Robert Silverberg’s Reflections: June 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: Was Jules Verne a science fiction writer?

Was Jules Verne a science fiction writer? Isn’t that like asking, “Is the Pope Catholic?”

The Pope is indeed Catholic — at least the one who is Bishop of Rome. (Other branches of Christianity have popes too, but we don’t hear as much about them.) And, until recently, it seemed to me unthinkable to challenge Jules Verne’s credentials as a science fiction writer. To me he was, as Peter Costello’s 1978 biography called him, “the inventor of science fiction” — or, as Isaac Asimov called him in a 1965 essay, “Father Jules.” But then I discovered that there’s a substantial group of scholars who deny that he wrote science fiction at all . . .


You can read the rest of the column here, and find Robert Silverberg’s eBooks here. Please note: each column will remain on the site for one month only.