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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-notch SF, 7 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Tower Of Glass (Gollancz SF collector's edition) (Paperback)
One of the tests of great SF is, can it be read over and over again, and still be enjoyed? In the case of Tower of Glass, the answer is yes! Bob Silverberg's powers of invention are at a peak in this book, set about 300 years in the future. Simeon Krug, a mega-tycoon of that time, has an obsession to prove that humankind is not alone in the universe. When he discovers signals from deep space, he sets about building a mighty tower of glass, containing the technology to reply to the signals. His workers are synthetic humans (androids) who he drives on furiously, like a ruthless slavemaster. What he does not realise is that the androids believe he is God! Tension builds and builds as the androids, with some human allies, plot to force Krug to grant them equality with flesh-and-blood humanity. The story moves towards a pivotal moment of truth and a breathtaking ending! Glorious entertainment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and meaningful SF, 4 Oct 2003
This review is from: Tower Of Glass (Gollancz SF collector's edition) (Paperback)
Simeon Krug, wealthy magnate of the future, is so obsessed with a sequence of numbers being transmitted from a planetary nebula three hundred light years away that he develops a race of androids in order to build a tower fifteen hundred metres high in order to send a response to the alien signal.
The androids, unbeknown to Krug, have developed their own society which is attempting to achieve Android Equality rights in two fundamentally different ways. The Android Equality Party is a visible politically active movement which campaigns for a change in legislation from the current situation in which androids are considered ‘property’ while others see their salvation in a religion centred around the figure of Krug ‘The Creator’.
This short but complex novel is – to a certain extent – exploring areas Philip K Dick had already explored in the preceding decade to better effect. Indeed, the novel seems influenced by Dick stylistically, particularly in Silverberg’s choice of names for his characters.
There is also something tragically Shakespearean about Tower of Glass. The unfolding of the drama is measured by the increasing height of the tower, which is in direct relation to the increase in Krug’s maniacal obsession with the project. Krug himself, although not a wicked man, becomes increasingly irrational and blind to the social developments within the race of androids which he created.
Well worth checking out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch SF, 26 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Tower of Glass (Paperback)
One of the tests of great SF is, can it be read over and over again, and still be enjoyed? In the case of Tower of Glass, the answer is yes! Bob Silverberg's powers of invention are at a peak in this book, set about 300 years in the future. Simeon Krug, a mega-tycoon of that time, has an obsession to prove that humankind is not alone in the universe. When he discovers signals from deep space, he sets about building a mighty tower of glass, containing the technology to reply to the signals. His workers are synthetic humans (androids) who he drives on furiously, like a ruthless slavemaster. What he does not realise is that the androids believe he is God! Tension builds and builds as the androids, with some human allies, plot to force him to grant them equality with flesh-and-blood humanity. The pivotal moment of truth comes at last... You will have to read it to find out what happens next! Glorious entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly as the top of the tower - but not quite, 4 Mar 2013
This review is from: Tower of Glass (Paperback)
Simeon Krug is a man with a vision. He has always wanted to contact extraterrestrial life and when a strange signal is received hundreds of light years away he decides the only way in which to communicate would be to build a glass tower many hundreds of meters high. Not just a visionary but also a giver of life, Simeon has created the worlds first flesh androids and even divided them up into a simple class system. However, little does he know that the while he just regards them as property, they are looking towards Krug as a God. Can a man ever live up to expectations bestowed on a God? They are not just thinking for themselves but creating political parties for independence and even have a bible dictating ethics.

A really different type of book to one that I would normally read but I really enjoyed parts of it. The way the story unfolds is very closely mirroring the slavery period in worlds history, with all sorts of moral question being raised. The way Krug's relationship differs between his sons towards man made objects highlights a changing world and provides a glimmer of hope for the future of mankind. Why is Krug obsessed with finding new life in the stars when he has created his own on earth?

An easily recommendable book, but one that at time seemed a little too geeky for me, especially with all the Technology explanations, hence 4 stars instead of 5.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tower of class, 12 Jun 2013
This review is from: Tower of Glass (Kindle Edition)
Simeon Krug is a man with a vision. He has always wanted to contact extraterrestrial life and when a strange signal is received hundreds of light years away he decides the only way in which to communicate would be to build a glass tower many hundreds of meters high. Not just a visionary but also a giver of life, Simeon has created the worlds first flesh androids and even divided them up into a simple class system. However, little does he know that the while he just regards them as property, they are looking towards Krug as a God. Can a man ever live up to expectations bestowed on a God? They are not just thinking for themselves but creating political parties for independence and even have a bible dictating ethics.

A really different type of book to one that I would normally read but I really enjoyed parts of it. The way the story unfolds is very closely mirroring the slavery period in worlds history, with all sorts of moral question being raised. The way Krug's relationship differs between his sons towards man made objects highlights a changing world and provides a glimmer of hope for the future of mankind. Why is Krug obsessed with finding new life in the stars when he has created his own on earth?

An easily recommendable book, but one that at time seemed a little too geeky for me, especially with all the Technology explanations, hence 4 stars instead of 5.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been even better towards the end., 30 April 2013
This review is from: Tower of Glass (Kindle Edition)
I have recently started reading Silverberg's classics and am really enjoying them. This one is a good read, and as usual has some interesting ideas and images in it. I had all sorts of speculations in my mind about how it might end, and admit to being a bit disappointed by the actual ending, though it wasn't a bad ending, just not great. I have to say my favourite Silverberg is still Man in the Maze, which I advise anyone who likes sci-fi to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just great, 22 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Tower Of Glass (Gollancz SF collector's edition) (Paperback)
This is the book that lost out when Larry Niven won a Hugo and a Nebula for Ringworld, possibly the worst Hugo-winning novel I've read (while I'm griping, A Case Of Conscience isn't all it's cracked up to be, either). The worst part about being beaten by the most over-rated Hugo winner of all time? Well, both books open with a character hopping through a teleporter across the earth, but Silverberg GOT THE TIME ZONE CHANGES RIGHT and didn't have to do a second edition with the high school math corrected.

So while Ringworld is full of leery nudity, Thundercats and dopey tripods and no plot of any real worth, Tower of Glass opts instead for story and characterisation. It's an operatic tragedy with timeless themes about the relationship of master and slave and the siren call of destiny; it's probably the defining Silverberg book. Although plainly inspired by the civil rights struggles in 20th century America, the book still feels fresh, because it's about division of society and the disconnection of the super-rich from everyday reality. The writing is bold and leaps out of the page with unbridled enthusiasm. Silverberg reportedly complains that the book was butchered by its editor, and while, with retrospect, this is perhaps detectable in the pacing, I wouldn't say my enjoyment was harmed.

Ignore my whining about how grievously this was pipped for an award and just buy the book. If you like classic sci-fi, this is a great mix of the Golden Age and the New Wave, it's the quintessential Silverberg novel (as you'll see from my reviews, I should know: I've read a whole lot of them) and it's just a brilliant piece of escapist fun. Enjoy. ...And if you see Larry Niven, punch him in the chest.

OK, don't do that.
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Tower Of Glass (Gollancz SF collector's edition)
Tower Of Glass (Gollancz SF collector's edition) by Robert Silverberg (Paperback - 20 April 2000)
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