Robert Silverberg’s Reflections: October 2014


‘Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow’

Isaac Asimov



Reflections is a regular column by multi-award-winning SFWA Grandmaster Robert Silverberg, in which he will offer his thoughts on science fiction, literature and the world at large.

This month: Robert A. Heinlein, Author of The Martian Chronicles

Science fiction publishing in the United States was young when it was hit with its first gaudy plagiarism scandal. The August-September 1933 issue of Amazing Stories, one of the three major SF magazines of the day, carried a story called “Across the Ages,” by Allen Glasser. Glasser was one of the best-known figures of early science fiction fandom: he corresponded with everybody who mattered, he was the editor of The Planet, official organ of the first science fiction club, and now he was beginning to sell stories to the professional magazines. Imagine the shock and horror that swept through the little world of SF fandom when a knowledgeable reader revealed, a few months later, that Glasser’s story was a word-for-word plagiarism of “The Heat Wave” by Marion Ryan and Robert Ord, published in Munsey’s Magazine in 1929. Glasser abruptly vanished from the science fiction scene in which he had been so prominent.


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.