Friday, September 21, 2012

Forgotten Books: Valley Beyond Time -- Robert Silverberg

Not too long ago I was in a Half-Price Books and saw this copy of Valley Beyond Time.  It was published in 1973, but it looked as fresh as if it had just come from the printer.  I don't know where it's been all those years, but I couldn't resist picking it up.  It contains four novellas, two from Science Fiction Adventures ("Valley Beyond Time" and "The Flame and the Hammer"), one from SFA's sister publication, Infinity ("Spacerogue"), and one from If ("The Wages of Death).  In his introduction to the book, Silverberg says that these aren't the kinds of stories he writes anymore, as they'd been written about 15 years previously.

I read all four of the stories, probably for the second time, as I was a big fan of the SF digests (particularly the three where these tales appeared) in the late 1950s.  I'm sure that none of them could be published in the few remaining digests.  Things have changed, and so have Silverberg's stories.  He could write for any market, and in the '50s, he wrote for a bunch of them.  Crime, SF, western, softcore erotica, you name it, he wrote it, and very successfully.  

In these four stories you get starships, FTL travel, exotic societies, and strange, powerful inventions.  You get action and romance (not too much romance, though, and none at all in two of the four stories)You get old-fashioned adventure and storytelling.  If that's what you're looking for, you can't go wrong here.

1 comment:

  1. You're right about Silverberg's versatility. And his prolific output in the Fifties and early Sixties. I'm currently buying what will end up being the muli-volume THE COMPLETE SHORT FICTION OF ROBERT SILVERBERG by Subterranean Press. Great stuff!

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