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Early Days : More Tales from the Pulp Era

Early Days : More Tales from the Pulp Era

by Robert Silverberg

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Silverberg, a “wildly prolific” SFWA Grand Master and winner of many awards, celebrates his five-decade writing career with a collection of “straightforward tales of action” that were originally published in pulp magazines from 1956 to 1958 and may hold little appeal for today’s readers. In his introduction, Silverberg describes them as good examples of “a lost tradition in science fiction,” and his substantial author notes before each story provide context and chatty descriptions. For the most part, these are fast-paced, formulaic stories of action. “Six Frightened Men,” “The Ultimate Weapon,” “A Time for Revenge,” “Slaves of the Tree,” and “The Aliens Were Haters” offer space explorers investigating alien worlds. “Puppets Without Strings,” the dystopian “The Inquisitor,” and the problematic romance of “Housemaid No. 103” all deliver Twilight Zone twists. Others, such as “Rescue Mission” and “Harwood’s Vortex,” are straight-up adventure tales, and “Quick Freeze,” “Planet of Parasites,” and “The Traders” are traditional puzzle stories. These works evoke an era when men were leaders and women were content with “frills,” “lace,” and “sentimental slush,” hoping to be “still attractive at thirty-five.” This collection is best left to Silverberg completists and hardcore fans of pulp SF. Agent: Chris Lotts, Lotts Agency. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of pulp-style science-fiction stories from the days when men were men and aliens were green, scaly, and up to no good.In the introduction to this new collection of his early work for pulp magazines, Silverberg (Tales of Majipoor, 2013, etc.) explains, at some length, that the stories within aren't very good—or at least not up to the level of his later work. Written when Silverberg was still very young, these stories are all plot, with virtually no character development, and the prose in some of the earliest can be clunky ("Please, Captain. Who could expect you to prognosticate such an unlikely event?"). But they noticeably improve as time goes on. "Planet of Parasites" offers some genuinely creepy thrills; "Frontier Planet" gleefully mixes genres and contains some moments of real emotional depth. All the stories move along briskly and, true to the pulp promise, deliver plenty of strong men, beautiful women in skimpy clothing, and alien horrors. This is an old-fashioned future, in which earthmen can travel to distant planets but a spaceship can't store enough data to carry a detailed map of a galaxy. Reading this collection is akin to watching the B-movies Quentin Tarantino has spent his career riffing off—fun for superfans and students of the genre but skippable for everyone else.

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Subterranean Pr
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5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such classic books such as Gilgamesh the King, Dying Inside, Nightwings, and Lord Valentine’s Castle. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards—including one for the short story Passengers—and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America presented him with the Grand Master Award.

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