Read Majipoor Chronicles by Robert Silverberg Online


Come to Majipoor, the magnificently exotic planet of Lord Valentine's Castle. Come to Hissune, favorite of Valentine, as he probes the deepest secrets of Majipoor's long past in the depths of the great Labyrinth. Join him as he becomes one with its many peoples--dukes & generals, thieves & murderers, Ghayrogs & Metamorphs--& discovers wonder, terror, longinCome to Majipoor, the magnificently exotic planet of Lord Valentine's Castle. Come to Hissune, favorite of Valentine, as he probes the deepest secrets of Majipoor's long past in the depths of the great Labyrinth. Join him as he becomes one with its many peoples--dukes & generals, thieves & murderers, Ghayrogs & Metamorphs--& discovers wonder, terror, longing & love, learning wisdom that will shape his destiny. 2nd book in the series begun with Lord Valentine's Castle, this is a collection of stories set on Majipoor connected by short interludes with Hissune. As the copyright page says: "Portions of this book have appeared in somewhat different form in Omni, Fantasy & Science Fiction & Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine." It adds some interesting details to the history & geography of the big planet, but does not really further the story of Valentine.PrologueThesme & the GhayrogThe Time of the BurningIn the Fifth Year of the VoyageCalintane ExplainsThe Desert of Stolen DreamsThe Soul Painter & the ShapeshifterCrime & PunishmentAmong the Dream SpeakersA Thief in Ni-MoyaVoriax & Valentine(Chapter 11 untitled)...

Title : Majipoor Chronicles
Author :
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ISBN : 9780061054853
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Majipoor Chronicles Reviews

  • Lyn
    2019-03-06 07:59

    Robert Silverberg returned to his magnificent creation Majipoor in his 1982 collection of loosely connected short stories Majipoor Chronicles.Using as a connecting instrument archived research done by Hisune, a minor character in Silverberg’s 1980 introduction to Majipoor Lord Valentine's Castle, the author has collected a series of vignettes that further expand and illustrate the great detail and scope of Majipoor.From human-alien relations (and this is a Robert Silverberg novel so there is sex – that’s all I’m saying) to sea dragons to a study of Majipoor history, Silverberg takes his time and leads his readers on an informative and entertaining journey through the annals and culture of the enormous planet.One aspect of the world building that he spends some time with is the political aristocracy of the planet. Essentially this is a bifurcated monarchy: a king, called a Coronal, is appointed from a group of qualified prince class. This is the junior executive who is seen by the populace and is the face of the government. The Coronal leads from atop the high Castle Mount. The senior executive, the Pontifex, rules from a bureaucratic underground hive called the Labyrinth. When the Pontifex dies, the Coronal becomes the new Pontifex, moves to the Labyrinth and appoints his successor Coronal.Other global officials are the Lady of the Isle (Sleep) and the King of Dreams. The Lady gives peace and rest to her citizens through their dreams while the King of Dreams punishes crime through nightmares. Active dreams and telepathy are common themes in Silverberg’s canon.Silverberg also spends more time with the aborigine race of the planet, the Metamorphs or Shapeshifters (who call themselves the Piurivar). The author describes this lost race in a way reminiscent of Ray Bradbury’s Martians, an ancient remnant little understood and without respect.This is not really a sequel to Lord Valentine’s Castle (though a reader of the 1980 novel would be somewhat familiar with Hisune and the connecting story) and could be read first. This is an excellent source of further knowledge of Majipoor and is all woven together by Silverberg’s mastery of language and art of storytelling.

  • KatHooper
    2019-03-11 06:46

    3.5 starsORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.In the first novel of the Majipoor series, Lord Valentine’s Castle, Valentine was aided in the labyrinth by Hissune, a clever and hard-working young street urchin. When Valentine was restored to his position as coronal, he elevated Hissune to a government job in the labyrinth. This was certainly a big step up for Hissune, but he soon discovers that government work is pretty dull. To alleviate the boredom, he talks his way into the Registry of Souls, the place where Majipoor’s residents have been placing some of their memories for thousands of years. Pretending that he’s doing some research for his archiving job, Hissune is able to call up and re-live the memories of ten Majipooreans. At first he starts off small, living as a young woman in a remote but developing area of the planet. When he doesn’t get caught, he gets bolder and bolder and eventually spends time living in the memory of Lord Valentine himself.Thus, Majipoor Chronicles is a collection of short stories set in the world of Majipoor. The book is meant to be read after Lord Valentine’s Castle (which introduces Hissune), but it could also be read as a prequel or at any other place in the series. Each of these ten stories fills in some gaps in the story of Lord Valentine’s Castle, or gives us more details and insights about the imaginative world of Majipoor and its citizens and culture. But most importantly, they each have a life lesson for Hissune who, though he doesn’t know it yet, will succeed Valentine as coronal:1. “Thesme and the Ghayrog” — a young woman who feels ostracized because of her eccentric behaviors moves into the jungle and befriends an alien. A story about the Freudian defense mechanism of projection.2. “The Time of the Burning” — an army officer meets the legendary Lord Stiamot at a time when humans are taking the planet away from the native metamorphs. Explains how humans got control of the planet.3. “In the Fifth Year of the Voyage” — a chilling tale of adventure and failure. Gives us an appreciation for the immensity of the planet and the problems with its exploration.4. “Calintane Explains” — Calintane, a future coronal, explains to his girlfriend why he’s been too busy to see her lately. The amusing story (alluded to in Lord Valentine’s Castle) about the coronal who declared himself a woman and became the Lady of the Isle.5. “The Desert of Stolen Dreams” — as a way of punishing himself for a crime, Lord Dekkeret takes on an unpleasant job which involves crossing a desert and dealing with horrible dreams. Emphasizes the importance of dreams and gives us some background on a future coronal.6. “The Soul-Painter and the Shapeshifter” — an artist who’s tired of structured and sculpted beauty moves to the forest and meets a metamorph woman. Shows the interracial conflict between humans and metamorphs.7. “Crime and Punishment” — a businessman who has committed murder tries to evade the King of Dreams. Explains how secret crimes are punished through dreams and why murder rates are low on Majipoor.8. “Among the Dream Speakers” — Tisana (who helped Lord Valentine) faces her final test to become a dreamspeaker. Shows the training and practices of the dreamspeakers.9. “A Thief in Ni-moya” — a shopkeeper is told that she has inherited a mansion in Ni-moya. Explores the exciting city of Ni-moya, illustrates some of the practices of its nobility, and deals with the concepts of justice and balance.10. “Voriax and Valentine” — brothers Voriax and Valentine meet a witch who gives them the disturbing prophecy that they will both be coronal. Fills in details of this event, which was alluded to in Lord Valentine’s Castle, and gives us a glimpse of Valentine’s early manhood.I listened to Blackstone Audio’s production of Majipoor Chronicles, which was read by an excellent cast of narrators (several who were new to me): J. Paul Boehmer, Cassandra Campbell, Emily Janice Card, Gabrielle de Cuir, Arte Johnson, Don Leslie, Scott Peterson, Stefan Rudnicki, and Mirron Willis. I can highly recommend this version. As with any collection, the stories vary in quality. My favorite stories were “In the Fifth Year of the Voyage” (intense), “Calintane Explains” (funny), and “A Thief in Ni-Moya” (satisfying). The only story that I didn’t like was “Among the Dream Speakers” — I thought it was dull.Majipoor Chronicles gives even more texture to the beautiful and fascinating world of Majipoor while filling in a lot of details about characters and events alluded to in other Majipoor novels. For Majipoor fans, Majipoor Chronicles is a must-read. If you haven’t read Lord Valentine’s Castle, this is a good way to get your feet wet and to see if you want to explore more of Majipoor.

  • Buck Ward
    2019-03-24 05:38

    This is a collection of ten stories and novelettes that take place in the nine thousand year history of the planet Majipoor, since it was settled by humans from Earth. Before reading this I had read Lord Valentine's Castle. Majipoor Chronicles would be a good precursor to that novel, though I think it is listed as the second in the series. It helps us understand the culture of Majipoor. The final story is about Valentine, before his great adventure in Lord Valentine's Castle. I believe that all of these stories were written over a long period of time and then collected in this volume with an intertwining story that actually takes place after the events of Lord Valentine's Castle. Even though it has it roots in science fiction, this really isn't science fiction as much as it is fantasy; fantasy well written. I noticed an interesting thing in at least three of these stories. A person is wronged and yet there is no grudge, no wish for revenge, and the story ends with the wrongdoer having been forgiven.Robert Silverberg has become a favored science fiction author of mine, although this volume is not my favorite of his. His writing, especially about Majipoor, puts me in mind of Ursula K Le Guin.

  • Shawn Thrasher
    2019-03-07 09:52

    Majipoor Chronicles is essentially a grouping of short stories set on and during various time periods of the lush and large world Robert Silverberg created. Some of the stories were previously published. They are all loosely connected by the character of Hissune, who we first met in LVC as a sassy street urchin (are there any other kinds in literature?) who meets Lord Valentine in the Labyrinth. Silverberg has (conveniently) created a Register of Souls, that contains "memory readings" that one can access, essentially living someone's life, seeing events through their eyes. I think various other authors have used this literary device, albeit in various forms) including if I remember correctly J.K. Rowling. This conceit could be considering somewhat lame, although perhaps Silverberg was the first to apply it. The convenience of this device, however, is far overshadowed by the stories, some of them quite superior pieces of the science fiction / fantasy blend that Silverberg is really a master of writing. LVC is that kind of mash-up (Anne McCaffrey's Pern does this quite well too), and some of these stories are little gems. I listened to an audio version; each story was narrated by a different reader, which I really enjoyed.

  • Chris Gager
    2019-03-21 10:38

    It's not usual for me to give a sci-fi book a 4-star rating but this is a good one for sure. By one of the all-time masters of the genre of course. My only question: Why no flying machines? Also, the final twist at the end was very predictable.

  • Tristan
    2019-03-22 09:06

    I really like Majipoor Chronicles, although it is perhaps a bit disingenuous to call it a "novel". At it's heart, Majipoor Chronicles is a collection of short fiction--although it is loosely connected by the narration of Hissune's discovery of each tale told and the book can be thought of as telling the story of his education to governance. Each "chapter" is a separate tale that Hissune finds in the great Register of Souls, chronicling choice moments in the history of the planet.I actually liked this better than Lord Valentine's Castle, since I tend to enjoy both short fiction and extensive world-building--and this book delivers both in abundance. I do wonder how it will lead into the third book in the series, since so little plot happens in Majipoor Chronicles but I appreciated the chance to look into the history of the world through these fun and unusual stories.The best stories were "In the Fifth Year of the Voyage", "The Desert of Stolen Dreams", "Among the Dream-Speakers", and "A Thief in Ni-Moya", although I don't think that the collection would be complete without a single element of the work. It coalesces into a marvelous episodic painting of the world, making Majipoor come to life in a way that I am not sure any other, more typical, means (a Lord of the Rings style historical epic, for example) could accomplish. We are shown the humanity at the heart of things, given a sense for the feeling of this alien world as well as some of the important historical events of it. A clever collection that exploits connectivity to make each lovely piece gain in importance and pleasure by association with the others.

  • Jefferson
    2019-02-25 13:48

    "The Geography of the Soul"Robert Silverberg's big science fiction novel Lord Valentine's Castle (1980) depicts the attempts of the unlawfully deposed Valentine to regain his rightful position as Coronal of Majipoor, one of the four "powers" of the planet, journeying and juggling across the exotic landscapes and through the sprawling cities and among the 20-30 billion human and alien inhabitants of the huge world. The conceit of Silverberg's second Majipoor book, Majipoor Chronicles (1982), is that Hissune, the street boy who first recognized Valentine, has been working for four years in the vast bureaucratic Labyrinth doing things like preparing "an inventory of the archives of the tax-collectors" when, itching to experience new places and people, he bluffs his way into the Register of Souls, which stores millions of memory-readings made by millions of Majipoorans from millions of places and times. Each time Hissune experiences a memory, Silverberg writes a short story from the point of view of the person in question. The Hissune framing passages work with the stories to demonstrate how the various experiences (only a glimpse of a millionth millionth part of Majipooran life) give the bright and sensitive lad an education in human nature ("the geography of the soul") and hence help him to mature. Silverberg is also demonstrating the entertaining, transporting, mind and heart expanding nature of science fiction.The ten stories in the collection come from different points in Majipoor's 14,000 year human history and represent different modes and moods: romance, war, exploration, bildungsroman, origin, crime, comedy, tragedy, etc. "Thesme and the Ghayrog" is an affecting story about a self-absorbed young woman who falls awkwardly in love with a reptilian alien Ghayrog. "The Time of the Burning" grimly channels US history (e.g., the Vietnam War and Native American genocide) as it demonstrates that heroes do not always match the images made by time and adoration. "In the Fifth Year of the Voyage" is an absorbing tale of a ship of adventurers trying to cross the great ocean of Majipoor when they encounter a colony of metal-eating algae."Calintane Explains" details the nature of three of the four powers of Majipoor (the Pontifex, the Coronal, and the Lady) and almost does something daring regarding gender, though Silverberg winks too much. "The Desert of Stolen Dreams" recounts the origin of the fourth power of Majipoor, the King of Dreams, who flays the souls of criminals with nightmares. In "The Soul Painter and the Shapeshifter" Silverberg again poignantly explores cross-species love, as a famous artist realizes that perfection is stagnation, heads for the jungle, and meets an indigenous Metamorph."Crime and Punishment" presents the attempts of an impromptu murderer to escape the punishments of the King of Dreams by changing locales and identities."Among the Dream-Speakers" features the self-doubt before the last test of a dream-speaker in training. "A Thief in Ni-Moya" is an amusing Cinderella tale detailing the benefits of being conned out of your life savings and family shop. "Voriax and Valentine," the last story and the closest in time to the events in Lord Valentine's Castle, explores a loving but fraught relationship between two brothers.Silverberg writes vivid, often finely defamiliarizing SF:-"Dulorn was far more beautiful and strange than she had been able to imagine. It seemed to shine with an inner light of its own, while the sunlight, refracted and shattered and deflected by the myriad angles and facets of the lofty baroque buildings, fell in gleaming showers to the streets."-"He reached for her hand. It had six fingers, very long and narrow, without fingernails or visible joints." -“Without warning the sun was in the sky like a trumpet blast, roasting the surrounding hills with shafts of hot light.”-"Several moons were out."He also writes many scenes revelatory of human nature: -Thesme feeling upset when she fails to freak out her people with her alien lover; -Eremoil briefly imagining telling the Coronal a different solution to the Metamorph problem; -Captain Lavon realizing he's had enough exploration; -Therion saying about his turbulent, strange paintings, "all my work is an attempt to recapture the happiest time in my life"; -Dekkeret questioning whether he needs to sear his guilt away in the desert sun; -Haglione trying to understand that he's being forgiven; -Inyanna laughing outside the estate of her "inheritance"; -Valentine trying to dismiss a disturbing prophecy.The readers for the male protagonist stories are men, for the female ones women. All of them are fine. Stefan Rudneki reads two stories well with his deep, rich voice. Gabrielle de Cuir nearly over-reads her story, elongating long vowels for effect ("She became aWAAAARE of soft brEEEATHing beHIIIIND her"). But really the readers enhance the stories.From here in 2017, some flaws or creaky points appear in the 1982 book. In none of the stories does Silverberg depict a homosexual or alien memory; it seems a little tame to depict the Other always from the point of view of heterosexual humans. And although the conceit of memory-readings is neat, the stories are so well-crafted that it beggars belief that messy human beings could record their memories so literately. And why are none of them narrated in the first person? Finally, considering its 14,000+ year history, a remarkably small number of figures recur.Silverberg's story telling is almost free of the cinematic page-turning violent action scenes so common in sf/fantasy these days. Instead, he maps "the geography of the soul": psychology, relationships, dreams, insights, love, transformation, culture, and the like. If you'd like a detailed, well-written, slow-paced trek through a well-realized exotic world full of exotic denizens (who essentially resemble us here and now), you'd probably like this book, though it'd be best to start with Lord Valentine's Castle.

  • Liz Mandeville
    2019-03-03 05:47

    How can anyone not like Science Fiction? The imaginings of sci-fi writers have provoked great thinkers to invent some of the most amazing things we now take for granted that, at one time, would have been thought to be magic. I've been a fan of the genre since forever, but somehow hadn't read anything by the master, Robert Silverberg. How wonderful to find this paperback in the resort library in Cozumel in Feb. This book is the second in a 3 part series (I've not read the other two) that takes place in the far off plant of Majipoor. It is a collection of short stories that imagine this bizarre world from its earliest colonists and illustrate its evolution with great, bold ideas. The various characters, both male and female, human and alien, soldier, settler, explorer, thief, do what science fiction does best: explore the limits of humans capacity to overcome incredible odds. If I say anymore I'll spoil it for you. Have an open mind and enjoy the range of Silverberg's creative genius.

  • Valerie
    2019-02-26 14:05

    This book is essentially an anthology, caught together into a rough continuity as the education of Hissune, later Coronal in his own right. The premise of an archive of experiences (memory recording?) in the Labyrinth is one of the oddities of Majipoor. In many ways the world is regressed from the (presumed) Galactic Federation with which it has intermittent contact (for more on this, consult Valentine Pontifex). The technologies used by the Majipooreans seem to be understood by few: there are some who can build, and others maintain, the technologies--but there seem to be few innovators, and few who travel beyond Majipoor and bring their stories back to share with their fellow citizens. One notable lacuna is that there seem to be no Puirivar contributors to this archive.Dedication: "For Kirby[;] Who may not have been driven all the way to despair by this one, but certainly got as far as the outlying suburbs."Frontispiece Maps: Zimroel; Alhanroel; Castle Mount And Glayge Valley; The Isle of Sleep (with the Rodamount Archipelago); Majipoor (including only the circle of the three major continents (including Suvrael, otherwise unmapped, and the isles between Alhanroel and Zimroel. There is some indication of 5 (?) uninhabited (?) moons). These maps and other maps in the series have no indications of time zones, at least that I've seen. Contents PROLOGUE--Explaining how Hissune got access to the Archives. He seems to think he was especially tricky about it--but the evidence is that he was authorized. But why should authorization be required? Shouldn't libraries be for everyone?I Thesme and The Ghayrog--This is early in the history of Majipoor, when most communities were primarily Earth-humans. This contains sex between a human and a nonhuman.II The Time of The Burning--This deals with a very disgraceful part of Majipoorean history. In the time of Lord Stiamot, large parts of Alhanroel are burned out to try to drive the Puirivar away. Many other living things also die, including members of the immigrant species. In McKillip's The Riddle of The Stars, a land-ruler loses the land-rule for exactly the same sort of thing. It's plain unjustifiable--and the attempt to do so falls flat.III In The Fifth Year of The Voyage--An attempt to go the long way around Majipoor fails--at least partly because of bad planning, as far as I can tell. The proper way to mount such an expedition is in stages: travel for a distance, set up a supply depot, take the maps back, then travel to the next stage...IV Calintane Explains--The story of Pontifex Arioc, who declared himself a woman and became Lady of The Isle of Sleep, is one that has always fascinated Majipooreans. I'd like to hear an inverse version, in which a woman declares herself a man, and takes on the role of (say) King of Dreams. Until the end of Valentine Pontifex, there is only ONE power that's traditionally female--why should that one be the only one ever to have been held by someone transgendered? V The Desert of Stolen Dreams--A tale of the origin of the King of Dreams. Dekkeret is sent to Suvrael (before Dekkeret became Coronal) to investigate a blockage of supplies. He encounters a Barjazid, who has developed a dreamcaster to identify and chastise malefactors. This is not a very convincing reason for the position of King of Dreams to become dynastic. None of the other Powers are. Even the Lady of The Isle of Sleep, when her son(s) go on to become Pontifex, steps down in favor of the mother of the next Coronal.VI The Soul-Painter And The Shapeshifter--The description of 'soul-painting' as an art form in interesting. But I'd rather have heard the tale from the point of view of the Puirivar. Especially, I'd like to hear what became of her afterward.VII Crime And Punishment: One of the problems of maintenance and management of a society of billions of people on a massive world is that there's simply no way that individual Powers could possibly do it. There aren't enough hours in the day--or in the night. Even if one has a superefficient search strategy, and good algorithms, it's just not POSSIBLE to ferret out and deal with all of the people who need encouragement, chastisement, etc. In the case of the King of Dreams, there seems to be a standardized suite of dreams that are sent to everybody at fault. Which leaves room for doubts: What if the guilt is misplaced? What if people are resistant to the dreams? How sure can one be that the chosen recipients will be able to come up with some form of atonement? In the case in question, the murderer is almost certain not to reoffend anyway. And even when reprisals have had their affect--will it bring the dead back to life?VIII Among The Dream-Speakers--This is getting too close to the period of the story. In Lord Valentine's Castle, Valentine is guided by a dream-speaker named Tisana. This story is set during the last part of her apprenticeship, during her preparations for her threshold ordeal.IX A Thief in Ni-Moya--A shopkeeper is taken in by con artists, and ends up getting what she was promised, by a circuitous route.X Voriax and Valentine--This one is definitely too close. While archives should be public, there should be limitations on access to the archives of people still living, at least potentially (some kind of 'don't share this until notified' command. This story is based on a memory Valentine himself has in Lord Valentine's Castle. This version is also from Valentine's perspective.XI All through the book, new stories are introduced by explaining what affect the stories have had on Hissune, followed by Hissune's decision to try 'just one more'. This last (untitled) chapter deals with a visit by Lord Valentine to the Labyrinth, and what ensues therefrom.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-03-20 09:49

    This collection of short stories is set in the same world as Lord Valentine's Castle, which had appeared previously. I didn't much like either book, but this one had the advantage of being a collection of individual pieces, not a single narrative.

  • Bob
    2019-03-04 06:03

    Its highly imaginitive and fun at times, butThe writing is terrible, I mean really bad. It is twice as long as it needs to be.The sex, and there is lots of it, is kind of immature.As Majipoor is clearly a metaphor for USA the book opens a great deal of opportunity to examine modern American and western life, dealing with issues of environment, government, immigration, native population, and justice. The book faces all of this with some deeply conservative system of kings and queens and then goes on and on about how wonderful the system is. The book essentially has nothing to say about its main subject matter. The political system, though it looks like the most corruptible system one could imagine, is just present as perfect, a mindless reactionary and aristocratic world is elevated. There is none of the thinking that is in the Dune books, or the Culture novels.

  • Книжни Криле
    2019-03-11 14:07

    Отново съм задал координати към планетата Маджипур – плод на безграничното въображение на майстора Робърт Силвърбърг. Свят на екзотика и приключения, където високотехнологичните изобретения все още не са ежедневие, а хората съжителстват с множество различни раси под управлението на сложен триумвират. Днес ще завършим цикъла за Лорд Валънтайн с „Маджипурски хроники” и „Валънтайн Понтифекс”, събрани в том 2 на „Маджипур” от изд. „Бард”. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":

  • Paul
    2019-03-26 05:38

    I didn't realize, going into this, that this would be a short story collection. I think that the device Silverberg used to motivate the short stories (someone accessing the stored memories of a world) is a good one, and somewhat ties the book together, though I would have been perfectly happy without it.I think the strongest stories in this book are the two about the cross-species matings, the first story in the book and the story about the man and the metamorph. Many of the other stories (such as the story of Lord Stiamot) the point was not entirely clear. The story with the woman who "inherits a castle" was quite excellent as well.

  • Bertrand
    2019-03-02 06:56

    Silverberg introduced its Majipoor universe in Lord Valentine's Castle, an epic tale where Valentine conquered his throne and his memories back after having been disposessed by an usurpator. In this book Hissune (a kid which Valentine met earlier) has been given a clerk job which he finds excessively boring while he only thinks about one thing: accessing the Register of Souls where millions of memories of the people of Majipoor are stored. Hissune visits the lives of several Majipoor citizens, significant or not, human or not. The Majipoor Chronicles ends up being a compilation of short stories which are presented through an original storytelling process. Talking about the quality of the stories themselves: we get a few excellent deliveries but also more average material which just aims at giving in-depth descriptions of Majipoor. There is undoubtedly a profound humanistic vibe throughout the whole book which sometimes feels strange but also innovative in a "pure fantasy" setting. The only drawback I can see is that most of the stories could have happened in any place and at any period of time. It is not always obvious how the story plugs into the setting. Nevertheless an high quality and original storytelling and a couple of strong stories in there.Silverberg nous faisait découvrir son univers chamarré avec Le Château de Lord Valentin, fresque épico-naturaliste où un saltimbanque retrouvait sa mémoire volée et reconquérait le trône de Coronal dont il avait été dépossédé. Avec les Chroniques de Majipoor on retrouve avec plaisir l’univers Science Fantasy où gigantisme et exotisme sont les maîtres mots. Hissune, le gamin des rues qui avait prêté main forte à Valentin dans le tome précédent, s’est vu confié un rôle administratif récompensant sa fidélité au vrai Coronal. Il erre de dossier fiscal en note administrative dans le Labyrinthe du Pontife et ne pense qu’à une chose : s’introduire dans le Registre des Âmes où sont stockées les mémoires de millions d’individus retraçant les 14.000 ans d’histoire de Majipoor. Le principe est simple : on s’installe dans le cockpit, on sélectionne la personne dont la mémoire est disponible, puis on se laisse embarquer pour un voyage dont on ne ressort pas indemne, expérimentant la vie de l’individu ayant réalisé l’enregistrement.Hissune se glisse tour à tour dans la peau de riches, pauvres, humains ou non, personnages historiques ou simples figurants. L’auteur nous offre ainsi un recueil de nouvelles sous une forme originale dans l’univers dont il a posé les bases à travers Le Château de Lord Valentin. Si le procédé narratif est intéressant et indéniablement une des forces du livre, qu’en est-il de la qualité des nouvelles, puisque c’est bien là qu’est le nerf de la guerre ? Celles-ci oscillent entre l’excellent et le dispensable. On apprécie la fibre humaniste de Silverberg dont sont tissées ces histoires et qui est sans doute le seul fil conducteur. Ma préférée ? La cinquième année de la traversée, où une bande de fêlés s’embarque pour un voyage de plus de dix ans pour traverser La Grande Mer, l’océan gigantesque de Majipoor. J’ai une petite réserve sur le manque de liant entre les nouvelles et leur univers référentiel puisque finalement celles-ci auraient pu se dérouler dans n’importe quel lieu à n’importe quelle époque qu’on y aurait vu que du feu. Bonne mise en scène et histoires de qualité au demeurant.

  • Misha
    2019-03-07 05:56

    I was a bit hesitant to jump into the middle of Robert Silverberg’s Majipoor series, but Majipoor Chronicles made the perfect landing spot and I liked it a lot. Akin to Arabian Nights, it is a set of short stories that are linked together by the novel’s plot so it’s also a good stand-alone. As Hissune discovers the planet-world’s history spanning thousands of years and its diverse lands and people so does the reader.14-year old Hissune is a clerk in the House of Records located in the Labyrinth. Feeling forgotten by Coronal Valentine, who had given him the position, and trapped in his subterranean station, Hissune seeks consolation by forging his way into the Register of Souls. With the push of a button he is free to explore the memories and "the minds of folk long dead, explorers, pioneers, warriors", and even Majipoor’s leading officials.The sci-fi/fantasy series is set in the distant future when Old Earth is no longer inhabitable due to overpopulation, crime, and other forms of destruction. Human colonists have since settled on the large planet-world of Majipoor, fighting with the aboriginal Metamorphs and forcing them onto reservations. Along with tension between the natives, other alien races have also come to settle. Majipoor is neither a utopia nor a dystopia. Aside from the theiving guild, crime of any kind is practically non-existant. The government is unique in that the man assuming the position of Coronal is chosen by the Pontifex. When the Pontifex passes away, the Coronal takes up the role of Pontifex, chooses a new Coronal, and moves from his mountain castle down into the inner depths of the Labyrinth, where he remains until his passing. It’s a duty that is occasionally seen as a prison sentence.I look forward to reading the rest of the series and more by Silverberg. Having written since the fifties there’s a long list to choose from.

  • Nicolas
    2019-03-16 07:40

    Le titre peut le laisser présager, les chroniques sont assez loin de la trame très linéaire du chateau de lord Valentin, et c'est tant mieux. En effet, les différentes expériences qui sont proposées permettent de mieux saisir la réalité de l'existence sur cette immense planète, où les continents ont la taille de mondes. Et dans ce roman, foisonnant et complexe, on se perd comme les habitants de Majipoor peuvent se perdre des années durant. Et surtout, on rêve : que ce soit aux côtés du peintre d'âmes amoureux d'un métamorphe, de la voleuse de Ni-Moya ou des autres, un monde fascinant, et nettement plus intéressant que le décor du premier tome, nous est proposé. Il n'est pas une facette de Majipoor qui ne puisse se cacher de nos yeux : des pouvoirs du roi des rêves à la formidable diversité des environnements, nous survolons tout, et nous plongeons à chaque fois avec délice dans des vies plus diverses que tout ce qu'on pourrait supposer d'un premier abord. En bref, et bien que le style soit facile, j'ai été tout à fait séduit par ce roman-mosaïque (il fallait bien le claquer quelque part, celui-là, d'autant plus que c'est très exactement l'effet produit). Un seul reproche, cependant : l'absence marquante des non-humains. J'aurais adoré me plonger dans la tête d'un vroon, d'un skandar ou de quelque autre créature extraterrestre.

  • Kerry
    2019-03-07 09:51

    ORIGINAL READ: 9/10 (10 May 2008 - 23 June 2007)Majipoor Chronicles - Robert SilverbergMajipoor, Book 2; SF; 7/10I read Silverberg's first Majipoor book, Lord Valentine's Castle, many years ago and really liked it, but I never got into this book of short stories. I reread Lord Valentine's Castle again last year and bought myself this book to have another go. It turned out to take me a long time to read my way through - I'm really not a short story reader - but I actually really enjoyed my trip through the past of Majipoor. It's not a totally amazing book, but explains and expands on a lot of things mentioned briefly in the first book. I'm now planning to go on and read the third in the trilogy, although I don't know when that wil be.[Copied across from Library Thing; 17 December 2012]REREAD #1: 9/10 (17 December 2012 - 20 December 2012)Really, really enjoyed the reread. Surprised by how much. Liked it more this time than last time. (Sorry, too tired for more.)

  • Allen Garvin
    2019-02-24 13:58

    Sequel, of sorts, to Lord Valentine's Castle. This is really just a set of separately published short stories in Silverberg's Majipoor, linked together by the conceit that the young orphan/thief of the first novel is viewing the lives of people who have recorded themselves in the Register of Souls. The quality of the stories varies, but the penultimate story, "A Thief in Ni-Moya", is one of the best pieces of fiction Silverberg ever wrote, a wonderful story of a timid, rural shopkeeper who has her life savings taken by two scammers (think of the traditional Nigerian/Spanish Prisoner scam), then travels to the city of Ni-Moya to redress her wrongs, and ends up becoming a thief and then finds love, and loses it, and eventually meets the the two thieves who caused her troubles to begin with. It's just a wonderful story, and deserves five stars if stories were being rated by themselves. The rest are worth reading, but that story makes the book worth seeking out.

  • Mona
    2019-03-21 13:44

    Robert Silverberg's Majipoor Chronicles is a splended book of short stories. They are connected by the activities of Hissune, a young government functionary in the Pontifex's Labyrinth. Hissune views different soul-recordings of different characters throughout the planet Majipoor's history, little knowing how much it adds to his education, which has a higher purpose in the series beginning with Lord Valentine's Castle. I loved this book more than Lord Valentine's Castle, because it fleshed out Majipoor as a world so much more vividly. Each story had an emotional impact on me - I first read this book about 20 years ago and still remember certain stories quite well. Majipoor is an important character in itself.This is one of those books I would gladly read over and over again. I highly recommend it, but read it only after you've read Lord Valentine's Castle.

  • Bill
    2019-03-01 09:40

    A nice collection of tales. I'd read the shapeshifter story on a floor of K-Mart whilst playing hooky from high school way back in 1981 or 1982. It was probably an Omni Magazine.It was nice reading it again all these decades later and catching up with the rest of the world.

  • Dark-Draco
    2019-03-16 10:58

    This is a collection of short stories, bought together in a fantastic way. Hissune is a young clerk working in the underground labyrinth for the new Coronel, but finds the work undemanding and tedious. Using his wits and a bit of luck, he bluffs his way into the Register of Souls, a vast collection of recordings made by the people of Majipoor, past and present. With a click of a button, he is transported into their lives, feeling, seeing, tasting and hearing what they did. From the days of the first human colonists and the shapeshifter wars, through to explorers on the great sea and even into the Coronal's childhood, he flits throughout history and learns a few valuable lessons along the way.I haven't read many of the Majipoor books, but this collection makes me think I should. I enjoyed the stories and the clever way they were brough together. Absolutely fantastic.

  • Simon Hemmings
    2019-03-22 06:51

    Really beautiful book and wonderful stories contained within. Having read Lord Valentine's Castle I was eager for the story to continue and when I initially found out that Majipoor Chronicles was a book of short stories set on Majipoor I was concerned that it may take away some of the momentum from the first book. I was wrong, this is a very clever and beautiful book which adds huge depth and meaning to the world of Majipoor. As Hissune explores the memory archives we see different characters in different places throughout its history. My favourite story was "The Desert of Stolen Dreams' but there really isn't a bad one in the book. Definitely worth reading and if all the other books in the series after this one are even half as good then I will undoubtedly read them. As ever, I have huge admiration for Silverberg having read lots of his books over the years.

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-24 13:55

    I think the world of Majipoor is the perfect setting for these kind of short stories since it offers so many different places and races to explore and a good sense of history. However, overall the book falls a bit flat.My favourite stories are "In the Fifth Year of the Voyage" and "A Thief in Ni-moya," both are excellent stories and worth buying the book. I also enjoyed "Thesme and the Ghayrog," "Calintane Explains" and "The Soul-Painter and the Shapeshifter." The other five stories, however, were dragging a little. It's interesting that they elaborate on concepts mentioned in Valentine's Castle, but they didn't have much merit on their own.The three stars I gave this book are more 3.5 stars.

  • fasz
    2019-03-26 07:52

    Silverberg has his own style, a fable kind of storytelling which shouldn't be taken literally, and shouldn't be expected to have the dramatic depth of other books.That being said, in this genre, his other books are gems.This book on the other hand is very disorienting. We dip into the history of Majipoor, but never stay until satisfaction. Almost none of the short stories end in a way that closes down the questions that should be closed.It was easy to read, as all of his Majipoor books, but not quite a food for the adult mind.

  • Daniel Magner
    2019-03-10 13:51

    This is more a short story collection than a novel. However, it's all set around the exploits of one temporarily omnipresent teenager, so the stories themselves mesh together fine. Overall, the scope is admirable, but the characters felt flat, with a few notable exceptions. There are individual chapters that I would rank much higher than others (the soothsayer and the imperial aide were two characters I found much more enjoyable than the rest), but across the board it's not anything to get excited about.

  • Corytregoart
    2019-02-25 09:49

    These stories are entertaining enough, but perhaps more than any other book I've ever read this one exemplifies one of my biggest gripes about a lot of science fiction: the protagonists get laid for little more reason than they are the protagonists. Sex just happens to them. As many of us know, in real life this is usually more difficult. Escapism definitely has a strong stake in this genre, and I'm not a prude that wants no scandalous sex at all in his stories. However, this sort of thing strikes me as simple adolescent wish fulfillment, and it gets old.

  • Chip Hunter
    2019-02-27 11:43

    he Majipoor Chronicles are basically just a series of short stories based on events of the past on Majipoor. Together, these stories really bring to life this fantastic world in the mind of the reader. The events transcribed in this book occured over a long range of time (~9,000 years I think) and provide insights into the way of life in many different times and places. While non of the stories deserve a 4 star rating standing alone, all of them together get the mark because of the extraordinary amount of insight they provide about Silverberg's world.

  • Brie
    2019-03-16 06:41

    A nice compilation of short stories based in Silverberg's world of Majipoor. I really enjoyed the story 'Thief of Nimoya'. Not quite as good as Lord Valentine's Castle Majipoor Cycle Book 1, but definately still worth a read if you have an interest in Majipoor. It covers stories from many different times in Majipoor's past.

  • Bill Phelps
    2019-03-23 11:05

    . Like a sci-fi version of 1001 Arabian Nights. The collection gives a more complete picture of the world of Majipoor. Many of the stories a very interesting character studies. Majipoor Chronicles takes a look at many issues and ideas that we are faced with. Silverberg continues to show many nuances in human behavior, but has set them in a far off world, so that we can really look at them in with all new eyes. Overall a would rate it as a decent collection of short stories.

  • Gary
    2019-02-27 06:39

    I enjoyed this quite a lot because it let us delve more into the fascinating world of Majipoor. Unlike in Lord Valentin's Castle, this is a collection of short stories together by a short narrative based around a minor character in the previous book. Each story is based around different people from the history of majipoor. I really enjoyed seeing how the characters and the world evolved through these short stories.