambassador to the Dinosaurs” is a clever, very funny story about resurrected (“Jurassic Park” style) dinosaurs and Neanderthals in orbit.

The only real negative regarding this book is its high price; the publisher is almost certainly aiming at the library market.

If you’re a Silverberg fan, you’ll want The Book of Silverberg. Even if you aren’t, the stories are enjoyable enough that the book is worth having.

Recommended–once the book comes out as a presumably much cheaper paperback.

* * *

Reviewer Zeke Teflon is the author of Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia.

Free Radicals front cover

  1. […] few weeks ago I reviewed The Book of Silverberg: Stories in Honor of Robert Silverberg, Gardner Dozois and William Schafer, eds., a collection of short stories by well known science […]


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