Three Rooms Press deserves praise for publishing this wonderful 16 story collection of Robert Silverberg’s best Time Travel tales. If you glance at the TABLE OF CONTENTS, you’ll see several familiar stories. I enjoyed rereading these stories. “Absolutely Inflexible” was published in 1955, “Against the Current” was published in 2009. Robert Silverberg’s inspiring “INTRODUCTION” tells how he became interested in Time Travel and the four books that transformed his Life. In addition, Silverberg writes introductions to each of the 16 stories and provides details about how each story came about. All of the stories were solicited by various editors for their magazines or anthologies. Silverberg tells some interesting stories about the publishing world that has vanished. Over fifty years of writing Science Fiction, Robert Silverberg’s science fiction stories broken new ground and pushed the limits of the genre.

I really enjoyed “Needle in a Timestack,” “Sailing to Byzantium,” and “Hawksbill Station” which capture the paradoxes of Time Travel. Do you have a favorite Robert Silverberg story? GRADE: A

INTRODUCTION by Robert Silverberg i
Absolutely Inflexible 1
Needle in a Timestack 14
Trips 34
Many Mansions 70
Homefaring 98
What We Learned from This Morning’s Newspaper. 104
Hunters in the Forest 180
Jennifer’s Lover. 196
Sailing to Byzantium 215
Breckenridge and the Continuum 282
The Man Who Floated in Time 312
Gianni. 324
The Far Side of the Bell-Shaped Curve 346
Dancers in the Time-Flux. 369
Hawksbill Station 389
Against the Current 441

22 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #512: TIME AND TIME AGAIN By Robert Silverberg

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I am a big fan of Silverberg’s work. I have the Collected stories which runs about 10 books and especially enjoy his background comments on his work. Needle In a Timestack has been made into a movie with Cynthia Erivo and should be out later this year.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I have Silverberg’s COLLECTED STORIES, too. This handy volume with Silverberg’s insightful introductions to each story makes for terrific reading!

  2. Prashant C. Trikannad

    George, I can’t say for certain I have read Robert Silverberg though I probably have his stories in an ebook anthology or two. I’d be like to read “What We Learned from This Morning’s Newspaper” and see what it’s about.

    1. george Post author

      Preshant, Robert Silverberg wrote for over 50 years producing first-rate Science Fiction stories. TIME AND TIME AGAIN would be a good place to start reading this legendary writer.

  3. wolf

    Me too!
    I also became a fan of his immediately after reading his first stories in one of the SF mags in the 1960s (Astounding/Analog and F&SF were availbale in one bookshop in the university city where I studied).
    What I’m wondering:
    Didn’t he write that famous time travel story where a man finds out that he is his own ancestor – including a sex change of course?
    Or was it another author?

    1. Todd Mason

      Wolf, you’re thinking of *spoiler* for those who haven’t read it*

      “‘All You Zombies–“‘ by Robert Heinlein…a rather more emotionally fraught variation of his earlier paradox story “By His Bootstraps”.

  4. Michael Padgett

    Several of these titles sound awfully familiar, so I’ve probably read at least the familiar ones. I seem to recall “Hawksbill Station” as a novel, but that certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t expanded from a shorter version. Even though I’ve read a lot of Silverberg it was all a long time ago. One novel, though, that’s stuck with me through the 40+ years since I read it is the utterly head spinning time travel novel “Up the Line”, certainly one of the best novels of its kind ever written.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, you’re right about UP THE LINE being a classic Time Travel novel. The novel, HAWKSBILL STATION, was expanded from the story in TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

      1. Todd Mason

        The novella “Hawksbill Station” was widely seen as Silverberg’s “return” to sf, and indicative of his new commitment to writing his best possible work in the field, when it appeared in GALAXY in 1965, after some years of alternating between top work and lots of yardgoods/filler material of indifferent quality usually under pseudonyms, particularly in ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION (most of those in collaboration with Randall Garrett) and Paul Fairman’s version of AMAZING and FANTASTIC. He had been for a few years most visible in sf as a book reviewer for AMAZING under Fairman’s rather more serious editorial successor, Cele Goldsith Lalli…who would go on, after Ziff-Davis sold her magazines out from under her in 1965, to go on to edit ZD bridal magazines and became the key editor in that field over the next couple of decades.

        The novel was published shortly afterward.

      2. Todd Mason

        Wrong! The novella was published in GALAXY in 1967. Surprisingly late, but Silverberg had been busy writing and researching all sorts of things, including some pop-science and some notable primary research books in history and archeology. The novel was first published in 1968.

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    Yes, HAWKSBILL STATION was expanded into a novel. I’ve read the shorter version and have the novel. Also UP THE LINE.

    I have the 9 volumes of his COLLECTED STORIES and have read all of them, but I was happy to reread those in this collection too. I agree, Silverberg’s introductions are worth the price of the books. I’d recommend getting the Collected Stories on ebooks.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, since Santa brought me the iPad Pro, I’ve been downloading and reading more ebooks. Like Jackie, I’m having more and more difficulty holding Big Fat Books. The iPad Pro solves that problem!

    1. george Post author

      Rick, Silverberg’s 50 year writing career produced a lot of different writing styles and themes. I’m sure something Silverberg has written would appeal to you.

      1. Piet Nel

        In response to Wolf’s comment: I think you may be referring to “All You Zombies—”, by Robert A. Heinlein.

        I find these Three Rooms Press books incredibly tempting, even though all the stories in this new book and in FIRST PERSON SINGULARITIES are in the Collected Stories series.

        I checked one sample, by the way, and the introductions appear to be different.

      2. george Post author

        Piet, you are correct about the story introductions. Silverberg wrote fresh ones for TIME AND TIME AGAIN. Well worth reading!

      3. wolf

        Thanks, Piet!
        You nailed it, so it wasn’t Robert.
        It might have been the first I time I saw “Zombie” mentioned – later of course there were many horror movies with zombies

      4. Todd Mason

        There were a fair amount of stories with zombies well before the Other Robert’s story…which doesn’t have any zombies in it, except as metaphor…and not a few films…I hadn’t gotten this far when writing my response above…

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, FIRST PERSON SINGULARITIES is a terrific short story collection, too! TIME AND TIME AGAIN collects what Silverberg considers his best Time Travel stories.

  6. Todd Mason

    The novel version of HAWKSBILL STATION was the first adult sf novel I read, after the classics I came across such as Wells’s and Edward Bellamy’s LOOKING BACKWARD, when I was about 11yo…so it might be the sentimental favorite. But so is “When We Went to See the End of the World”, which Silverberg seems less impressed with in this context. Then again, even given how well he keeps affairs in order, he might’ve overlooked it (mostly a joke…as one of his Nebula nominees, it probably sticks out in his memory…not that his Nebula nominees isn’t a crowded set, as well).


Leave a Reply to george Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *