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Classic character driven science fiction novella about a human consciousness that takes residence inside a young captain. Makes some very subtle and interesting points about the "soul" and what exactly is our self. The writing is spare and evocative, like sci-fi written by Raymond Carver (which is kind of Silverberg in a nutshell!). An excellent piece that will haunt the reader long after reading.
Read the Joseph Conrad story first, but then check out this futuristic riff on that story by Robert Silverberg. I thought he did a good job of carrying the themes over, expanding on them a bit in the "sea" of space, and respecting his source material. Good companion pieces...and apparently Silverberg has paid homage to Conrad in other works, too, (e.g. Downward to the Earth riffs on Heart of Darkness) which I will be checking out.
Aside from being aware of Robert Silverberg's prolific nature, I know very little about him as a writer. After this particular novella my interest is piqued. The humanity of this story balanced against the ease with which Silverberg unpacks exotic ideas about space travel is impressive.
Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...moreMore about Robert Silverberg...