The Road to Castle Mount: The Science Fiction of Robert Silverberg
One of the most prolific, honored, and widely read science fiction writers, Robert Silverberg has forged a professional career that began in the 1950s and has flourished in succeeding decades. From the very beginning, he was perceived as a promising and potentially brilliant author, and he has persisted long enough to win more Hugo and Nebula Awards than any other writer. After first gaining fame for his magazine fiction, he embraced the ideals and methods of literary science fiction in the late 1960s and crafted a number of novels marked by symbolism and irony. After a period of silence in the 1970s, he resumed his career and has attracted growing amounts of critical attention. This book offers a broad study of Silverberg's growth as a writer and illuminates a career that still eludes easy assessment. Chapman not only explores Silverberg's works, but also illuminates the many factors that shaped the evolution of his works. What emerges is a complete picture of Silverberg and his craft.
An introductory chapter overviews Silverberg's career and provides some biographical information. The chapters that follow look at various phases in his development. These include an apprenticeship period, a journeyman period, a climactic period of mastery, and a second period of mature work, following a hiatus in the 1970s. Included are discussions of such works as "Revolt on Alpha C, Thorns, The Book of Skulls, Shadrach in the Furnace, " and "Lord Valentine's Castle." The volume gives special attention to the larger literary contexts of Silverberg's writings and to the forces that influenced him.