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THORNS by Robert Silverberg

THE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL by Basil Davenport, Robert A. Heinlein, C. M. Kornbluth, Alfred Bester, and Robert Bloch

...and lots more...

Book cover for World Without Children and The Earth Quarter


World Without Children and The Earth Quarter

Two science fiction novels of tomorrow

World Without Children: When humans can live for thousands of years, will it doom itself to extinction?

The Earth Quarter: Why did the aliens on a remote planet keep all the humans locked inside a section of the city? Humans are used to be the top dog wherever they are—what are they going to do about it? (This novella also published alone as "The Sun Saboteurs," and this collection of two stories also published as "Two Novels.")

THORNS by Robert Silverberg


In a world where humanity has colonized the solar system and begun to explore more of the local galaxy, a vast audience follows real-life stories presented by wealthy media mogul Duncan Chalk. To satisfy his audience's voyeuristic needs—and his own appetite for others' pain—he pairs Minner Burris, an emotionally withdrawn space explorer who was captured and freakishly surgically altered by aliens, with Lona Kelvin, a suicidal seventeen-year-old girl who donated eggs for a fertility experiment that produced one hundred babies, none of whom she has been allowed to adopt or even see. Chalk promises to solve their personal problems in return for a joint performance tour.

Though the love affair doesn't last, Chalk keeps the couple on the hook by making new offers. While Minner and Lona struggle to cope with their newfound celebrity and Chalk's broken promises, they will uncover the true nature of their manipulator—and risk everything to regain the humanity that has been stolen from them...

An early exploration of media exploitation and a deep look at freak-show entertainment on a mass scale, this novel was one of the earliest of Silverberg's mature masterworks.

"Masterful... This is a sophisticated novel, beautifully written, intelligent and insightful, with wonderful dialogue and a satisfying conclusion."
—Fantasy Literature

"Silverberg's brooding, post-utopian, rumination has the makings of a great science fiction novel.... A worthwhile read which rambles along a dark path... Well done."
—Science Fiction Ruminations

THE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL by Basil Davenport, Robert A. Heinlein, C. M. Kornbluth, Alfred Bester, and Robert Bloch

The Science Fiction Novel

Imagination and Social Criticism

3rd Edition

A spectacular analysis of science fiction by the masters of the genre!

Based on a 1957 lecture series at the University of Chicago.

Does science fiction have any real effect as a force of social criticism? This question has been given much thought and discussion, but until the publication of this volume there was no definitive inquiry available in book form. Here are four sharply different analyses of the question: a positive "yes," a positive "no," a literate "maybe," and perhaps most surprising, a revealing look at the inner workings of an author.

These four broadly ranging essays by Robert A. Heinlein, C. M. Kornbluth, Alfred Bester, and Robert Bloch illuminate the successes and failures of science fiction considered as social criticism and as education for social change. Kornbluth's essay includes his famous explication of Orwell's 1984.

Above all, The Science Fiction Novel is entertaining as well as informative and useful. As Basil Davenport says in his introduction, "This book has given me the pleasure, all too rare since my college days, of being a book that I could argue with. No one can agree with all these papers, since they do not agree with each other; but where you disagree you will find yourself wanting to say exactly how far and why. That is my idea of a really stimulating and enjoyable book."

Please note that because of inventory issues, the 1974 printings of the paperback and hardback editions are only available directly via the Advent:Publishers' web site. (Same edition and contents.)


  • Introduction by Basil Davenport
  • "Science Fiction: Its Nature, Faults and Virtues" by Robert A. Heinlein
  • "The Failure of the Science Fiction Novel as Social Criticism" by C. M. Kornbluth
  • "Science Fiction and the Renaissance Man" by Alfred Bester
  • "Imagination and Social Criticism" by Robert Bloch

And lots more...

See the list of our newest books here. Lots of stuff you'll love!