I’m still a die-hard, old-wave real-book reader, but I was pleasantly surprised and impressed to find that there are a few titles still out of print but now available in e-print thanks to Amazon’s Kindle. And I’m not counting the many freely-available public domain texts Amazon repackages at a mark-up.
Robert Silverberg’s Dying Inside, for example, which is consistently recognized as one of the finest SF novels of the 20th century–and is actually, if we can be so adult as to free ourselves from the bounds of genre apartheid, one of the finest novels of the last century, period. Thirty-some years after I first read it, Dying Inside remains one of the most touching human tragedies I’ve ever read. Yet it’s been out of print for years and doesn’t show up that often in the SF shelves of your local used bookstores.
It’s a classic tale: a man with extraordinary gifts wastes them for most of his life and only begins to appreciate his error when those gifts are clearly and rapidly on the wane. The fact that the gift is telepathy in no way diminishes the power of Silverberg’s narrative. Indeed, it gives the story an elegant and ironic twist: David Selig’s tragedy is that he must come to grips with life as an ordinary human.
So, if you’re a Kindler, I encourage you to download a copy for a mere $5.75. Or you can make do with a used paperback edition for a little as 96 cents plus shipping.