cover image The Secret Sharer

The Secret Sharer

Robert Silverberg. Underwood Books, $40 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-88733-056-8

Remaining faithful to a literary source while expressing personal concerns is a talent Silverberg mastered in his 1984 novel Gilgamesh the King. His new novella does the same for Conrad's famous tale of a young ship's captain harboring a fugitive. As his first challenge on the starship Sword of Orion, Adam must deal with the escape of a matrixa disembodied electronic pattern of a mindand the death of a passenger in suspension. When that matrix of a young girl asks for help, Adam gives her refuge in his own mind. Such a processtesting and defining identity through intimate communion with anotheris a favorite Silverberg motif. If it is less memorably worked out here than it has been before, Silverberg's accomplished pen still makes this voyage a pleasure. (March)