Jack Glass is the third Adam Roberts book I have read. For the third time I haven’t been disappointed. What I enjoy most about his novels – apart from the fact that they are always well written – is the unique angle presented in each one. All of them deal with big ideas, they are conceptual SF at its best. Roberts usually constructs elaborate conceits upon some wildly fantastic notion and then immerses you in a world where that novum is more than just believable, it is essential for the operation of reality. Then he complicates it all with a narrative twist that actually tricks you to surrender fully to the SF setting. Because by the time you realize what the twist is, you already want to be tricked. Continue reading
Note: This review was written some time ago for ShadowDance. What appears below is a translation of the original. Hence the recognizable formatting with “+” and “–” sections.
Kim Stanley Robinson wrote some time ago that Adam Roberts’s Yellow Blue Tibia should be awarded the Booker prize for 2009. I am not in a position to say whether I agree or not, as I rarely read the shortlisted novels. What I can agree about is that this strange and strangely-titled book absolutely deserves a spotlight. Authors of so-called “literary realism” will definitely benefit from reading it; its methods can make their stories more interesting, their worlds more imaginative and their ideas more provoking.
Adam Roberts is probably one of the currently active authors who are best versed in the genre. He is a London-based professor who specialized in Robert Browning and Victorian literature, author of Science Fiction, a critical introduction to SF,and of the comprehensive study The History of Science Fiction (to the extent such a thing can be comprehensive, of course). In addition to that Roberts maintains an active blog, where he frequently demonstrates and hones his fine critical skills and incisive humor. When an author’s name sits beneath an intellectual overview of the ideas of Frederic Jameson andbeneath popular parodies (such as The Soddit, The Sellamillion, The Dragon With a Girl Tattoo, etc.), and when that author manages to pull off roughly one good SF novel per year, take notice and keep close tabs on that particular career. Continue reading