To Open the Sky

Eternal life. Isn’t that what every religion offers in some way? Existence beyond just this? For Noel Vorst, the quest for eternal life is something much more tangible, driven through science, reaching out to the physical stars in place of a metaphorical Heaven. For his followers, the Vorsters, that quest becomes a religion, technology their god.

Others hold on to the belief that it is these bodies, these genes that make us one with the universe. This renegade sect, the Harmonists led by David Lazarus, find a home on Venus, their own agendas in stark conflict with the Vorsters. In the search for life everlasting, it seems that the only thing eternal is human ambition. Religion is, after all, first and foremost a political business.

This sprawling, episodic novel by master of thoughtful science fiction Robert Silverberg weaves multiple lives together across the solar system and over nearly a century. Blind faith, practicality, conflict, deception—the more mankind changes, the more it unfortunately stays the same.

Isaac Asimov said of Silverberg, “Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will go tomorrow.”


This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, 1967

Distributed by E-Rights/E-Reads Ltd.

eISBN: 978-1-61756-785-8

Copyright 1967 by Robert Silverberg

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

E-Rights/E-Reads Ltd.

Electronic version by Baen Books