Other Spaces, Other Times: A Life Spent in the Future
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Capturing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of science fiction, this unique autobiography by Robert Silverberg shows how famous stories in this genre were conceived and written. Chronicling his career as one of the most important American science fiction writers of the 20th century, this account reveals how he rose to prominence as the pulp era was ending—and the genre was beginning to take on a more sophisticated tone—to eventually be named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Stating that this will be his only autobiographical work, Silverberg's book includes rare photos, ephemera from his own archives, and a complete bibliography of his works, from novels and short story collections to nonfiction.
aspects. Once I had assumed, naively, that if I merely wrote the best stories that were in me, editors would recognize their merits and seek my work. Now I was coming to see that there was a quicker road to success — to live in New York, to visit editors regularly, learn of their issueby-issue needs and manufacture fiction to fit them. I developed a deadly facility; if an editor needed a 7,500-word story of alien conquest in three days to balance an issue about to go to press, he need only phone
Convention in New York or at the first Milford Writer's Conference that immediately followed it. Not certain about the convention, because there were so many people there, but we definitely spent time together at Milford, and he and his wife Carol drove my wife (Barbara, then) and me back to New York City after the conference, since we didn't have a car at that time. (He got a ticket for speeding during the drive, somewhere in rural New Jersey, and was much unpleased by it. It's also possible
own wild raccoons wandering about at night (in New York!).There was room for all my books and all I was likely to acquire for many years to come.The third floor of the house, a separate four-room suite, became my working area, and we filled the rest of the place with books and paintings and objets d’art. It was a magnificent house, beautiful and stately, and not at all costly in terms of my income at the time. What was costly was the upkeep, taxes and cleaning and heat and all, running to many
together, with only one 18 (bottom) L to R:Theodore Cogswell, Damon Knight, James Blish, RS, and Katherine MacLean. Photo taken by Ed Emshwiller at the first Milford Science Fiction Conference, 1956. narrow passage permitting entry. Cautiously I advanced, squinting in the dimness. And in flimsy bookshelves tucked under the staircase I came upon the rubies and emeralds of my Aladdin’s cave: heaps and heaps of science fiction magazines, some fairly recent, but most of them truly ancient ones!
T. Shaw, and was encouraged by what they had to say, though probably they were just being nice to the lanky, crew-cutted tyro that I was. I watched the very first Hugos being handed out, not even daring to suppose that 163 some day I would be a winner myself.And I went home (by bus, Philadelphia to New York) in a daze of excitement and fatigue, my life forever transformed in a single weekend. I swore never to miss a Worldcon again. But the next year’s convention, I discovered, was in far-off