Difference between revisions of "Sailing to Byzantium (novella)"

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(Created page with "'''Silverberg, Robert. ''Sailing to Byzantium''.''' Columbia, PA: Underwood Miller, 1984. Category: Fiction Available as an audiobook.[https://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook...")
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Latest revision as of 23:19, 15 August 2019

Silverberg, Robert. Sailing to Byzantium. Columbia, PA: Underwood Miller, 1984. Available as an audiobook.[1]

SF love-story at novella length. Relevant here:

• In the 50th c., machine/human constructs called "temporaries" create (temporary) cities for the amusement of hedonistic human immortals (Rev. Phyllis J. Day, Fantasy Review #82 [Aug. 1985]: 27).

• The protagonist is a "Visitor": a non-aging creation that is — as he and we eventually learn — what we'd call an android and essentially what he himself calls "software" (with the consciousness of a New Yorker from 1984). The story deals deftly with the standard SF question of whether or not the protagonist or any Visitor is "real" and concludes, not surprisingly, that if he can think, suffer, love, make choices with free will (etc.), he is real and human. As with William Butler Yeats’ 1928 poem “Sailing to Byzantium,”[2] the story deals with a desire for transcendence of the flesh,[3] but ends with a happy, loving, "Visitor" couple (but mortal) sailing off to a mortal City of Byzantium, where they can live for a while and move on, and, when/if they choose (if Erlich understands the story) choose to die.

Expanded by RDE, Initial Compiler, 8Feb19 RDE, Title, 15Aug19