Adam Roberts - The Thing Itself - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9780575127739
    • Publication date:13 Oct 2016

The Thing Itself

By Adam Roberts

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It seems we are alone in the Universe. How can that be? Adam Roberts brings his own unique literary take to Science Fiction's greatest question.

Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters' The Thing.

Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love-letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book - by the philosopher Kant.

As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. The come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.

Biographical Notes

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF ENCYCLOPEDIA.

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  • ISBN: 9780575127746
  • Publication date: 17 Dec 2015
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Gollancz
A time-travelling nerd applies Kant with lethal results in this dazzling philosophical adventure...this is really walking the literary high wire, and Roberts not only keeps his balance, he makes the spectacle compelling — The Guardian
using lit-fic techniques and by not playing by the genre rules, [Roberts] rises to the challenge that Mitchell sets down — SFX
The Thing Itself is evidence of Adam Roberts' inimitable brilliance. — Tor.com
I can't think of another such ostentatiously clever novel that is so dramatically successful. — Julian Baggini
I do appreciate a novel that makes me think while also entertaining me. The Thing Itself marries the two to perfection. There is so much packed within these pages and, without doubt, it's one of those memorable novels that will stand to repeated readings over the passing of time. A book of the year for me, for sure. — For Winter's Nights
Personally, I found it deeply fascinating...The closest reference point for me was Philip K. Dick's VALIS trilogy which fits in the same general literary area but "The Thing Itself" is definitely much more fun. — Upcoming 4 Me
Gollancz

Bête

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea

Adam Roberts, Mahendra Singh
Contributors:
Adam Roberts, Mahendra Singh

It is 1958 and France's first nuclear submarine, Plongeur, leaves port for the first of its sea trials. On board, gathered together for the first time, one of the Navy's most experienced captains and a tiny skeleton crew of sailors, engineers and scientists. The Plongeur makes her first dive and goes down, and down and down... Out of control, the submarine plummets to a depth where the pressure will crush her hull, killing everyone on board, and beyond.The pressure builds, the hull protests, the crew prepare for death, the boat reaches the bottom of the sea and finds... nothing.Her final dive continues, the pressure begins to relent, but the depth gauge is useless. They have gone miles down. Hundreds of miles, thousands...And so it goes on. And on board the crew succumb to madness, betrayal, religious mania and murder. Has the Plongeur left the limits of our world and gone elsewhere?Contains 33 full-page pen and ink illustrations by acclaimed artist Mahendra Singh, who previously illustrated an edition of THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK.Adam Roberts and Mahendra Singh have revisited Jules Verne's classic SF novel, and together they have come up with a unique vision.

Gollancz

The Parodies Collection

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Here, collected together for the first time in eBook (because quite frankly, who would want to carry all of these around as actual books? Imagine the scorn on the bus!) are seven of Adam Roberts' superb parodies of popular culture. From the Soddit and his not-a-shameless-cash-in journey to the cavern of Smug the dragon - during which he finds a ring, which may well feature in later books and/or films - to the dragon with a girl tattoo (look, it was very popular at the time, OK?), here you will find lovingly crafted, affectionate (well, sometimes) takes on some of the most loved - or at least financially successful - "works of art" of our time.Contains THE SODDIT, DOCTOR WHOM, THE DRAGON WITH THE GIRL TATTOO, THE McATRIX DERIDED, STAR WARPED, THE SELLAMILLION and THE VA DINCI COD.

Gollancz

I, Soddit

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

Jack Glass

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

WINNER OF THE BSFA AWARD FOR BEST NOVELJack Glass is the murderer. We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged.Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, JACK GLASS is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain and JACK GLASS has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits and comes with liberal doses of sly humour.Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challanges notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom. It is an extraordinary novel.

Gollancz

Adam Robots

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

By Light Alone

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

In a world where we have been genetically engineered so that we can photosynthesise sunlight with our hair, hunger is a thing of the past, food an indulgence. The poor grow their hair, the rich affect baldness and flaunt their wealth by still eating.But other hungers remain ... The young daughter of an affluent New York family is kidnapped. The ransom demands are refused. A year later a young woman arrives at the family home claiming to be their long lost daughter. She has changed so much, she has lived on light, can anyone be sure that she has come home?Adam Roberts' new novel is yet another amazing melding of startling ideas and beautiful prose. Set in a New York of the future it nevertheless has echoes of a Fitzgeraldesque affluence and art-deco style. It charts his further progress as one of the most important writers of his generation.

Gollancz

New Model Army

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Lizbreath Salamander is young and beautiful. Her scales have an iridescent sheen, her wings arch proudly, her breath has a tang of sulfur. And on her back a tattoo of a mythical creature: a girl.But when Lizbreath is drawn into a dark conspiracy she will have to rely on more than her beauty and her vicious claws the size of sabres ...A dragon has disappeared, one of a secretive clan. As Lizbreath delves deeper into their history she realises that these dragons will do anything to defend their secrets.Welcome to the world of The Dragon With The Girl Tattoo. A world of gloomy Nordic dragons leading lives uncannily like our own (despite their size, despite the need for extensive fireproofing of home furnishings), a world of money hoarded, a world of darkness and corruption. A world where people are the fantasy.

Gollancz

Salt

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Two narrators tell the story of the simmering tensions between their two communities as they travel out to a new planet, colonise it, then destroy themselves when the tensions turn into outright war.Adam Roberts is a new writer completely in command of the SF genre. This is a novel that is at once entertaining and philosophical. The attitudes and prejudices of its characters are subtlety drawn and ring completely true despite the alien circumstances they find themselves in. The grasp of science and its impact on people is instinctive. But above all it is the epic and colourful world building that marks SALT out - the planet Salt rivals Dune in its desolation and is a suitably biblical setting for a novel that is powered by the corrupting influence of imperfectly remembered religions on distant societies.From the early scenes set on a colony ship towed by a massive ice meteorite, to the description of a planet covered in sodium chloride, to the chilling narrative of a world sliding into its first war, this is a novel from a writer who shouts star quality.

Gollancz

Star Warped

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

A long time ago in galaxy far, far away a really quite good SF film, a sort of western in space, was launched. The special effects were pretty shoddy but it did have some quite good actors in it. And Mark Hammill. A second and third film that were actually the fifth and sixth films followed and they weren't quite so good but they were still quite fun (especially when the teddies got blasted by the Imperial stormtroopers). Then, the first, second and third films followed and they were actually fairly dreadful though by now the special effects were much better. And the actors were still better than average too. And Mark Hammill was too old to be in it plus his character hadn't been born yet so that was OK.A Gollancz parody was inevitable. And here it is. An epic told in six chapters. An epic of good versus evil. Of dark versus light. Of hairy co-pilots and green gurus. Of bizarre hair styles, steel bras and camp robots. An epic that starts in the middle. And that's the original!

Gollancz

Stone

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

Gradisil

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Gradisil is a multi-generational story of murder, betrayal and revenge. It is told through the eyes of three characters and against a background where mankinds rush into space has faded away leaving individual pioneers to force their way independently into space after the collapse of the big government space agencies.They ride up into space on the lines of electromagnetic force that flower into space from earth like the mighty Yggradisil - the earth tree of Norse myth. Leaving their weight behind they still carry a cargo of enmities and hatreds.Roberts has a unique approach to SF and is one of the genre's premier stylists. This is one of his most original novels yet.

Gollancz

Land Of The Headless

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

THE LAND OF THE HEADLESS is set in a far future where mankind has taken his religious dogma and the divsions that result from it out into space.On a planet where society is shaped by a strict adherance to the word of God as laid out in the Old Testament and Quran a poet is accused of the rape of a woman. Found guilty he must face the punishment laid down in the Good Book; beheading.Beheaded, he is fitted with a neck valve, ordinator and basic sensory equipment and sent out into the world. But he bears a terrible and very visible stigma. the only way he can make a living is to join the army and serve in the war against the neighbouring planet. And plan his revenge against the man he believes is really guilty.LAND OF THE HEADLESS is a searing satire of religious fundamentalism, a novel of love and war and a study of self-delusion. It is an elegantly written, thought-provoking and unique SF novel.

Gollancz

On

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts
Gollancz

Polystom

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts' fourth novel is his most ambitious yet. In a feat of extraordinary world building he creates a universe where a breathable atmosphere extends out between the planets, where aristocrats cruise interstellar space in biplanes and skywhals make mysterious distant orbits. Then, with bravura plotting, he undermines our own notions of reality and leaves the reader unsure which universe to believe in. Gaining a reputation as one of the UK's leading SF stylists and masters of the high-concept, Roberts, shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award with his debut novel SALT, confirms his extraordinary potential with POLYSTOM.

Gollancz

The Soddit

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Bingo Sac Grabbins is asked by the coughing wizard Gandef and some (oddly Welsh) dwarves to help them relieve the great dragon Smug of his gold.SF author and Tolkien scholar Adam Roberts has written a parody that is both hilarious and intelligent. With knowing digs at the fantasy genre in general and the mystique that has built around Middle Earth in particular this will make Tolkien's 21st century readers laugh in a way that BORED OF THE RINGS made his fans of 1969 laugh.

Gollancz

The Sellamillion

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

THE SELLAMILLION is NOT a parody of Tolkien's THE SILMARILLION. That would be pointless because although all Tolkien fans have a copy, only three of them have read past page 40.It is, however, a parody of all that Tolkien created as he worked on LORD OF THE RINGS. The history of the elderly days. Early missing drafts of LORD OF THE RINGS. A correspondence between the author and publisher on whether it should be a Bellybutton Stud of Doom rather than a Ring of Power. An experimental version of LOTR as if written by Dr Seuss.That sort of thing. It'll be funny. Possibly hilarious. The author's told us it will be. Promised even. And he did write THE SODDIT. And that was quite funny.

Gollancz

The Va Dinci Cod

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts

Something fishy is going on in the world of artistic scholarship. How can there possibly be a link between the hidden cod of Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings and the over fishing of the North Atlantic fish stocks? Could it be that Leonardo Da Vinci, the greatest genius of his age and inventor of the photocopier and mouse mat, had a chilling insight into European Union Fishing policies.Only one man can find out. Robert Hangdog, international scholar, master spy and action hero. Oh and Bezu Fish.

Gollancz

Swiftly

Adam Roberts
Authors:
Adam Roberts