Nightwings (novella)

Last updated
Author Robert Silverberg
Genre(s) Science fiction
Publisher Galaxy Magazine
Publication dateSeptember 1968

"Nightwings" is a science fiction novella by American wrier Robert Silverberg. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1969 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award in 1968. It won the Prix Apollo Award in 1976. "Nightwings" is the first in a trilogy of novellas, the next two being "Perris Way" (1968) and "To Jorslem" (1969). These three works were later collected into a single fixup in three sections, also titled Nightwings. According to Silverberg's introductions, the changes required to turn the three shorter works into a novel were relatively minor.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

Robert Silverberg American speculative fiction writer and editor

Robert Silverberg is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF. He has attended every Hugo Awards ceremony since the inaugural event in 1953.

The Hugo Award for Best Novella is one of the Hugo Awards given each year for science fiction or fantasy stories published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. The novella award is available for works of fiction of between 17,500 and 40,000 words; awards are also given out in the short story, novelette and novel categories. The Hugo Awards have been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing".


Plot summary

In a decadent and caste-based future, humanity is divided into guilds, each having a specific job to do. The members of some guilds appear to have undergone genetic engineering, for instance, the Fliers' ability to fly and the Watchers' ability to use their mental capabilities to watch distant stars.

The main character in the novella is a Watcher whose mission is to watch the skies with some sophisticated equipment and to inform the Defenders in the event of an alien invasion. Along with a young Flier girl and a Changeling (who belongs to no guild), he visits the old city of Roum (suspected previously to be called Rome), and becomes entangled in events including the possibility of invasion.

Apart from Roum, only two other great cities are mentioned, Jorslem (Jerusalem) and Perris (Paris), but their greatness is relative, as they only have a few thousand inhabitants.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.


Graphic novel book with primarily comics contents

A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is generally used for comics periodicals.

Cary Bates is an American comic book, animation, television and film writer. He is best known for his work on The Flash and Superman

Gene Colan American comics creator and artist

Eugene Jules "Gene" Colan was an American comic book artist best known for his work for Marvel Comics, where his signature titles include the superhero series Daredevil, the cult-hit satiric series Howard the Duck, and The Tomb of Dracula, considered one of comics' classic horror series. He co-created the Falcon, the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics, and the non-costumed, supernatural vampire hunter Blade, who went on to appear in a series of films starring Wesley Snipes.

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking. The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.

Internet Archive US non-profit organization founded in 1996 in San Francisco by Brewster Kahle

The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. As of October 2016, its collection topped 15 petabytes. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet.

Related Research Articles

Frederik Pohl American science fiction writer and editor

Frederik George Pohl Jr. was an American science-fiction writer, editor, and fan, with a career spanning more than 75 years—from his first published work, the 1937 poem "Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna", to the 2011 novel All the Lives He Led and articles and essays published in 2012.

Philip José Farmer was an American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.

Gordon R. Dickson Canadian-American science fiction writer

Gordon Rupert Dickson was a Canadian-American science fiction writer. He was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000.

<i>Gilgamesh the King</i> novel by Robert Silverberg

Gilgamesh the King is a 1984 historical novel by American writer Robert Silverberg, presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh as a novel. In the afterword the author wrote "at all times I have attempted to interpret the fanciful and fantastic events of these poems in a realistic way, that is, to tell the story of Gilgamesh as though he were writing his own memoirs, and to that end I have introduced many interpretations of my own devising which for better or for worse are in no way to be ascribed to the scholars".

Kate Wilhelm American science fiction writer

Kate Wilhelm was an American author. She wrote novels and stories in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres, including the Hugo Award–winning Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and she established the Clarion Workshop with her husband Damon Knight and writer Robin Scott Wilson.

William Tenn American writer

William Tenn was the pseudonym of Philip Klass, a British-born American science fiction author, notable for many stories with satirical elements.

The 27th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as St. Louiscon, was held August 28–September 1, 1969, at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, under the auspices of OSFA, the Ozark Science Fiction Association.

Richard Wilson (author) American science fiction writer and fan

Richard Wilson was an American science fiction writer and fan. He was a member of the Futurians, and was married at one time to Leslie Perri.

<i>Gilgamesh in the Outback</i> science fiction novella by Robert Silverberg

Gilgamesh in the Outback is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert Silverberg, a sequel to his novel Gilgamesh the King as well as a story in the shared universe series Heroes in Hell. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1987 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 1986. Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, it was then printed in Rebels in Hell before being incorporated into Silverberg's novel To the Land of the Living. Real-life writers Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft feature as characters in the novella.

<i>The Nebula Awards 18</i>

The Nebula Awards #18 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by American writer Robert Silverberg. It was first published in hardcover by Arbor House in October 1983; a paperback edition with cover art by Gary LoSasso was issued by Bantam Books in September 1984.

<i>Worlds Best Science Fiction: 1968</i> book by Donald A. Wollheim

World's Best Science Fiction: 1968 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, the fourth volume in a series of seven. It was first published in paperback by Ace Books in 1968. It was reprinted by the same publisher in 1970 under the alternate title World's Best Science Fiction: Fourth Series. The first hardcover edition was published by Gollancz in 1969.

Nightwing is a name that has been used by several fictional characters in the DC Comics Universe.

<i>An Infinite Summer</i> book by Christopher Priest

An Infinite Summer is the second collection of short stories by Christopher Priest and the first of his books to collect stories set in the Dream Archipelago. The stories had all previously been published in various anthologies and magazines; they may be described, somewhat interchangeably, as science fiction, fantasy literature, metafiction and macabre.

Robert Silverberg bibliography

List of the published work of Robert Silverberg, American science fiction author.

"Born with the Dead" is a science fiction novella by Robert Silverberg. It describes a near-future world in which the recently dead can be "rekindled" to a new life, but one in which their personalities and attitudes are radically changed; although they possess their memories from their previous lives, their former concerns no longer appear important to them. The story parallels that of Eurydice and Orpheus in the underworld.

Giant Killer (story)

"Giant Killer" is a science fiction short story by A. Bertram Chandler. It was first published in the October 1945 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, and later included in many science fiction anthologies, including World of Wonder edited by Fletcher Pratt. In 1996 it was shortlisted for a Retro Hugo Award for Best Novella.

<i>Nebula Award Stories 5</i>

Nebula Award Stories 5 is an anthology of award-winning science fiction short works edited by James Blish. It was first published in the United Kingdom in hardcover by Gollancz in November 1970. The first American edition was published by Doubleday in December of the same year. Paperback editions followed from Pocket Books in the U.S. in January 1972, and Panther in the U.K. in December 1972. The American editions bore the variant title Nebula Award Stories Five. The book has also been published in German.

Brian A. Hopkins is an American horror writer. His works include the novel The Licking Valley Coon Hunters Club and the novellas El Dia De Los Muertos and Five Days in April, all of which received Bram Stoker Awards. He edited the Stoker-winning horror anthology Extremes 2: Fantasy and Horror from the Ends of the Earth, as well as three other Extremes anthologies. His works have also been nominated for the Nebula Awards, Theodore Sturgeon Awards, Locus Awards, and International Horror Guild Awards.