This week sees the reissue of The World Inside, a long-obscure science-fiction novel that could become a miniseries on HBO.
Of course, it's delicious to think of this hyper-urbanized future world -- in which people live in 800-story apartment complexes and have sex whenever they want -- serving as the setting for the next Deadwood or The Wire.
The novel's author, Robert Silverberg, is a veteran sf writer who really his his stride in the early '70s, around the time he moved to Oakland, where he still lives.
He's aways been a bit of a contrarian, and during the field's late '60s/early '70s period, much of sf was especially left wing. Silverberg has framed himself in contrast as a Burkean conservative with a respect for tradition, allegiances to traditional "high" culture and libertarian leanings.
With books like The Population Bomb and other expressions of Malthusian dread appearing in this period, Silverberg released a novel in which people have adapted to overpopulation and live with it more or less happily.
Here is my piece on The World Inside for io9, which includes a brief interview with Silverberg. And here an earlier (and broader) LA Times profile of the author, tied to the reissue of another "lost" early '70s classic, Dying Inside.
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