Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Unfamiliar Territory

Unfamiliar Territory

Robert Silverberg

Date: 1978   —   used only   —   Book

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Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Stories

This is a classic collection of prime SF, and even the stories that seem a little dated or out-of-step (such as "Caught in the Organ Draft", which postulates a future in which healthy young folk are required to donate organs to wealthy seniors— something that seems unlikely now, given the parallel medical advances) are well-written and entertaining. The best science fiction is about today's fears and struggles, told through the lens of the future, and Silverberg's collection is best viewed as a compendium of issues of the 70s, a few of which we still have today, and some of which seem far distant. (Anyone who grew up with "Duck and Cover" will know what I mean; kids today generally don't have nightmares of everybody in the world dying in mutually assured destruction.)

At any rate, Silverberg is a supremely good writer, and this book is a good introduction to his work. If you can find it.

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