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3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,546 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
A tale of pilgrimage and hope, betrayal and transformation. It was Avluela the Flier's scarlet and ebony wings that lead the Watcher to the seven hills of the ancient city, leaving the skies and deep space unguarded. And so the invaders came and conquered and Avluela became lost in the turmoil.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by iBooks (first published 1969)
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Feb 04, 2008 Dinofly rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2008 Troy rated it really liked it
Ah - I read this book at 13 and created a stained glass window from the inspiration!
A short and elegaic SF novel in the 'dying earth' tradition that follows the wanderings of a member of the Watcher's Guild as he looks to the stars in anticipation of a foretold alien invasion of Earth. His companions include a beautiful young 'Flyer' (the "Nightwings" of the title) and an enigmatic Changeling.

As the story unfolds we see great changes come over both the main character and the earth itself. I enjoyed this story for the tone it conveyed as well as the world & characters that w
Oct 29, 2009 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given Silverberg's complex and mind-blowing work in some of his other books, it seems strange that this one netted him the Hugo and Nebula.

His obsession here is history, specifically the question "What must it have felt like to convert to Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire?" The correlations are not exact, but it's clear he's using Science Fictional tools to explore the emotional experiences of the past. The dying earth subgenre as a way to talk about archeology, historical expe
Jan 14, 2010 M rated it really liked it
Silverberg at his best has a real elegiac quality to his prose, but still keeps it simple enough to cut through your defenses. This isn't his absolute best, but it's some of his prime material.

A simple, eloquent piece of Dying Earth writing, with plenty of atmosphere and what slowly turns out to be a pretty interesting retelling of the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity. No Book of the New Sun here, for sure, but I just love the tone. The breathtaking description of the Fliers, the Watche
Althea Ann
Sep 28, 2013 Althea Ann rated it really liked it
Have you ever noticed the weird psychological effect where, if you're reading a new edition of a work, it just doesn't "feel" old (but if you're reading an old paperback with yellowed pages and a half-naked chick on the cover, it will undoubtedly feel dated?) Well, this copy of 'Nightwings,' which was written in 1968, does, admittedly, have the unclad female (tho' such a pretty, tasteful one!), but it's all new and shiny, and I didn't feel the story seemed dated at all. Interesting.
May 02, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sf
At first I found that I wasn't particularly engaged by the story but I was expecting science fiction when in fact this is more science fantasy in the Dying Earth tradition. Indeed, it works much more as a fantasy novel than SF and once I had made the mental adjustment to the right mode, I began to enjoy it much more.

The human race has gone well past its peak and is now in the third age in which much of the technological marvels that it attained in the previous age have been forgotten and what is
Jessica Lynn
May 23, 2013 Jessica Lynn rated it really liked it
Oddly enough I read this in my British Lit class in high school. I was absent one day and came back to find we had started a sci-fi book. Needless to say the class was a bit off track. Luckily I ended up really enjoying it and actually finished it way before everyone else.

Nightwings was a wonderful story about the fall of humankind and the wanderings of an old man. the story takes place in the future of only a shadow of the past world. Great cities are no longer what they used to be and even t
Feb 02, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing
This review is for the novel version of Nightwings, which is comprised of three tightly linked novellas.

Robert Silverberg is possibly the most underrated sf writers of all time considering how long he has been at it and the numerous awards he has won and been nominated for. For some reason, he just does not seem to be "in vogue" these days. It is a pity that most of the younger generation of sf readers today have never read anything by him.

What Silverberg does better than almost any sf authors
May 09, 2012 Jlawrence rated it really liked it
Lyrical and surreal imagining of a post-apocalypse Earth, told in a simple and compact way, which was also refreshing after some of the *long* tomes I've read recently, and which also sucked me into its strange world.

It follows an old man of the Watcher guild who journeys to what used to be Paris, Rome and Jerusalem, starting in the company of a female Flier (genetically altered to have faery-like 'nightwings' of the title) and an erudite, monster-like Changeling. Everyone, except the mutant Ch
May 26, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
I read this book quite a while ago, but like anything of quality the memory stays with you.

I can't recall reading anything by Mr. Silverberg that I did not like. I know the basic outlines of the plot but I can't remember if I read the original novella, or the later, longer "novel". In either case, the story was inventive and well-written.
Clark Hallman
Aug 28, 2012 Clark Hallman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Nightwings is another great Robert Silverberg science fiction novel. This edition contains an introduction written by Silverberg in 2002, which provides a very interesting discussion of how he came to write the three novellas that make up Nightwings and what his life was like when he was writing them. His friend, Frederick Pohl, was editor of Galaxy, the leading science fiction magazine at the time, paid Silverberg $500 each to publish them. The first novella, Nightwings, was published in the Se ...more
Nate D
Nov 06, 2012 Nate D rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, read-in-2012
Another impulse $2 street-vendor paperback from the 60s. I would probably not be all that likely to read this if someone actually tried to pitch it to me (in the post-utopian post-post-apocolyptic future, the remainder of human civilization has reformed into a quasi-medieval guild system intermixed with interstellar visitors/invaders, mutants, etc, and our protagonist must move, with earth, through a series of stages towards a sort of redemption). But found at random with a vaguely surreal cover ...more
Marc Goldstein
Feb 04, 2013 Marc Goldstein rated it it was amazing
An old watcher, a female flier, and a changeling travel to Roam. Set on earth thousands of years in the future. The planet and its people are exhausted. The watcher searches the skies for an alien invasion he believes will never come. In exchange for shelter in Roam, the flier agrees to sleep with the prince. One day he sees the invasion fleet. He sounds the alarm and watches helplessly as the alien fleet conquers the earth. During the brief battle, he is separated from the flier. The changeling ...more
This is another excellent novel from Silverberg’s most prolific period that depicts a far-future Earth that has seen greater ages, and now has become a backwater destination for alien tourists. Humanity is segregated into rigid guilds, including the narrator who is a Watcher assigned to scans the heavens for signs of alien Invaders. When they do arrive, it is not with the expected intentions, and when the story’s narrator discovers why they have come (a secret lost in Earth’s far past), he is to ...more
It's been many years since I've read any Robert Silverberg and I am reminded how much I liked him back in the day. This is a set of three novellas telling of a far future earth in which mankind has risen to immense heights and fallen just as far. The story is narrated by a Watcher, one of the guild that is tasked with watching the stars for signs of an alien invasion. It's a seemingly meaningless task as thousands of years have passed with no sign of the invasion--until suddenly it occurs.

In th
Jul 03, 2015 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Robert Silverberg es un autor de ciencia ficción clásico que gusta de mezclar varios géneros, dos o tres a los sumo, para llevar el fondo del argumento o el mensaje de la historia a su terreno predilecto, LA ÉTICA Y ESPIRITUALIDAD. Y con ésta novela nos encontramos, precisamente con esto, una obra ENTRE SCI FI Y FANTASÍA, CON TOQUES DE NOVELA HISTÓRICA E INTRIGAS PALACIEGAS QUE NOS LLEVA A LA FUNDAMENTAL FILOSOFÍA DEL AUTOR, DE LAS CONSECUENCIA KÁRMICAS Y ESPIRITUALES DE LA HUMANIDAD.

Pero cómo s
Jan 13, 2014 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Originally appearing as three separate but linked novellas in the pages of "Galaxy" magazine, Robert Silverberg's "Nightwings" was, remarkably, the author's 35th science fiction novel in 15 years; just one of six that he came out with in 1969 alone (the others being "Across a Billion Years," the remarkable "Downward to the Earth," "Three Survived," "To Live Again" and "Up the Line"). Released during one of Silverberg's most prolific and highly creative phases, during which he pushed back the par ...more
Nightwings isn't really a science fiction book, for all that it takes place in the far future. I actually think a lot of it would work better as straight fantasy, but that would get rid of all the obvious time-changed place names like Jorslem and Roum and Eyrop and prevent as many allusions to real history. One of the other reviews casts it as a retelling of the fall of Rome and the spread of Christianity, which does make a lot of sense.

A lot of the interest I had in the book came out of the se
Oct 25, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic vintage fantasy by a very prolific author. I enjoyed the author's 'behind the scenes" introduction in the Kindle edition that I read. Silverberg cranked this out for the money at a time when he was seriously strapped and yet generated a wonderful book. This is a far-future sci-fi/fantasy that really tests the boundaries between the genres. It's a story about one man and about all of mankind. It's about racism and open-mindedness. It's about war and peace. Also, the story has an ...more
Jun 26, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it
Nightwings, Robert Silverberg’s 1969 work is a very Ursula K. LeGuin type novel.

It is actually, three novellas put together to make a novel sized work, anchored by the Hugo award-winning novella Nightwings.

This is set in the far future, thousands of years, and the earth has survived, generations ago, a cataclysmic apocalypse which destroyed the “second cycle”. The first cycle would be where we are now, the second beginning when we first met aliens. Society is regimented into occupational guilds,
Mar 17, 2016 Tomislav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dieser Roman ist ein Fix-up von drei Novellen von Robert Silverberg - "Nightwings" (1968), "Perris Way" (1968), und "To Jorslem" (1969). "Nightwings" gewann 1969 den Hugo Award für den besten Novella. Der Roman enthält alle drei wurde im Jahr 1969 veröffentlicht. Diese deutsche Übersetzung "Schwingen der Nacht" wurde 1971 veröffentlicht.

This novel is a fix-up of three novellas by Robert Silverberg - "Nightwings" (1968), "Perris Way" (1968), and "To Jorslem" (1969). "Nightwings" won the 1969 Hugo
Jul 04, 2015 Tracey rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Didn't know quite what to expect when I started reading this but the three tales work well together to describe the run up and then reaction to an anticipated alien invasion. The first tale is complete in itself but the two that follow do not feel superfluous.
Ivan Lutz
Sep 24, 2015 Ivan Lutz rated it liked it
Vrlo lagano štivo stare škole SF-a. Izvrsno smišljen svijet podjeljen na "esnafe" koji upravljaju svijetom i mutante koji tumaraju Zemljom.
Silverberg izgleda ne može razočarati, pa iako je tema koju obrađuje prežvakana stotinama puta - Osvajači vrše invaziju na naš planet i pokoravaju nas.
Ono što volim u SF romanima je ljubav kao vodilja cijele priče(jebi ga, senitmentalan sam). I to mi baš daje ključni začin zašto mi se svidjela knjiga. Trojčica je tu jer stvaro je pitka, lagana, bez dubioza
Vincent Stoessel
A very short read and a true classic (Hugo Award for Best Novella) . Silverberg eloquently threads a tale that spans eons through the first person singular lens of it's protagonist. Parts of the style and story recalled Zelazny to me and that's a good thing. Like an accidental tourist, we learn of the world as it is and the world that was. There are some great quotables in this novella and I'm glad that I finally had a chance to read this #scifi classic.
Dec 11, 2015 Unai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Como las portadas son muy viejunas, he preferido abrir la entrada con una ilustración de Bill Sienkiewicz representando a los 3 personajes de la primera parte de la novela, un mutante, una voladora y un vigía. La novela está dividida en 3 partes, y en cada una son unos personajes los que acompañan a un único constante.

Ni siquiera nombro quien es el constante, porque tampoco es importante en si mismo, lo que importa es el cuando y el porqué. El cuando es durante el tercer ciclo de la tierra, en u
Mar 04, 2016 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
This book was a book-challenge read. It was just okay for me. I think for the most part it suffered from an identity crisis. I was never sure what it was trying to be because it felt like it was all over the place. I wish it felt more focused, especially since it was such a short book.

I liked the narrator, Stefan Rudnicki. He is one of my top 5 faves. I always think of the 'Ender' books by Orson Scott Card when he narrates.
Doğukan Şık
Feb 19, 2016 Doğukan Şık rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
İlk defa bir Robert Silverberg kitabı okudum. Yazar hakkında sadece Türkçe kaynaklardan bilgi edinince yazara biraz ön yargıyla yaklaşmıştım. Doğrusunu söylemek gerekirse ağır bir dil ve sıkıcı olay örgüsü bekliyordum. İlk bölümü bitirdiğim zaman ne kadar yanlış bir düşünceye kapıldığımı anladım.
Yazar Roum'u ve Avluela'yı öyle bir tasvir etti ki kendimi masalsı bir dünyadaymış gibi hissettim. Ancak içinde bulunulan evren eski bir dünya değil. İleri teknolojiler, gezegenler arası seyahat ve yıld
Mar 14, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it
Silverberg (born 1935) is a remarkably prolific science fiction writer who is always competent but also capable of genuine beauty. This novel from 1969 portrays an Earth of the very distant future in which human society has become frozen into a rigid inflexible guild system devoted to being on watch for an alien invasion. While Silverberg's ironic edge is never far away, the book presents a fascinating future history and has moments of beautiful lyricism and humanity.
I should add one more thing
Mar 24, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-horror, scifi
It usually takes a while to get into the world of a fantasy novel -- unless you are in the hands of a master like Dunsany or Tolkien -- so I wasn't sure how I felt about Nightwings until I finished the book. By that time, I had a much better feeling for Robert Silverberg's Earth of the future than I did at the beginning.

I suspect that part of my problem is that the novel I read was actually three novellas pasted together: The original Nightwings followed by Perris Way (the weakest of the three)
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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 ...more
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“Having lost our present and our future, we had of necessity to bend all our endeavors to the past, which no one could take from us if only we were vigilant enough.” 3 likes
“It was as though our invaders had passed the word through the galaxies: SEE OLD EARTH NOW UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.” 0 likes
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