Wednesday, 3 April 2013

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Tales of Majipoor - Robert Silverberg

Release Date: 21/02/13
Publisher:  Gollancz (UK), Ace (US)


From one of the masters of SF comes this new collection of stories, all set on his most famous creation - the world of Majipoor. A massive world of adventure, romance and danger. A place where dreams can soothe the restless or flay the minds of the guilty. Where humans, aliens and natives live in a shifting, uneasy alliance and where two great men rule over all. No matter who bears the title, there is always a Coronal and a Pontifex, forever miles apart, forever striving to maintain the balance of their far-flung civilisation. Here, collected for the first time, are the final tales of Majipoor. From the earliest legends of the Shapeshifters to an untold mystery late in the reign of Valentine Pontifex, the seven stories in this collection expand upon and flesh out the remarkable world that Robert Silverberg has created. Spanning a decade of writing from one of the masters of science-fiction, this collection is both a fantastic introduction for those new to Majipoor and a welcome return for those who have visited before.


To be honest I’ve never really tackled a book purely by Robert, yes I’ve read books he’s edited and yes I’ve read the odd short story but this was years ago when I was on an extremely limited budget so when I found this new title by Gollancz (and having remembered the name) I jumped at the chance to sit down and embark on my first full adventure with him.

What unfurls is a set of tales that are wonderfully woven around the one world. They have great characters, the prose is sharp and to be honest each tale stands alone wonderfully (even though they are interlinked.) Add to this the an author who has a clear idea about how the world would develop and has the talent to bring the reader an imaginative tale in a wonderfully direct way, all round made this a book that I had a lot of fun dipping into on my travels.

All round I loved this book, yes there was the odd story that I felt didn’t work quite as well but all round they helped fill out this imaginative world and added extra layers to the historical context. Great stuff.

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