Sunday, October 2, 2016

Nightwings by Robert Silverberg

“Nightwings” was written in three parts. The first part, “Nightwings”, was the 1969 Hugo Novella award winner. Two other parts, “Perris Way” (Paris) and “To Jorslem”(Jerusalem) were added later. 

The first part, takes place in Roum (Rome).  At a time in the far distant future, humanity has been divided into guilds, each with a specific job to do. In the first book, the Watcher travels to Roum with a guileless changing and a young, female night flyer. The Watchers job is to watch the sky for alien invasion. So much time has passed, that the Watchers are thought to be unnecessary and are not treated with much respect. While the Watcher is in Roum, the aliens strike. He sounds the alarm, but routine has gotten so lax, that the defenses fail and the aliens easily take over.

In “Perris Way”, the Watcher travels to Perris in the company of the blinded, displaced prince of Roum. The Watcher applies to become a member of the guild of remembrance since watchers are no longer needed. 

In “To Jorslem”, the Watcher makes a pilgrimage to Jorslem, where he again finds the night flyer and where he finds renewed hope and redemption. 

Robert Silverberg is the Grand Master for 2004.

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