A Time of Changes

A Time of Changes

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by Robert A. Silverberg
     
 

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In the far future, Earth is a worn-out backwater and humanity is spread across the galaxy on worlds that began as colonies, but now feel like home, each with its own long history of a thousand years or more, and each with its own unique culture. One of the strangest is on Borthan, where the founding settlers established the Covenant, which teaches that the self is

Overview

In the far future, Earth is a worn-out backwater and humanity is spread across the galaxy on worlds that began as colonies, but now feel like home, each with its own long history of a thousand years or more, and each with its own unique culture. One of the strangest is on Borthan, where the founding settlers established the Covenant, which teaches that the self is to be despised, and forbids anyone to reveal his innermost thoughts or feelings to another. On Borthan, the filthiest obscenities imaginable are the words “I” and “me.” For the heinous crime of “self-baring,” apostates have always paid with exile or death, but after his eyes are opened by a visitor from Earth, Kinnall Darival, prince of Salla, risks everything to teach his people the real meaning of being human.

With a new introduction by the author, and the first-ever map of Borthan, this classic, out of print since 1992, is a fantastic new addition to the Orb imprint.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425040515
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/1979
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Time of Changes


By Silverberg, Robert

Orb Books

Copyright © 2009 Silverberg, Robert
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765322319

Chapter One

I am Kinnall Darival and I mean to tell you all about myself.

That statement is so strange to me that it screams in my eyes. I look at it on the page, and I recognize the hand as my own—narrow upright red letters on the coarse gray sheet—and I see my name, and I hear in my mind the echoes of the brain-impulse that hatched those words. I am Kinnall Darival and I mean to tell you all about myself. Incredible.

This is to be what the Earthman Schweiz would call an autobiography. Which means an account of one's self and deeds, written by one's self. It is not a literary form that we understand on our world—I must invent my own method of narrative, for I have no precedents to guide me. But this is as it should be. On this my planet I stand alone, now. In a sense, I have invented a new way of life; I can surely invent a new sort of literature. They have always told me I have a gift for words.

So I find myself in a clapboard shack in the Burnt Lowlands, writing obscenities as I wait for death, and praising myself for my literary gifts.

I am Kinnall Darival.

Obscene! Obscene! Already on this one sheet I have used the pronoun "I" close to twenty times, it seems. While also casually dropping such words as "my," "me," "myself," more often than I care to count. A torrent of shamelessness. II I I I. If I exposed my manhood in the Stone Chapel of Manneran on Naming Day, I would be doing nothing so foul as I am doing here. I could almost laugh. Kinnall Darival practicing a solitary vice. In this miserable lonely place he massages his stinking ego and shrieks offensive pronouns into the hot wind, hoping they will sail on the gusts and soil his fellow men. He sets down sentence after sentence in the naked syntax of madness. He would, if he could, seize you by the wrist and pour cascades of filth into your unwilling ear. And why? Is proud Darival in fact insane? Has his sturdy spirit entirely collapsed under the gnawing of mind-snakes? Is nothing left but the shell of him, sitting in this dreary hut, obsessively titillating himself with disreputable language, muttering "I" and "me" and "my" and "myself," blearily threatening to reveal the intimacies of his soul?

No. It is Darival who is sane and all of you who are sick, and though I know how mad that sounds, I will let it stand. I am no lunatic muttering filth to wring a feeble plea sure from a chilly universe. I have passed through a time of changes, and I have been healed of the sickness that affects those who inhabit my world, and in writing what I intend to write I hope to heal you as well, though I know you are on your way into the Burnt Lowlands to slay me for my hopes.

So be it.

I am Kinnall Darival and I mean to tell you all about myself.

Excerpted from A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg.Copyright © 2009 by Robert Silverberg.Published in May 2009 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.



Continues...


Excerpted from A Time of Changes by Silverberg, Robert Copyright © 2009 by Silverberg, Robert. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

A SFWA Grand Master and the winner of five Hugo Awards and five Nebula Awards, ROBERT SILVERBERG author of the bestselling Majipoor series and dozens of other books, is one of the giants of science fiction and fantasy. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, writer Karen Haber.

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