An American institution almost, the highly renowned writer and novelist of large scores of science-fiction novels throughout the twentieth century Robert Silverberg has created a legacy that has inspired many. With many looking to his work for inspiration, as he has lead the way for many years now, he is not only a writer of high standing, but he’s also one of the most prolific too. This has lead to him being one of the strongest voices currently going on the literary scene as well, as he continues to write in a evocative and inventive style. Building entire worlds within his novels, he’s managed to create a whole style that is all of his very own, with his work being immediately recognizable. It is also his characters that manage to draw readers in too, as they come alive off the page, quickly drawing the reader and keeping them there.

Entertaining and engaging in equal measure, Silverberg writes in a manner which is extremely accessible and easy to follow. Whilst his stories may be rich and textured with highly complex narratives, he manage to navigate through all of this deftly, allowing his stories to stay seemingly light and breezy throughout. Not just that, but he also entertains, as he has gained acclaim from the general public, as well as gaining critical acclaim for his efforts over the years. Writing a number of series too, he is highly talented at creating large and expansive arcs that really reward the long-term readers too. It is this legacy that will continue to live on for many years to come, something that will carry on for quite some time yet.

Early and Personal Life

Born on the 15th of January in 1935, he would immerse himself in the science-fiction genre from a young age, using it as a form of escapism almost. Alluding to the fact that he may have been a fairly lonely child growing up, it was through the wide and expansive universes found within science-fiction that he found solace. Over the years he would work at developing this passion, building upon it, allowing it to evolve and shape itself through his formative years. Starting a science-fiction fanzine in 1949, he would bring this love of the genre to light, as he would start to explore his love of the field through a more creative format. This would be called ‘Spaceship’, and he would later go on to sell to Science Fiction Adventures, with a non-fiction piece which would be titled ‘Fanmag’.

Studying and majoring in Comparative Literature, he would later go on to graduate from Columbia University in 1956. Keeping his personal life more separate from his novels initially, he would keep his fiction apart from his real life, allowing it to speak more for itself. This would also allow him to find himself in his far off worlds, giving them a very real and very grounded sense of personality throughout. Marrying the electronics engineer Barbara Brown, she would specialize in optics and radar, something which he would also divulge later on too. Currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area, he know lives with his wife and fellow science-fiction writer Karen Haber, where he continues to write to this very day.

Writing Career

Selling his first science-fiction novel, Robert Silverberg would release his debut story, making his arrival onto the literary scene in 1954. His first fictional piece would be called Gorgon Planet, as it would help establish his name as a writer, quickly allowing him to grow in prominence. Later going on to write under various different pseudonyms, he would also use pen-names such as Don Elliot, Robert Randall, Calvin M Knox and Ivar Jorgenson. Writing his first book in 1955, he would make his full literary debut with the book ‘Revolt on Alpha C’, which would also help establish his name. Known for creating fun and inventive adventures, he would bring a fast paced and exciting style of tone into his work.

Winning various awards and nominations for his many different stories and novels, Silverberg would go on to gain the eye of the critical establishment too. Constantly pushing the form forwards, he would really work at making the most of his premises, always seeing what new directions he could take his material in. Over time he would also branch away from science-fiction too, as he would become known for writing erotic novels during his time too. Building vast and expansive worlds, his imagination has remained unparalleled over the years with many writers looking to explore these universes. It is this legacy that will continue to live on, with more and more readers discovering his work every day, which will not be stopping any time soon.

Downward to the Earth

Previously published through the Roc publishing outlet, this was first released in 1969. A stand-alone title, it works on its own as a self-contained science-fiction story. Creating its own universe, it shows how far Silverberg came ever since his first release.

Resembling elephants somewhat, the Nildoror have been underestimated by many for a long time now. With their more fearsome counterparts, the Sulidoror, they are both judged by human standards, something which could prove to be detrimental to many. Holman’s World is now known as Belzagor once more, as it has been returned to the natives there, with the Company being sent away. Can previous head of the Company Edmund Gunderson gain the ear of Nildoror again? Will his journey to mend old ties be wasted? What will happen is he’s sent back downward to the Earth?

Valentine Pontifex

Initially published through Eos, this originally came out in 1983. It would mark the third title in the ongoing ‘Lord Valentine’ series of novels. Continuing on from the last, it would provide the next episode in the long-running science-fiction saga.

Set in the world of Majipoor, this looks at the background of Lord Valentines Castle conflict. Featuring Valentine Pontifex, it sees wizardry and treachery run rampant under his reign. Not only that, but Korsibar is plotting to take the throne with his twin sister. Will he succeed? Can the almighty Pontifex be defended? What will become of Valentine Pontifex?

Books published in order by series:

Majipoor: Lord Valentine Books

Lord Valentine’s Castle(1980) 
Majipoor Chronicles(1982) 
Valentine Pontifex(1983) 
The Mountains of Majipoor(1995) 

New Springtime Books

At Winter’s End(1988) 
The Queen of Springtime(1989) 

Mutant Legacy Books

The Mutant Season(1989)

Majipoor: Lord Prestimion Books

Sorcerers of Majipoor(1997) 
Lord Prestimion(1999) 
The King of Dreams(2001) 
Tales of Majipoor(2013) 

Standalone Novels

Revolt on Alpha C(1955) 
The 13th Immortal(1956) 
Master of Life and Death(1957) 
Aliens From Space(1958) 
Collision Course(1958) 
Invaders from Earth(1958) 
Invisible Barriers(1958) 
Lest We Forget Thee, Earth(1958) 
The Silent Invaders(1958) 
Starhaven(1958) 
Stepsons of Terra(1958) 
The Planet Killers(1959) 
Love Addict(1959) 
Gang Girl(1959) 
The Plot Against Earth(1959) 
Starman’s Quest(1959) 
The Flesh Peddlers(1960) 
Party Girl(1960) 
Sex Jungle(1960) 
Sin on Wheels(1960) 
Summertime Affair(1960) 
Lost Race of Mars(1960) 
Planet of Death(1960) 
Recalled to Life(1962) 
No Lust Tonight(1962) 
The Seed of Earth(1955) 
One of Our Asteroids is Missing(1964) 
Regan’s Planet(1964) 
Time of the Great Freeze(1964) 
Orgy Isle(1964) 
Orgy Maid(1964) 
Pickup(1964) 
Sin Service(1964) 
Conquerors from the Darkness(1965) 
Flesh Boarder(1965) 
Sin Sold(1965) 
We, the Marauders(1965) 
The Gate of Worlds(1967) 
Thorns(1967) 
Those Who Watch(1967) 
The Time Hoppers(1967) 
To Open the Sky(1967) 
Lust Market(1967) 
Mistress of Sin(1969) 
Hawksbill Station(1968) 
The Masks of Time(1968) 
Across a Billion Years(1969) 
The Man in the Maze(1969) 
Nightwings(1969) 
Three Survived(1969) 
To Live Again(1969) 
Up The Line(1969) 
Downward to the Earth(1970) 
Tower of Glass(1970) 
World’s Fair 1992(1970) 
A Time of Changes(1971) 
The World Inside(1971) 
Son of Man(1971) 
Dying Inside(1972) 
The Book of Skulls(1972) 
The Second Trip(1972) 
Keep the Clients Happy(1973) 
The Stochastic Man(1975) 
Shadrach in the Furnace(1976) 
The Desert of Stolen Dreams(1981) 
Lord of Darkness(1983) 
Gilgamesh the King(1984) 
Tom O’Bedlam(1985) 
Sailing to Byzantium(1985) 
Star of Gypsies(1986) 
Project Pendulum(1987) 
The Secret Sharer(1988) 
To the Land of the Living(1989) 
In Another Country(1990) 
Nightfall(1990) 
The Face of the Waters(1991) 
Child of Time(1991) 
The Ugly Little Boy(1992) 
Kingdoms of the Wall(1992) 
Thebes of the Hundred Gates(1992) 
The Posironic Man(1992) 
Hot Sky at Midnight(1993) 
The Realm of Prester John(1996) 
Starborne(1996) 
The Alien Years(1997) 
Shadow on the Stars(2000) 
Cronos(2001) 
The Longest Way Home(2002) 
Roma Eterna(2003) 
Blood on the Mink(2012) 
Beyond the Doors of Death(2013)