Neighbors (new)

Neighbors (original title: Neighbor ) is a new drama to science fiction of Robert Silverberg , internationally known way. This is one of the best known news of the author.


Publications in the United States

The news was written in January 1964 and appeared inWith the title Neighbor in Galaxy Science Fiction .

She was later taken over 22 times in the US and internationally in Silverberg story collections or anthologies 1 .

Publications in France

The news has had several titles in French. The translations are entitled Les Voisins (1965), Le Voisin (1985) and Voisins (2002):

  • The new one is published for the first time in France in 1965 in Galaxie ;
  • it is again published in 1985 , opening the list of news presented in the anthology Stories of future wars ( The Pocket n o 3819);
  • In 2002 , Flammarion published it in the collection Le Chemin de la nuit with a translation by Pierre Billon and Pierre-Paul Durastanti; It was reissued in 2004 when the collection was published in pocket format; It is one of the 124 “best news” of Silverberg selected for the collection of News collections over time , of which The Way of the Night is the first volume.

Published in Great Britain

The novel was published in Britain in the anthology To the Dark Star ( 1991 ) 2 .

Publications in Italy and Germany

The news was published in Germany under the title Nachbarn , and in Italy under the title Il Vicino .

Preface to the new

In Stories of Future Wars , a preface written specifically for this news by Jacques Goimard explains that:

“War is the purest expression of our aggressiveness. And our aggressiveness has no limits. To make a war, it is enough to be two. We have sought news that goes straight to the point, and says with a maximum of simplicity why one makes war (…) “.


On a planet divided into large estates, two neighbors have hated each other for decades: Michaël Holt hates Andrew McDermott, and the latter returns it well. Meanwhile, Mc Dermott is 230 years old, and Holt is approaching the 200-year-old. .

One day, Holt learns with astonishment that McDermott invites him to come into his field to have an interview with him. The neighbor guarantees that no weapon will be connected, that no robot will be present: it promises its absolute security.

Holt goes with circumspection at the invitation of Mc Dermott. Arriving in his room, in the heart of the estate, he discovers an impotent old man, bathed in a nutritious bath and unable to move. But his robots, by virtue of the three laws of robotics , can not hasten his death and euthanize it . McDermott ordered Holt to perform a service: kill him by unplugging either the breathing apparatus or the nutrition apparatus.

After a brief reflection, Holt refuses, and leaves the estate. On his return home, Holt knows that it was not humanity or respect for moral rules that led him to refuse to render this “service” to his neighbor; One of the last sentences of the news is: “Once you die, Andrew, who will I have to hate? ”

Notes and references

  1. ↑ List of publications on iSFdb  [ archive ]
  2. ↑ Publication of the anthology and list of news according to iSFdb.  [ Archive ]