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Hot Times in Magma City: 1990-95
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Hot Times in Magma City: 1990-95

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Author: Robert Silverberg
Publisher: Subterranean Press, 2013
Series: The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg: Book 8
Book Type: Collection
Genre: Science-Fiction
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Synopsis

The stories in this volume were written between July of 1990 and March of 1995--the second half of the fifth decade of my career as a science-fiction writer. I don't think I could have imagined, when I began that career in the early 1950s, that science-fiction publishing would evolve the way it did over the next forty years.

Here, then, is the cream of the Silverberg output, 1990-95. I suppose I wrote more short stories in the first six months of 1957 than in that entire six-year period; but so be it. It's a different world today. I look back nostalgically on the small-town atmosphere of the era in which I began my career, and there are times when I'd be glad to "call back yesterday, bid time return." As Shakespeare pointed out, though, that can't be done. The one recourse is the one I have chosen, which is to soldier staunchly onward through the years, come what may, writing a story or two here and a book there, while the world changes out of all recognition around me. And so--to leap neatly from the Bard of Avon to F. Scott Fitzgerald--"so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

--Robert Silverberg, from his Introduction

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From Publishers Weekly:

"Dense with colorful settings, thoughtful characters, and Silverberg's usual painstaking attention to detail, these stories reveal a master of the genre comfortable with what he does best."

From Booklist:

"Silverberg has an inimitable voice, informed by mythology, history, and science. He puts together entertaining yarns about all kinds of worlds, from recognizable variations on our own to much stranger places. 'Hot Times in Magma City' is a short piece about the harsh work of fighting volcanoes in Los Angeles. 'Thebes of the Hundred Gates' is a time-travel story in a classic vein, with just the right level of shock at seeing history come to life. 'Crossing into the Empire' isn't quite a time-travel story, but it's got that same historical bent. 'The Martian Invasion Diaries of Henry James' is something only Silverberg would think of--and yet this particular revision of the classic Wells tale is thoroughly entertaining."


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