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3.0 out of 5 stars Every rose has its thorns., 18 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Thorns (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Thorns is Robert Silverberg's first Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novel and stands at a creative turning point in his science fiction that saw him become one of the genre's most respected authors. I'm a big fan of Silverberg, but this isn't really my favourite novel of his.

The villain is Duncan Chalk, a hugely powerful, and hugely huge, media mogul whose propensity for sadism has made him a fortune in reality TV. His victims are a spaceman whose encounter with experimenting aliens has left him bizarrely altered and in constant pain and a girl who donated ova that have created a hundred babies, but cannot see any of them. These two tortured individuals are brought together by Chalk, knowing that their mutual attraction is inevitable, but inevitably short-lived; Chalk stands to gain ratings from the footage, but also seems to be able to feed off their pain...

This is a very odd conceit, and while an enjoyable read, never fully convinces. The process of in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy by which Lona becomes the mother of 100 babies was daring at the time, but describes fertility techniques that are common today, but out-of-date science is to be expected in a 40-year-old book. The main problem is simply that the story itself is so bizarre that at no point do you really believe it, although in many ways, you can put on your TV and see that the fearful future Silverberg predicted is already becoming real.
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Thorns (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Thorns (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Robert Silverberg (Paperback - 4 Dec. 2000)
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