Robert Silverberg (born January 15, 1935 in Brooklyn, NY) is a prolific author best known for writing science fiction, a multiple winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
Silverberg, a voracious reader from childhood on, began submitting stories to the science fiction magazines in his early teenage years. He attended Columbia University, receiving an A.B. in English Literature in 1956, but he kept writing science fiction. His first published novel, a children's book called Revolt On Alpha C appeared in 1955, and in the following year, he won his first Hugo, as "best new writer." For the next four years, by his own count, he wrote a million words a year, for magazines and Ace Doubles. In 1959 the market for science fiction collapsed, and Silverberg turned his ability to write copiously to other fields, from carefully researched historical nonfiction to softcore porn for Nightstand Books.
In the mid-1960s science fiction writers were starting to be more literarily ambitious, and Frederik Pohl, then editing three science fiction magazines, offered Silverberg carte blanche in writing for them. Thus inspired, Silverberg returned to writing, paying far more attention to depth of character and social background than he had in the past and mixing in elements of the modernist literature he had studied at Columbia.
The books he wrote at this time were widely considered a quantum leap from his earlier work. Perhaps the first to show the new Silverberg was Dying Inside, a tale of a telepath losing his powers.
In 1969 his �Born with the Dead.� In 1970 he was Guest of Honor at the World Science Fiction Convention.
Silverberg was tired after years of high production, and he had suffered stresses from a thyroid malfunction and a major house fire. He moved from his native New York to the West Coast in 1972, and he announced his retirement from writing in 1975. In 1980 he returned, however, with Lord Valentine's Castle, a panoramic adventure set on an alien planet, which has become the basis of a series, and he has kept writing ever since.