Before I start this review, let me just say that I am not familiar with the work of Robert Silverberg. My husband has read his books and they’re on our shelf, but I don’t know his work. That said, I came to this book hoping to glean some good tips on writing sci-fi. As a writer, that is what grabbed my interest. I’ve dabbled in sci-fi, but nothing was ever published. So the title of the book is what grabbed me.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said of the content. There’s good short stories here, some of them by writers I do know, but a lot of the book is all about Robert Silverberg’s take on science fiction. There is also a bit of James Blish making comments, as well. I was not really interested in reading 40-plus pages about Silverberg’s career as a sci-fi writer and his introduction to these stories featured here. I wanted more objective instruction on the writing of sci-fi. This book is more of a commentary of sci-fi based on how Silbverberg and Blish interpret the 13 stories here, but not much else that would be, in my own opinion, helpful to an aspiring writer of sci-fi.
Before Robert Silverberg won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards and became Grand Master of science fiction, he was a young man learning the art and craft of writing the genre. In Science Fiction: 101, Silverberg reveals the roots of modern science fiction with thought-provoking essays about some of the field’s most groundbreaking stories?included in this volume?which inspired him and taught him to write. These insightful analyses, along with the skills and strategies Silverberg developed to build his successful career, make this an indispensable volume for readers interested in science fiction history.
Featuring Thirteen Classic Stories by Brian W. Aldiss, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Philip K. Dick, Damon Knight, C. M. Kornbluth, Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore, Frederik Pohl, Bob Shaw, Robert Sheckley, Cordwainer Smith, and Jack Vance