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.
After the Telling
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