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review 2018-11-09 11:19
RIP Daniel L. Weinreb: "The World Inside" by Robert Silverberg
Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg

(Original Review, 1980-10-27)

Gee, Danny, I don't recall saying you don't enjoy sex, but, "please don't squeeze the Charmin!" More to the point, I found you missed the point of the "boring sexual encounters." [2018 EDIT: Daniel L. Weinreb, Danny for his friends, my American friend died on the 7th of September of 2012; so many talks through the wires, he in the US and me in Portugal, that would fill many posts if one day I’m willing to put them on "paper"…the first time I started doing stuff in Lisp in college he was there to help me out; RIP My Friend.]




If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-09 10:46
Gothic SF Romance: "Glass Tower" by Robert Silverberg
Tower of Glass - Robert Silverberg

(Original Review, 1980-10-28)

If it is in fact Silverberg's intention to make the sexual encounters uncaring in order to give an indication of the interpersonal encounters of the society in general, then why attribute them to the androids in "The Glass Tower" since it seems that he is trying to make the point that the androids CAN care and that they should therefore be considered equal to the humans? Is this contradiction his intention? Has he thought things out far enough that he even notices the contradiction?



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review 2018-11-04 12:32
Erudition: "The Last Defender of Camelot" by Roger Zelazny
The Last Defender of Camelot - Roger Zelazny,Robert Silverberg

(Original Review, 1980-12-12)

"The Last Defender of Camelot" is not really a new Zelazny book, but is a collection of short stories and novelettes from the very beginning of his career til now. I didn't much care for the title story (Merlin, not Lancelot was always my favorite Arthurian character), but they're all worth reading unless you have them in other collections.


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review 2018-08-29 17:31
Sextuple star system: "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg
Nightfall - Isaac Asimov,Robert Silverberg

"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!"

In "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg

The story, of course, being about how it doesn't quite work out like that.

When I think about “Nightfall”, Byron’s “Darkness” comes to mind, always:

"I had a dream, which was not all a dream,
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless; and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air.
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation: and all hearts
Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face...."



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-03-28 14:43
An enjoyable collection from start to finish
Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History - L. Sprague de Camp,Mike Resnick,Robert Silverberg,Gardner R. Dozois,Gene Wolfe,Harry Turtledove,Gregory Benford,Bruce McAllister,Stanley Schmidt,Greg Costikyan,Shelly Shapiro,A.A. Attanasio,Michael Flynn

Short-story anthologies can often be a mixed bag consisting of both the good and the bad.    This is one of the reasons why Gardiner Dozios and Stanley Schmidt’s book stands out; taken from the pages of both Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and Analog Science Fiction and Fact, it offers a stronger than average collection of alternate history tales.  The book consists of the following stories:


"Must and Shall" by Harry Turtledove – In 1942 New Orleans, a federal agent works to head off an rebellion in a South still occupied by government forces.

"An Outpost of Empire" by Robert Silverberg – A Byzantine noblewoman reconciles herself to the reunification of the two Roman empires.

"We Could Do Worse" by Gregory Benford – Two FBI agents undertake an assignment in an American where McCarthyism rages unchecked.

"Over There" by Mike Resnick – Theodore Roosevelt puts together a new group of Rough Riders to fight in a very different conflict.

"Ink from the New Moon" by A. A. Attanasio – A man’s letter to his wife reveals a very different America.

"Southpaw" by Bruce McAllister – A Cuban pitching for the Yankees wrestles with events back home.

"The West is Red" by Greg Costikyan – A Soviet scientist is present as the United States grapples with the consequences of its defeat in the Cold War.

"The Forest of Time" by Michael F. Flynn – In a very different Pennsylvania, a scout comes across a man traveling from another world.

"Aristotle and the Gun" by L. Sprague de Camp – A scientist learns a valuable lesson when he attempts to set scientific discovery on a proper path from the beginning.

"How I Lost the Second World War and Helped Turn Back the German Invasion" by Gene Wolfe – In 1930s England, an American diplomat inspires a very different conflict between Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.


Though not all of the stories are to everyone’s taste (there are a couple that, having read them, I doubt I will revisit again), the overall quality is quite good, much better than in most anthologies.  With an introduction explaining what alternate history is, this is an excellent book to give someone seeking an introduction to the genre, as well as a good addition to the bookshelf of any fan of the counterfactual tale.

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