The Emperor and the Maula (Novella)

by Robert Silverberg


Publication history


(None on file)


This story was originally written in 1992 for a project that never saw the light of day. When the call came to contribute to the New Space Opera collection, Silverberg pulled out the old story, added an ending, and shortened it to novelette length. The original version was later restored and, along with the added ending, published as a free-standing novella.

The story is a great example of mature Silverberg, with rich world-building, interesting characters, and plotting that has enough surprises to keep a reader’s interest. And while the idea of an Earth that’s been conquered by an alien empire is far from new (and one that Silverberg himself has presented several variations upon), the way in which it happens is quite original, as is the way humans handle it. Layla is a fascinating character, and the Emperor is treated with a sympathetic touch — he is far from a typical villain, and has interesting facets to him.

Other resources

(None on file)