‘Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow’
This month: ‘Persons From Porlock’
In the summer of 1798 (he later said it was 1797, but he was always bad about dates) the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in poor health and living just then near the village of Porlock near Somerset, was browsing through one of the ponderous folios of Samuel Purchas’ great seventeenth-century compilation of explorers’ narratives, Purchas His Pilgrimes, when sleep overtook him just as he was reading these lines: “In Xandu did Cublai Can build a stately Palace, encompassing sixteene miles of plaine ground with a wall, wherein are fertile Meddowes, pleasant springs, delightful Streams, and all sorts of beasts of chase and game, and in the middest thereof a sumptuous house of pleasure, which may be removed from place to place” . . .
You can read the rest of the column here, and find Robert Silverberg’s eBooks here – including Reflections and Refractions, a collection of his non-fiction columns. Please note: each column will remain on the site for one month only.