Adam Roberts - Bête - Orion Publishing Group

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  • Hardback £18.99
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    • ISBN:9780575127685
    • Publication date:25 Sep 2014
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    • ISBN:9780575127692
    • Publication date:14 May 2015

Bête

By Adam Roberts

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An ISLAND OF DR MOREAU for the 21st century. An SF novel that draws in the never more timely issues of Artificial Intelligence and our relationship with the natural world.

A man is about to kill a cow. He discusses life and death and his right to kill with the compliant animal. He begins to suspect he may be about to commit murder. But kills anyway ...

It began when the animal rights movement injected domestic animals with artificial intelligences in a bid to have the status of animals realigned by the international court of human rights. But what is an animal that can talk? Where does its intelligence end at its machine intelligence begin? And where might its soul reside?

As we place more and more pressure on the natural world and become more and more divorced Adam Roberts' new novel posits a world where nature can talk back, and can question us and our beliefs.

Roberts is an award winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement.

Biographical Notes

Adam Roberts is Professor of 19th-century literature at London University. His novel JACK GLASS won the BSFA AWARD and JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD for Best Novel and three of his novels have been shortlisted for the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD. He maintains at least three separate critical blogs. He has also published a number of academic works on both 19th-century poetry and SF.

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  • ISBN: 9780575127708
  • Publication date: 25 Sep 2014
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Gollancz
seamlessly blends a fate-of-a-country climax with passages of prosaic beauty, resulting in a truly thought-provoking read — Sci-Fi Now
The ever-clever Adam Roberts has conjured up another cracker in his latest...a witty and super-intelligent dark comedy — The Daily Mail
Roberts' prose is intricate and rich in scientific language and explanation, but it's also dryly funny and on-the-nose when it wants to be, making this book about so much more than a quirky sci-fi concept. — The List
There's an Orwellian folsky feel to this narrative more Animal Farm than 1984. Twisted in are fragments of The Golden Bough, snippets of Greek myth, of Oedipus and the Sphinx,pop culture, low culture, classic and personal myth, making this novel where Roberts the professor and ARRR Roberts (his comedy persona) meet — SFX
Roberts tackles issues of cruelty, morality, human identity and interference in nature with confidence and wry wit — The Big Issue
Bête is a wonderful piece of social commentary and my favourite novel of Roberts for years. It's thought provoking, it has laughs in it and will impact your outlook on life a bit. — Upcoming 4 Me
Bête is as smart and as satisfying and as challenging as anything any of the Adam Robertses have written. I wouldn't hesitate to recommended it-just promise me you'll keep it from the prying eyes of any interested pets. — Tor.com
Graham is an irascible, reluctant, foul-mouthed throwback to an earlier era of fiction - and Roberts' best character yet. Bête is ferocious, powerful and Roberts' best yet. — Pornokitsch
Bête is quite simply stunning. Roberts rivals the most elequent of writers, his prose is poetic and yet satirical and serious all at the same time. With each book he grows and Bête is the pinnacle of his work so far. It's one of those books that everyone will wish they had written and anyone will love reading. — SF Book
Adam Roberts is an award-winning author at the peak of his powers and each new novel charts an exciting new direction while maintaining a uniformly high level of literary achievement. — Lovereading.co.uk
The greatest science fiction novels take into account the changes on the people affected by the advances in technology, and Bête ranks with the best of them. What could have been just quirky and satirical - it is both - becomes so much more through intelligent writing that takes the reader through a whole range of emotions.Bête is a wonderful book that, once begun, insists on being read in one sitting; darkly comic, it's a deeply thoughtful, moving and uplifting story from a master of the genre. — Starburst Magazine
This electrifying new book by Adam Roberts takes just such an idea and elevates it to truly nightmarish proportions. An idea that in its own way could change the reader's perceptions of the actual relationship between man and beast we think we know, perhaps in such a way that cannot then be undone by putting this book on the recently read pile. — Forbidden Planet International
" Roberts... comment[s] on humanity's collective relationship with the biosphere, sometimes through his minor characters - "Animals have feelings and thoughts - it's just that only now have they been able to bring them out"... "Nature it's not nice, it was never nice. Niceness is what we humans built to insulate ourselves from - all that"... At times Bete takes on some of the characteristics of the postdisaster stories associated with British SF of the fifties and early sixties... Bete is good stuff" — Book Zone
Robert's fascinating, discursive riff on ANIMAL FARM features a grubby, self-lacerating protagonist and lashings of wry humour — The Financial Times
Gollancz

By the Pricking of Her Thumb

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The Real-Town Murders

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Alma is a private detective in a near-future England, a country desperately trying to tempt people away from the delights of Shine, the immersive successor to the internet. But most people are happy to spend their lives plugged in, and the country is decaying.Alma's partner is ill, and has to be treated without fail every 4 hours, a task that only Alma can do. If she misses the 5 minute window her lover will die. She is one of the few not to access the Shine.So when Alma is called to an automated car factory to be shown an impossible death and finds herself caught up in a political coup, she knows that getting too deep may leave her unable to get home. What follows is a fast-paced Hitchcockian thriller as Alma evades arrest, digs into the conspiracy, and tries to work out how on earth a dead body appeared in the boot of a freshly-made car in a fully-automated factory.

Gollancz

Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea

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The Thing Itself

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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.

Gollancz

The Parodies Collection

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Authors:
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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

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Jack Glass

Adam Roberts
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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

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By Light Alone

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New Model Army

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The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo

Adam Roberts
Authors:
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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

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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

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Authors:
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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

Land Of The Headless

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Authors:
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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

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Polystom

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The Soddit

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The Sellamillion

Adam Roberts
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The Va Dinci Cod

Adam Roberts
Authors:
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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:
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It is 1848 and the British Empire has grown rich exploiting Lilliputian slaves - the finesse of their working allowing unheard of feats of minature engineering; even Babbage's computing device has been made to work.But now the French have formed a regiment of previously peaceful Brobdingnagian giants and invasion looms. In a world where humanity is both smaller and larger than it once was, love and hate loom large. Mankind discovers itself at the centre of scale. Lilliputians are twelve times smaller than us but there are those twelve times smaller than them, and twelve times smaller again and so on. And the scale of being goes up from Swift's giants also ...Adam Roberts has written both a rip roaring 19th century adventure, a love story and a thought-provoking pre-atomic SF novel about our place in the universe.