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Hot Sky at Midnight Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1995

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Silverberg's latest is his best novel in some time, returning from the extraterrestrial travelogues he offered in The Face of the Waters and Kingdoms of the Wall to Earth of the relatively near future, which has been polluted almost to uninhabitability. Even in the best areas, people wear breathing masks and inject a product called Screen, which darkens their skin as protection from the sun. Victor Farkas, operative of the megacorporation Kyocera-Merck Ltd., is blind but gifted with hypersensitive "blindsight." He comes to the massive orbital habitat Valparaiso Nuevo in search of a renegade geneticist of legendary skill. On Earth, Nick Rhodes wrestles with a midlife crisis and moral uncertainty as head of Samurai Industries, which is attempting to breed humans that can thrive in the horrendous conditions expected to prevail on Earth. Silverberg focuses on his characters and their ruined world, providing a convincing portrayal of life in a greenhouse effect-cursed future. In the background looms the efforts to save the human race, whether by emigration or transformation. The plot may tie up too neatly, but Silverberg delivers powerful images of a world blighted by ecological abuse, and a satisfying novel as well.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Silverberg's best-selling sf novels have netted four Hugo and five Nebula awards. In this apocalyptic morality tale, humankind fights extinction after damaging the environment beyond repair.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Spectra (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055356935X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553569353
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,291,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Silverberg has been a professional writer since 1955, widely known for his science fiction and fantasy stories. He is a many-time winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, was named to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2004 was designated as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. His books and stories have been translated into forty languages. Among his best known titles are NIGHTWINGS, DYING INSIDE, THE BOOK OF SKULLS, and the three volumes of the Majipoor Cycle: LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE, MAJIPOOR CHRONICLES, VALENTINE PONTIFEX. His collected short stories, covering nearly sixty years of work, have been published in nine volumes by Subterranean Press. His most recent book is TALES OF MAJIPOOR (2013), a new collection of stories set on the giant world made famous in LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE.

He and his wife, writer Karen Haber, and an assorted population of cats live in the San Francisco Bay Area in a sprawling house surrounded by exotic plants.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Deubler on September 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
In a not too distant future the ecological mistakes of the 20th Century will have led to disaster. The melting of the polar ice cap will have flooded low-lying cities and initiated a cycle of climatic changes that mankind's technology will be unable to break. As a result, most of the U.S. will be covered by desert, pollution will make the air almost unbreathable, and ozone depletion will make even the sun dangerous. These are simple facts of everyday life in this compelling novel of intrigue by sci-fi master Robert Silverberg.
Amidst numerous twists and turns, the story focuses on a plot to overthrow the ruling government of the artificial satellite world called Valparaiso Nuevo. A shadowy figure known as the Generalissimo runs this environmental paradise as a safe haven for any who can pay for its protection. But no one can foresee the catastrophic effects of the actions of a tiny group of men who plan to oust the Generalissimo for their own selfish purposes.
Paul Carpenter is the most sympathetic of these characters, a salaryman who takes a position as a sea captain in his eternal quest for promotion in the Japanese megacorporation that controls half the world's business and industry. His fortunes decline dramatically after a mutiny on the high seas leaves him unemployable. His childhood friend, Nick Rhodes, a brilliant geneticist who is collapsing under the weight of his own ethical dilemma, introduces him to an acquaintance of his driven, opinionated girlfriend Isabelle, the seductive Jolanda. A talented sculptor and even more talented lover, Jolanda is the lynch pin of a plot that includes Enron, an Israeli spy, and Farkus, a genetically altered agent of a rival corporation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Drayer on April 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Something about this book just didn't click for me. Hot Sky at Midnight takes place in the not-so-distant future, when humans have ruined the ecology to such an extent that they will die out unless genetically modified. The modifications needed to save the race would be so extreme that the survivors might not even be human anymore.
With this as a backdrop, we meet Nick Rhodes, a brilliant but naive geneticist struggling with the ethics of his work. We also meet Paul Carpenter, a very junior exec who is trying to move up in the corporate world. Mr. Silverberg does a very good job at the beginning of introducing these characters and the decisions they struggle with. However, about halfway through the book, he has the characters do things "out of character." Paul, supposedly a moral anchor who does the right thing out of instinct, makes an incredibly stupid and callous decision which kills people. Nick, an indecisive incipient alcoholic, is able to make up his own mind to remove a monopoly on genetic technology.
It seemed that halfway through the book, Mr. Silverberg needed to find a way to finish it. He did so, but not in a satisfying way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Worldreels on June 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A bit of skyward soap opera here complete with love and lust. The Author presents cast of characters all submerged in the dystopian world of lust within environmentally ruined cities. Global warming has flooded the seacoasts, nearly destroyed Japan and turned the good old days on its head. To finalize this headlong dive into dystopia many of the characters are blown up in an ill fated plot to conquer a space station, get rich quick and live happily ever after.
There were a few flaws in this story where irrelevant questions were given high priority. For example, one big question posed was whether company S or company K would make the adapto metabolic breakthroughs, thus allowing for a new species of man who could breath methane rather than oxygen. Such a successful process would allow either company to one day control the world. This reader didn't see what difference it would make who the winner was.
The stories most novel idea was that faster than light space travel will render ordinary human sight useless, requiring man to develop trick vision in order to pilot space ships to new worlds. Even the brilliant character, Farcas, who develops a new kind of sightless vision, must be sacrificed to the plot's need to end the story. Another main character is led through a series of failures so mind shattering that he volunteers for the flight to outer space with no other hope but to erase the memory of his life on planet earth. With no dreams there will be no further disillusionment.
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By Wes on June 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
.The science and story arc had potential but the author failed to focus on one protagonist.It could have been pa better read.
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