Continuing our Author of the Month-ish celebration of all things Robert Silverberg – we hope you heard him speak at LonCon, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention – our current SF Masterwork of the Week is the novel that, along with our earlier pick, Dying Inside, almost certainly split the vote for best novel at the 1973 Hugo Awards, leaving the author with the two best books on the ballot with nothing: The Book of Skulls.
Four students discover a manuscript, The Book of Skulls, which reveals the existence of a sect, now living in the Arizona desert, whose members can offer immortality to those who can complete its initiation rite. To their surprise, they discover that the sect exists, and is willing to accept them as acolytes.
But for each group of four who enter the rite, two must die in order for the others to succeed.
Shortlisted for the Hugo Award for best novel.
Shortlisted for the Nebula Award for best novel.
The Book of Skulls is available as an SF Masterworks paperback and an SF Gateway eBook.
You can find more of Robert Silverberg’s work via his Author page on the SF Gateway website, and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.