Robert Silverberg  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Robert Silverberg (born January 15, 1935) is a prolific American author, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.


Life and work

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 attended Columbia University, receiving an A.B. in English Literature in 1956. His first published novel, a children's book called Revolt on Alpha C, appeared in 1955, and he won his first Hugo the following year for "best new writer". For the next four years, by his own count, he wrote a million words a year, mostly for magazines and Ace Doubles. In 1959 the market for science fiction collapsed, and Silverberg turned his ability to write copiously to other fields, from carefully researched historical nonfiction to softcore pornography.

In the mid-1960s, science fiction writers were starting to become 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.

The books Silverberg wrote during this time were widely considered to be a quantum leap forward from his earlier work. 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 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 thyroid malfunction and a major house fire, Silverberg moved from his native New York to the West Coast in 1972, and 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 planet much larger than Earth and inhabited by no less than six different species of planetary settlers.

Silverberg received a Nebula award in 1986 for his novella Sailing to Byzantium, which takes its name from Yeats' poem; a Hugo in 1990 for Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another; and in 2004 he was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Silverberg has been married twice. He married his first wife, Barbara Brown, in 1956. The couple separated in 1976 and divorced a decade later. Silverberg married science fiction author Karen Haber in 1987. The couple resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 2007, Silverberg was elected president of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association.

Selected bibliography


thumb|240px|right|Invaders from Earth (1958).

Majipoor series

Short story collections

  • Lest We Forget Thee Earth (1958) written under the pen-name Calvin M. Knox
  • Needle in a Timestack (1966)
  • The Calibrated Alligator (1969)
  • Dimension Thirteen (1969)
  • The Cube Root of Uncertainty (1970)
  • Moonferns & Starsongs (1971)
  • Valley Beyond Time (1972)
  • The Reality Trip and Other Implausibilities (1972)
  • Unfamiliar Territory (1973)
  • Sunrise On Mercury (1975)
  • The Feast of St. Dionysus: Five Science Fiction Stories (1975), Scribners
  • The Best of Robert Silverberg (1976)
  • The Shores of Tomorrow (1976)
  • Next Stop The Stars (1977)
  • Capricorn Games (1979)
  • World of a Thousand Colors (1982)
  • The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party (1984)
  • Beyond the Safe Zone (1986)
  • The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg: Secret Sharers (1992)
  • Phases of the Moon (2004)
  • In the Beginning (2006)
  • To Be Continued: The Collected Stories Volume 1 (2006)
  • To The Dark Star: The Collected Stories Volume 2 (2007)
  • Something Wild is Loose: The Collected Stories Volume 3 (2008)
  • Trips: The Collected Stories Volume 4 (2009)


  • The Palace At Midnight: The Collected Stories Volume 5 (2010)
  • Multiples: The Collected Stories Volume 6 (2011)
  • We Are For The Dark: The Collected Stories Volume 7 (2012)
  • Hot Times in Magma City: The Collected Stories Volume 8 (2013)
  • The Millennium Express: The Collected Stories Volume 9 (2014)

Anthologies edited by Robert Silverberg


  • Treasures Beneath the Sea (1960)
  • Sir Winston Churchill (1961, as Edgar Black)
  • First American into Space (1961)
  • Lost Cities and Vanished Civilizations (1962)
  • Philosopher of Evil (1962, as Walter Drummond)
  • The Fabulous Rockefellers (1963)
  • Sunken History: The Story of Underwater Archaeology (1963)
  • How to Spend Money (1963, as Walter Drummond)
  • Fifteen Battles That Changed the World (1963)
  • Empires in the Dust: Ancient Civilizations Brought to Light (1963)
  • Home of the Red Man: Indian North America Before Columbus (1963)
  • The History of Surgery (1963, as L. T. Woodward)
  • The Great Doctors (1964)
  • Man Before Adam: The Story of Man in Search of His Origins (1964)
  • Akhnaten: The Rebel Pharaoh (1964)
  • 1066 (1964, as Franklin Hamilton)
  • The Loneliest Continent: The Story of Antarctic Discovery (1964, as Walker Chapman)
  • The Man Who Found Nineveh: The Story of Austen Henry Layard (1964)
  • Great Adventures in Archaeology (1964)
  • Socrates (1965)
  • Scientists And Scoundrels: A Book of Hoaxes (1965)
  • Men Who Mastered the Atom (1965)
  • Niels Bohr: The Man Who Mapped the Atom (1965)
  • The Old Ones: Indians of the American Southwest (1965)
  • The Great Wall of China (1965)
  • The World of Coral (1965)
  • The Crusades (1965, as Franklin Hamilton)
  • Antarctic Conquest: The Great Explorers in Their Own Words (1966, as Walker Chapman)
  • The Long Rampart: The Story of the Great Wall of China (1966)
  • Rivers: A Book to Begin On (1966, as Lee Sebastian)
  • Forgotten by Time: A Book of Living Fossils (1966)
  • Frontiers in Archeology (1966)
  • Kublai Khan: Lord of Xanadu (1966, as Walker Chapman)
  • Leaders Of Labor (1966, as Roy Cook)
  • Bridges (1966)
  • To the Rock of Darius: The Story of Henry Rawlinson (1966)
  • The Hopefuls: Ten Presidential Campaigns (1966, as Lloyd Robinson)
  • The Morning of Mankind: Prehistoric Man in Europe (1967)
  • The Golden Dream: Seekers of El Dorado (1967, as Walker Chapman)
  • The Auk, the Dodo and the Oryx (1967)
  • The World of the Rain Forests (1967)
  • The Dawn of Medicine (1967)
  • The Adventures of Nat Palmer (1967)
  • Challenge for a Throne: The Wars of the Roses (1967, as Franklin Hamilton)
  • Men Against Time: Salvage Archeology in the United States (1967)
  • Light for the World: Edison and the Power Industry (1967)
  • The Search for Eldorado (1967, as Walker Chapman)
  • Sophisticated Sex Techniques in Marriage (1967, as L. T. Woodward)
  • Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archeology of a Myth (1968)
  • The World of the Ocean Depths (1968)
  • The Stolen Election: Hayes vs. Tilden, 1876 (1968, as Lloyd Robinson)
  • Four Men Who Changed the Universe (1968)
  • Sam Houston (1968, as Paul Hollander)
  • The South Pole: A Book to Begin On (1968, as Lee Sebastian)
  • Stormy Voyager (1968)
  • Ghost Towns of the American West (1968)
  • Vanishing Giants: The Story of the Sequoias (1969)
  • Wonders of Ancient Chinese Science (1969)
  • The Challenge of Climate: Man and His Environment (1969)
  • Bruce of the Blue Nile (1969)
  • The World of Space (1969)
  • If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem (1970)
  • The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (1970)
  • Mammoths, Mastodons and Man (1970)
  • The Mound Builders (1970)
  • The Pueblo Revolt (1970)
  • Clocks for the Ages: How Scientists Date the Past (1971)
  • To The Western Shore: Growth of the United States 1776-1853 (1971)
  • Before The Sphinx: Early Egypt (1971)
  • Into Space: A Young Person's Guide to Space (1971, with Arthur C. Clarke)
  • The Realm of Prester John (1972)
  • The Longest Voyage: Circumnavigation in the Age Of Discovery (1972)
  • John Muir, Prophet Among the Glaciers (1972)
  • The World Within the Ocean Wave (1972)
  • The World Within the Tide Pool (1972)
  • Drug Themes in Science Fiction (1974)
  • Reflections and Refractions: Thoughts on Science Fiction, Science and Other Matters (1997)

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