Passengers by Robert Silverberg


by Robert Silverberg

Form: Short story

Year: 1968

ID: 857

Publication history:


Winner of the Nebula Award for best short story, 1969. And a Hugo Award nominee.

Nasty telepathic aliens have taken over the Earth! At unpredictable times, they seize control of a person's mind and force them to do sometimes bizarre things they might not normally do. Society has sort of adjusted to this: Just ignore him, he's being ridden. (Ridden in the way a voodoo loaspirit rides a human host.) The main character breaks a taboo and contacts a woman he had sex with while ridden. The aliens' motives and capabilities are never explained.

The vinyl LP listed above contains a recording of Silverberg reading this story along with To See the Invisible Man.

Another audio adaptation, narrated by a professional actor, is available from

This is yet another great Silvrberg story which has been optioned as the basis for a motion picture, but there's no word on whether it will ever be produced. It certainly has the kind of paranoid plotting that would lend itself to the screen, and wouldn't even require a lot in the way of special effects.

Other resources:

[None on record]