Born with the Dead

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"Born with the Dead" is a science fiction novella by Robert Silverberg. It describes a near-future world in which the recently dead can be "rekindled" to a new life, but one in which their personalities and attitudes are radically changed; although they possess their memories from their previous lives, their former concerns no longer appear important to them. The story parallels that of Eurydice and Orpheus in the underworld.[1]

Originally published in 1974 in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, "Born with the Dead" won both the 1975 Nebula Award for Best Novella and the 1975 Locus Award for Best Novella.[2] The story has subsequently been republished many times in collections.

Silverberg described writing it as one of his most difficult challenges.[3]

With Silverberg's permission, Damien Broderick wrote a 30,000 word sequel, "Quicken," which was published with the original as a composite novel, Beyond the Doors of Death[4] and included by editor Gardner Dozois in his The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection, 2014.


  1. ^ Broderick, Damien (2009). Unleashing the Strange: Twenty-First Century Science Fiction Literature. Borgo Press. p. 198. ISBN 9781434457233.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Chapman, Edgar L. (1999). The Road to Castle Mount: The Science Fiction of Robert Silverberg. Greenwood Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0313261459.
  4. ^ Introduction by Robert Silverberg, Beyond the Doors of Death, ArcManor, 2013, p. 13, ISBN 978-1-61242-112-4

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