“Vividly realized and inventive . . . A brooding masterpiece of social science fiction” from the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author (Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations).
After eight years away from the planet known as Holman’s World, Edmund Gunderson has returned. Before, as the assistant station manager, he helped the Company exploit the bustling colonial outpost for Earth’s gain—mining its riches and putting its native species to work.
Now, the planet has been given back to its inhabitants: the intelligent, elephant-like beings known as the nildoror, who peacefully coexist with carnivorous bipeds known as the sulidoror. And Edmund Gunderson has come back to relive his past and meet up with old acquaintances. Or so he says . . .
What Gunderson really wants is to witness the rebirth of the nildoror, a sacred ceremony performed in the northern mist country. Given permission from the elders, he travels deeper into the exotic world than he has ever gone before, through tropical jungles teeming with alien creatures. It is a journey that will take Gunderson deep within himself, where his own failings and fears reside, and bring him face to face with the planet’s greatest mysteries—and the evil within men’s souls . . .
“Brilliantly imagined . . . One of the finest writers ever to work in science fiction.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer on Tom O’Bedlam
“Like all truly superior sci-fi, Downward to the Earth is the sort of novel that just bursts with some imaginative idea or unexpected touch on every single page. It is a terrific feat of the imagination, wonderfully well written by Silverberg, and with fascinating characters, both alien and human.” —Fantasy Literature