On the Horizon – the emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

the emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

Title: the emperor and the maula

Author: Robert Silverberg

Publisher: Subterranean Press

Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-1596068452

Source: NetGalley

The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:

  1. It is a retelling of the Scheherazade tale with alien conquerors;
  2. It is a Subterranean press book and they do great work; and
  3. It discussed the author Robert Silverberg’s genius and I didn’t know who he was . . .

The fact that it was a sci-fi Scheherazade tale would have been enough in and of itself.  And this book was a wonderful one.  Our Scheherazade, Laylah Walis, is a human from Earth.  Earth has been conquered by an alien race.  She travels to the forbidden city of Haraar which she knows is punishable by death.  Her goal is to meet the emperor.  But for what purpose?

Of course the fun of this tale is that the reader is learning Laylah’s story at the same time that the emperor is.  She certainly is a compelling character and her stories sped along.  The cliffhangers at the end of each night’s tale bothered me as much as the emperor.  I needed to know more!  The only downside is that by the end of the book, I could have listened to many more of Laylah’s stories.  The ending was good but I still need more!

As for the author, I learned from sandy @ fantasyliterature‘s review of this novel several amazing facts.  Apparently Mr. Silverberg is the author of no fewer than “78 sci-fi novels, almost 450 short stories and novellas, around 70 books of nonfiction, and around 185 novels of, um, “adult fiction,” in addition to having edited over 130 anthologies.”  Talk about prolific!  He is currently 82 years old.  Goodreads says that he has won 5 Hugos and 5 Nebulas.  Also he is a 2004 Grand Master from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  Sheesh!

I am regretful that I didn’t know about him before but am delighted to have remedied that fact.  If ye be not familiar with this author then mayhaps ye should pick this book up.  I certainly enjoyed the foray.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Subterranean Press!

Netgalley’s website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Robert Silverberg – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the emperor and the maula – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

17 thoughts on “On the Horizon – the emperor and the maula (Robert Silverberg)

  1. I’ve really enjoyed his Majippoor novels, all set on a giant planet. The first, “Lord Valentine’s Castle”, is very accessible, but to be honest if you don’t want to read the rest if the loosely linked series you won’t feel too denied!

    I’ve also read a non-fiction study of his on the medieval Ethiopian kingdom of Prester John which is equally fantastic but in a different way, and I really enjoyed that too.


  2. Silverburg is one of the classics. He was friends with Isaac Asimov but doesn’t seem as well known. His older works can seem a bit dated these days but if you are new to his work, I’d recommend Nightfall, the novel he wrote expanding on an Asimov short story (hence they are listed as co-authors). It’s one of his more famous, can be read alone, and just fascinating to look at the different treatment the two authors gave to the same characters and basic plot.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know if they’ve ever been published together (I read the novel from the library and picked up an anthology with the short story), however the story is widely available online here’s a PDF of it. The premise of both is a planet with two suns that so rarely experiences darkness, it is forgotten between nightfalls.

        Liked by 1 person

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