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Majipoor Chronicles: A Novel Hardcover – 31 Dec 1982

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Jalmar Press Inc.,U.S. (31 Dec. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877953589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877953586
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,292,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

The vast populous world of Majipoor with its strange political hierarchies and myriad alien races is one of the more impressive creations of planetary romance; Robert Silverberg brings to its exoticism his sensitive and evocative prose and his sense of story as an end in itself. The Majippor Chronicles is a collection of linked shorts, in which the boy Hissune, a minor character in Lord Valentine's Castle, rummages in archives of recorded memories and acquires an education in the ways of this particular world. A self-willed woman becomes a recluse and befriends a crippled lizard-man; a great navigator discovers the price of crossing a great ocean; a murderer is pursued by dreams and his own demons; a defrauded young woman discovers the rich ironies possible in a complicated civilisation; two brothers receive an ambiguous prophecy that we know will come true. Individually, these are powerful moody stories, full of memorable people whom we come to know intensely even in a few pages, but together they help amplify our sense of the vast reach of Majipoor in history and geography--and the education of Hissune becomes more than a framing narrative, it becomes another tale of Majipoor in its own right. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘There are two things that abide: absolute awe at Silverberg’s capacity for creating images… he makes you see, believe, be there witnessing… and the overarching compassion that colours every word and all the souls in his enormous world’
Los Angeles Times

‘A grand tale by one of the great storytellers of the century’
Roger Zelazny
On Lord Valentine’s Castle:

‘Silverberg’s invention is prodigious… like a competent juggler, he maintains his rhythm and suspense to the end’
Times Literary Supplement

‘Spectacularly readable’
The Times

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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First Sentence
FOR SIX MONTHS now Thesme had lived alone in a hut that she had built with her own hands, in the dense tropical jungle half a dozen miles or so east of Narabal, in a place where the sea breezes did not reach and the heavy humid air clung to everything like a furry shroud. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a bit hard to describe - basically it is the middle part of the Majipoor Trilogy - but it is fundamentally different from the two other books (Lord Valentine's Castle and Valentine Pontifex).
While the two other books are "normal" novels, with one continuos action, this book is more like a collection of short stories.
The basis of the stories are the archives in the House of Records on the Planet Majipoor, here millions of people has left recordings of the memories.
Each story in the book are one of these recordings.
This leads the reader on a journey through both time and space, which can be read as important background for the other two books in the trilogy or as highly entertaining stories about people, their lives, and the relations between them.
With the Majipoor trilogy Robert Silverberg has created one of the most impressive worlds in modern fantasy.
Especially the society he describes makes it worthwhile to read these books.
In addition to this he has the gift of giving the characters real life - even in this book, where the single stories are quite short, he is able to make them interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Archy on 16 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The sequel to Lord Valentine's castle, this is, as the other reviewer has pointed out, more a set of short stories set in the same world, linked together by the 'device' of one of the characters from the first book seeking out memories of Majipoor's people through the years. They're all immensely satisfying, and give different perspectives on the world of Majipoor.

When I first read Lord Valentine's Castle back in the 80s I found it a little dull after Silverberg's 70s classics, but re-reading now I've started to get an idea of what he was aiming at. Really, these are quite sunny stories; even the villains don't come to too sticky an end. Perhaps it was an attempt to write a fantasy series without the usual blood and battles that seem to proliferate in this genre? At any rate, I enjoyed this, thirty years or so late, and look forward to reading the next in the series.
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By Kevin Macken on 23 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A class sci-fi. I first read this series of books back in the 1970s.Still a good yarn.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By pjlbyrne on 30 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a cheap weird meandering SF sage with a weird sexual undercurrent. It is so obscure that it ought to be free. I think I got more from reading Robert Silverberg's wikipedia entry but YMMV.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Majipoor Chronicles is Breathtaking! 29 Aug. 2000
By Amy S Fahrer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved Lord Valentine's Castle, and figured that this installment in the Majipoor series would only be a necessary stepping stone before reading another book about Valentine. Little did I know how incredible and thorough this book would be, or how deeply affected I would be by the wonderful memories of the characters in the Registry of Souls. All of the stories are wonderful, though Inyanna Forlana's and Arioc's are by far my favorites. And the broad view of Majipoor you get through this book is perfect preparation for Valentine Pontifex. Silverberg's story-telling is rich, vivid, and complex, and this book will remain one of my favorites for years to come.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Exploring the Register of Souls 2 Jun. 2002
By Michele L. Worley - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book very cleverly covers the adolescence of the boy Hissune between his first meeting with Valentine in LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE and his later career on Castle Mount. Hissune works as a clerk in the House of Records of the Labyrinth of Majipoor - the underground city from which the Pontifex administers the bureaucracy that runs most of the life of Majipoor. Hissune is young, restless - and in the same complex lies the Register of Souls, that treasurehouse of memory recordings from lives scattered all through the thousands of years of Majipoor's history. It's closed to all but authorized personnel, but Hissune isn't one to resist a challenge, and once he gets in, he begins sampling lives - the short stories making up this book, tied together with short passages wherein Hissune's reaction to the events he experienced sometimes provides an artistic rounding off of the story, in cases where he knows how the story turned out. As it happens, his explorations are set out in chronological order as he works forward in time.

"Thesme and the Ghayrog" - For his first venture into the Register, Hissune selects a woman 9000 years dead on the far continent of Zimroel. Thesme, like Thoreau, went to the woods to live deliberately - more or less. Living half a day's walk from town, she had become ever more solitary, and welcomed the company of the injured Ghayrog she rescued in the forest. (Ghayrogs, introduced in LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE, are sleepless for much of the year, so it's no joke for one to be laid up with a broken leg so far from civilization, without access to the entertainment even healthy Ghayrogs need to alleviate boredom.)

"The Time of the Burning" - Hissune, curious about the legendary Coronal Lord Stiamot, who conquered Majipoor's native intelligent species - the Metamorphs - seeks out the recording of a soldier of his army in the last days of the war.

"In the Fifth Year of the Voyage" - Huge as Majipoor's three continents are, they cover only a small area of the planet's surface; the Great Sea, most of which has never been explored, makes up the rest. But once, long ago in the reign of Coronal Lord Arioc, Sinnabor Lavon sought glory on the shores of Alhanroel by setting out to sail the long way around. (An incident from this story is the basis of the Jim Burns cover painting on the 1983 paperback edition.)

"Calintane Explains" - Oddly enough, although all the short stories herein are memory recordings, only this one is presented from the first person viewpoint of the soul thus recorded. Arioc, the Coronal mentioned in the previous story, became one of the most famous Pontifexes in Majipoor's history, although the truth has been obscured by time. Hissune in this case sought out the memory of a member of Arioc's court in the Labyrinth to find out what really happened.

"The Desert of Stolen Dreams" - Something of how the Barjazid family came to hold Majipoor's fourth crown, that of the King of Dreams, although not the whole story.

"The Soul-Painter and the Shapeshifter" - The tale of a man who fell in love with a Metamorph.

"Crime and Punishment" - On present-day Majipoor, the King of Dreams oversees the punishment of criminals by visiting them with retribution in their dreams. Hissune, interested in the process, seeks out the memory recording of a murderer. Murder is relatively uncommon on Majipoor, because the King of Dreams provides a legendary deterrent...

"Among the Dream-speakers" - After the previous story, Hissune (who doesn't share Majipoor's traditional attitude toward dreams) wants to know more about dream-speakers, who serve as intermediaries between the worlds of waking and dream, interpreting sendings of the Lady and of the King of Dreams. Hissune thus seeks out a recording of Tisana of Zimroel, made early in her life: her memories of her final Testing for dream-speaker. See LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE for Hissune's previous encounter with her.

"A Thief in Ni-Moya" - Inyanna, a small shopkeeper on Zimroel, lost everything she had when a pair of con artists convinced her that she had inherited the estate known as Nissimorn Prospect - as she learned too late. But the registered thieves of the Great Bazaar took her in when they learned of her plight...

"Voriax and Valentine" - A recording left by Valentine himself, a memory of a holiday with his brother Voriax, and how they met a forest witch who offered them an impossible prophecy. After all, how could they *both* be destined to become Coronal?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Way to Learn About Majipoor 15 July 2000
By Joshua Villines - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here Silverberg offers us the chance to experience first-person vignettes from across the thousands of years of Majipoor's history. Silverberg does an outstanding job of making historical personages come alive in such a way that, when you encounter oblique references to them in later novels you feel as if someone has just mentioned an old friend.
In addition, Silverberg takes you behind the scenes at some of the pivotal moments in Majipoor's past. He crafts those events with insight and cleverness (and throws in a few surprises). The complicated and seductive world of Majipoor is even more so after the glimpses which Silverberg offers.
Every story in this collection would stand alone as an enjoyable and thought-provoking reading experience. Together, they are a must-have for fans and non-fans alike.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Second Majipoor book fills in some gaps left by the 1st... 9 Jan. 2003
By Steven Sammons - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A collection of short stories, Silverberg uses this book as a way to fill in or explore some historical gaps left in his first Majipoor novel. As with any collection of short stories, some will delight you, others will leave you flat, and some won't affect you at all. I can't honestly say that I disliked any of the stories contained within, but I definately liked some more than others. I especially enjoyed how the author continually reminded us that things didn't always happen the way the history books say they did. If only we had a Register of Souls here on earth!
Looking at the other reviews, I would say that I am not as enthusiastic about these novels as other people, but I don't hate them either. I have only read the first three so far, but I feel that some of the shortcomings pointed out by others (i.e., poorly developed characters, over simplistic plots, etc.) do have validity, but I feel that the good points of the books far outweigh the bad. In the Majipoor novels Silverberg makes us confront some of the darker aspects of mankind and grapple with our response to them. I liked the second book the most out of the first three. Try it, and see what you think!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous tales 17 Oct. 1996
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Robert Silverberg's world of Majipoor is an incredibly rich setting for
his stories, sending the reader's imagination to new and wonderful places.
The scope and detailed history Silverberg has created for this world is
breathtaking. Other authors might bog the reader down with useless detail,
but Silverberg inspires awe rather than boredom.

For readers who have been initiated through "Lord Valentine's Castle",
"Majipoor Chronicles" takes you further into Majipoor with a collection
of stories covering thousands of years of the planet's history.

An excellent book. Compares extremely favorably to Asimov's "Foundation" series, but even
better in some ways.
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