May. 4th, 2014

There are books I clearly remember reading for the first time--how old I was, where I was sitting, the impression of reading it. I remember the feel of the couch in my room where I sat reading Foundation and Empire when I was about 10 years old, for example. (Didn't understand the book much until I re-read the series again later, but I remember the impressions of Trantor, a planet encased in steel and paving.)

We were in a used bookstore yesterday that has one of the largest sf/fantasy section that it has been my pleasure to stand in for a long time :), and I was scanning the shelves undecided between looking for a particular author who I thought might be good and a new author that might be interesting. But I saw the Robert Silverberg section and immediately I was 13 years old, sitting on the floor of my bedroom holding the latest issue of F&SF with sea dragons on the cover, reading about Valentine's adventures. I did not subscribe to F&SF, but the issue with the sea dragons had grabbed my eye, and I was starting in the middle of Valentine's trip around Majipoor to regain his identity and his throne. For a 13 year old looking for alternative worlds, that was fantastic escapism. It was such an unexpected find, that had me addicted to Majipoor for years. I don't think I ever got the whole story from F&SF--I had to get the book eventually to find out really how it started and get the whole story in order. But it's just a weird flashbulb memory.



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