About Adam

Adam Roberts is the author of a growing number of science fiction novels, short stories, essays and other writings. This site contains not just his blog, but everything you could ever want to know about everything Adam has ever published. And more...

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This is, official homepage of British science fiction writer Adam Roberts. Please use the links in the menu bar above if you're here to find out more about Adam's published books to-date, or more about Adam himself, or if you want to get in touch with Adam.

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Latest News

2015 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

By Adam Roberts | May 11, 2015
Categories: Awards

The Campbell finalists' list has been announced. And here it is:

Nina Allan, The Race (Newcon Press)
James L. Cambias, A Darkling Sea (Tor)
William Gibson, The Peripheral (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Daryl Gregory, Afterparty (Tor)
Dave Hutchinson, Europe In Autumn (Solaris)
Simon Ings, Wolves (Gollancz)
Cixin Liu (Ken Liu, translator), The Three-Body Problem (Tor)
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (Knopf)
Will McIntosh, Defenders (Orbit)
Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (Redhook)
Laline Paull, The Bees (Ecco)
Adam Roberts, Bête (Gollancz)
John Scalzi, Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future (Tor)
Andy Weir, The Martian (Broadway Books)
Jeff VanderMeer The Southern Reach Trilogy (FSG Originals)
Peter Watts, Echopraxia (Tor)

You'll notice that Bête is on that list. You'll notice, too, how chuffed I am at that fact.

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Alan Jacobs on Bête

By Adam Roberts | April 14, 2015
Categories: Reviews

Hard to think of a contemporary writer-critic I esteem more highly than Alan Jacobs. Over at his 'New Atlantis' blog Text Patterns, he gives his reactions to reading Bête.

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Caroline Edwards and me, 12th May 2015

By Adam Roberts | April 14, 2015
Categories: Events and Appearances

nottingham popcult.jpg-large

Hope to see you there.

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Looking Forward: 2016

By Adam Roberts | April 14, 2015
Categories: Book News

THE THING ITSELF nick fiddle

Nothing finalised yet, but it looks like this could be an early-ish 2016 release.

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Looking Back: 2014

By Adam Roberts | April 14, 2015
Categories: Chitchat

Now that the awards season is out of the way, time for a little reflection.

2014 was a good year for me, creatively. I appreciate that I write a certain kind of novel, and it's not a kind of novel that delights all comers. That said, I would say that in Bête I achieved a greater proportion of what I was setting out to do than in any previous novel of mine. It ended up a weirdly personal novel, actually, which makes it harder than it might otherwise be for me to gauge. Nonetheless I stand by what I say in the book's afterword, that it is the best of me. I also published a bunch of short stories, including a few (I'm thinking of 'Trademark Bugs' and 'The Assassination of Isaac Newton by the Coward Robert Boyle' in particular) that are surely the best I've ever done. I was proud, too, to see the publication of Sibilant Fricative: Essays and Reviews, since that seems to me my best literary-critical engagement with genre: a judgement endorsed by the recent Vector review. I published a How To Write SF and Fantasy book that was OK; I blogged a great deal and occasionally with insight.

Naturally it's dispiriting for me on a personal level that the many awards with which SF is supplied passed over all of this in silence; but that really is only a personal, and not a community, disappointment. That would be true in any year, but this year in particular the community has reasons to be disappointed with its awards that have nothing to do with me. Decent shortlists by the Kitschies, BSFA and Clarke panels have been rather overwhelmed by the shameful hijacking of the Hugos. I find myself doubting if the Hugos can survive this year with their credibility intact in any meaningful sense, which is a shame. But there are lots of other awards, and the SFF as a whole needs to decide which methods (plural, one hopes) of indicating esteem it wishes to invest in, post-Hugos.

To revert to the personal, there's a moral to be drawn from this awards wash-out of mine: I mean, with respect to the business of working as a writer. There are so many opportunities for discouragement and despair in the writer's life that any writer needs to have if not a strategy then at least some supply of inner grit to deal with failure, or s/he will not last very long. Failure will come, after all, and often. Now, Grit is not my middle name, and failure of the sort I'm talking about in this post is inevitably a personally painful matter. But pain is not the end of the world. This is the second year, now, in which SF award shortlists (in all their multiplicity) have gone forth to the world wholly uncontaminated by anything of mine, and it is starting to look like a trend. The hard part is acknowledging that it's nothing personal, it encapsulates no moral or ideological judgement on me, my opinions, my political allegiance and so on. Awards are attempts to look at the whole scene, not just the work of any specific writer; that other people on the scene are producing excellent work doesn't make your work worthless. Billy Bragg has that great truth of life down pat. The hardness, here, inheres in accepting that the only proper response to such disappointment is to write better stuff. And write better stuff is never a bad mantra for any author to pin over his/her desk. Indeed, there's a kind of weird synchronism in this, since failure, impotence, disappointment and anger are so often what I write about. I can hardly complain. Plus the 'Great Hugo Disaster of 2015' shows that awards are very far from being infallible guides to aesthetic merit. There's one other upside: failure can be freeing. If a community rewards a writer for a certain kind of writing, it imposes a tacit responsibility on the writer, this is what we like, this is what we want. If a community withholds its esteem, then the writer is perfectly unobligated. Broadly, my view is twofold: one, that any individual award slate, or any single year of awards, does not provide a statistically significant judgement upon one's work; and two that being left off the shortlist for an award that recognises merit is not the same thing as being shortlisted for a Razzies-style gong that identifies demerit. Maybe your book, story or work of criticism was almost, but not quite, good enough for the slate. Nil desperandum. Fail again, fail better. Next year in Jerusalem. And so on.

It's good to be honest about these things, and honesty is almost never the same thing as self-laceration. By the same token, if individual award slates don't constitute a statistically reliable datum, whole runs of such awards, especially spread across many different award-giving bodies, probably do. So my sense of disappointment in myself is most sharply biting where my non-fiction, reviews and essays are concerned. I've been reviewing, blogging and writing critically about SF and Fantasy since the last century. Insofar that awards are indices of community esteem, this larger body of work has been in effect judged not estimable. It's something with which I have to come to terms, and that means recognising the ways and the extent to which I have failed.

It is freeing, in one sense. Blogging and writing unpaid reviews on genre titles has been a very laborious process, especially over the last decade or so; and stopping doing them should free up time and energy for other things. When I wound-up, or wound-down, or unwound my blog Punkadiddle I was thinking along those lines; and though it pains me to admit, it was probably a mistake to have talked-myself into giving it another go with the Sibilant Fricative blog. Admitting defeat is admitting that one is fatigable, which can be a difficult accommodation to come to with one's ego. Nor do I plan to stop writing SF criticism right away. I have a number of projects en train, as the French say, amongst them a revised version of my award-unwinning Palgrave History of Science Fiction (to mark the tenth anniversary of its publication) and a Newcon press edition of my reviews of 2014 titles. I've also got about half a book on Ian Watson written, and would like to finish that, and several essays promised to collections or proceedings of conferences. So lots to do.

Otherwise I can look forward. My next novel, or at least the manuscript currently with my editor, is a larger and more ambitious book than I have ever written before. If I have to deal with a sense of failure where my critical writing is concerned, creatively I can say without (I hope) hubris that I've never felt so confident in what I'm capable of as a writer. Next year, maybe, in Jerusalem. Perhaps.

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Jews versus Zombies

By Adam Roberts | February 24, 2015
Categories: Book News


Rebecca Levene and Lavie Tidhar have edited these two volumes, Jurassic have published them, proceeds will go to a very worthwhile charity, and from March, you'll be able to buy either (or both!) here. It's e-book only at the moment, but a limited edition hard copy is coming, and perhaps an omnibus. Zombies contains my story 'Zayinim', at which I laboured and struggled over a period of many months, honing and polishing the sentences, adjusting the structure, refining the narratorial voice and undertaking whole weeks of detailed zom/hebie research. I can only hope you like the result.

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Locus: Best SF/Fantasy of 2014

By Adam Roberts | February 1, 2015
Categories: Book News

The complete list is here. I was delighted to see Bête listed amongst the (very strong) list of best novels; and doubly-delighted that Sibilant Fricative: Essays & Reviews is listed amongst 'Best Non-Fiction'. Triple delight awaited me when I saw that “Thing and Sick” (originally in Solaris Rising 3) is listed amongst the 'Best Novelettes'. Good gracious, if I were to carry on looking down this list, and found yet another of my 2014 titles, perhaps the short story 'Trademark Bugs: A Legal History', included as well, well I would reach quadruple delight, and that would have serious health implications for my frail body. So I'll stop.

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Saint Rebor

By Adam Roberts | January 25, 2015
Categories: Book News

A new collection of short stories: available now. I believe there are 150 actual copies for sale, all signed by me; but there's no limit to the number of e-book copies available, and they're only £2.99 a pop. Amazing!

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Twenty Trillion Leagues: American Edition

By Adam Roberts | January 21, 2015
Categories: Book News

The US edition of Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea is out now. That's very exciting news! There's also an audio-book version for download, narrated by Christian Coulson. One more thing. Follow this link -- this one, here -- down, down into the depths of publishing's marianas trench, and you'll find an excerpt of this latter.

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My Six Best Books of 2014 …

By Adam Roberts | December 18, 2014
Categories: Book News

... in a more-literal sense than is usually implied by these sorts of headlines.

1. Bête, a novel: it's the best of me. £6.49 on Kindle; still some hardcover copies left in stock (pricier, but makes a better gift. Look at that cover art! I mean, obviously I can't claim any credit for the cover art. But you have to agree: it is a thing of beauty).

2. Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea, a novel. Gorgeously illustrated by the sublime Mahendra Singh. A piffling £5.49 on Kindle; only four hardcover copies left anywhere in the world. What are you waiting for?

3. Sibilant Fricative, a collection of essays and reviews. I believe that all hardcopies of this title are sold now; so it's Kindle only: but at £3.42 it's a steal. (Many of the pieces in that volume first appeared on my Punkadiddle blog; but I've taken that blog down now, so if you want to read those pieces you gotta buy the book. Cunning, no?)

4. Get Started in: Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (Teach Yourself: Writing). Freshly published!

5. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria (Edinburgh University Press). The first new edition since 1983 of this foundational classic of literary criticism; all annotation loose-ends tied up, new facts about the tortured compositional history of the book uncovered, 200-pages of introductory matter. And an eye-wateringly expensive price. What you gonna do? Academic publishing is a strange thing.

6. Landor's Cleanness (Oxford University Press). The best critical monograph on Walter Savage Landor available! Well, strictly speaking, the only critical monograph on Walter Savage Landor available. But that's still something.

A: So. That's a lot of books.
R: It is.
A: For one year, I mean.
R: Well, it's not quite as Stakhanovite as it may, at first blush, appear. It's more a reflection of the exigencies of publishing, or more specifically of different kinds of publishing.
A: How so?
R: Well: take the two academic titles. Landor's Cleanness was written 2011-12, and OUP decided they wanted to publish it towards the end of that latter year. If it's taken until October 2014, that's partly because the wheels of academic publish grind slow. The Biographia Edition was also mostly finished by the end of 2012; and revised and readied for the press in 2013. Of all the titles in the photo above it was the one that took the most labour, partly because compiling it and writing the intro was just a laborious business, and partly because the proofing was an immensely painstaking matter. It's a scholarly edition of a classic of English letters; I had to get the text right.
A: Still!
R: Well, except that my day-job is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature, and pursuing research of this kind (Coleridge, Landor) is a large part of that job. Those two titles represent the main focus of my Professorial energies for nearly four years; that they both happen to appear within months of one another is just a coincidence.
A: And the Sibilant Fricative thingy?
R: Again: it's a collection of essays and reviews written over a five year period (indeed a couple of the pieces are even older than that). The labour was in pulling them together, and in that task I was aided by the mighty Ian Whates.
A: Two novels though!
R: That's a little anomalous. I don't usually publish two novels in one year! What happened is that Twenty Trillion was originally slated to appear in late 2013, but got bumped back (in the event I didn't publish a novel in 2013). Bête is the novel I'm conscious of having been writing 2013-14, and it was trickier to write than most of my fiction. Chris Priest called it 'sluttishly freeform', which (I confess) rather pleased me, in part because it means I was able to bury what might otherwise have been too procrustean a substructure (to do with riddles, Sophocles, St John, Mythago Wood, Ted Hughes and a couple of other things).
A: So will there be two novels from you in 2015?
R: As if.
A: And the Get Started In?
R: That was a commission. Being a professional writer means taking commissions seriously (provided only that they are serious commissions; as this was), and therefore finding the time to write them, to spec and as well as you can.
A: So!
R: So.

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“Eternal Treblinka of the Spotless Soul: Bête by Adam Roberts”

By Adam Roberts | October 1, 2014
Categories: Reviews

That most excellent critic Niall Alexander has reviewed Bête (in slightly spoilery mode) over at Snip: "This, then, is not some novelty novel, but a fully-fledged philosophical fable for our age. Affectionate albeit barbed, far-fetched yet oddly plausible, and dark, but not without a certain spark, Bête is as smart and as satisfying and as challenging as anything any of the Adam Robertses have written."

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‘Books And Such’ reviews Bête

By Adam Roberts | October 1, 2014
Categories: Reviews

"When I started reading this I suspected that the novelty of talking animals would be the basis of the whole book and there would be little substance thereafter but I was completely wrong. Bête is a fantastic work of fiction that is funny, insightful and more importantly…important! Focusing on real life issues that we face today, this is a work of genius that I thoroughly enjoyed.'

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Stuff Magazine too!

By Adam Roberts | September 19, 2014
Categories: Reviews

Very nice.

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Starburst review Bête

By Adam Roberts | September 18, 2014
Categories: Reviews

... and it's a doozy. The last three paragraphs:

"Graham, as narrator, is a character we can all identify with, a man who knows his flaws and accepts them as part of who he is. It’s a pleasure to read about him and, thanks to the skills of the author, we’re immersed in his journey rather than simply being told about it. There are moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, yet when Graham feels pain, we feel it too; when he hurts, we hurt along with him, to the point of sharing his sadness. Be warned – there may be tears.

As the novel progresses, society inevitably alters and adapts to the new animal intelligences and, while it’s all very believable, it’s not necessarily in the way the reader would expect. Ultimately, because Bête is about this one man, it’s all seen through his eyes; it feels post-apocalyptic at times until being reminded that society, however different, still exists.

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."

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SFX reviews Bête

By Adam Roberts | September 17, 2014
Categories: Reviews

Jon Courtenay Grimwood: four and a half stars. I'm delighted; Jon is one of the most astute critics (quite apart from being one of the best writers) of his generation. Over on twitter he said: "pretty sure I said where Professor Roberts and Adam Roberts meet. Certainly meant it." My cup runneth over.

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The first review of Bête is in.

By Adam Roberts | September 13, 2014
Categories: Book News, Reviews

It's always a slightly nerve-wracking time, immediately before and immediately after a novel comes out. Reviews are posted. And must be read. Inevitably, every time you read a new review your heart glollops a bit with fear (after all: maybe this one will be the one that utterly cremates your writing and crushes your butterfly-fluttering soul). Luckily for me, this The List notice of Bête (the first review of the book I've seen) is not too negative:

Imagine if your food could talk back to you? That’s the extremely high-concept opener much-decorated sci-fi author and academic Adam Roberts plays with in his latest novel, opening on a bizarre but starkly amusing sequence in which a cow tries to reason with the farmer who’s about to fire a bolt into its head. By page three he’s already quoting The Smiths’ ‘Meat is Murder’ to him, and the farmer’s almost spurred to fire just for that.

The conceit in this instance is that many of the world’s animals have been ‘chipped’ in order to allow them to speak as normal humans do. 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. Like the best speculative work it unpeels greater themes, from the morality of AI to humanity’s relationship with its food sources, and also what the very act of possessing language and expression does to our minds.

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Ten books

By Adam Roberts | September 8, 2014
Categories: Chitchat

This meme was circulating on Facebook, and I succumbed: ten books that have 'stayed with me', or had a particularly shaping influence upon me. I'm copying my answers across to here too. The strange thing was, almost as soon as I posted this list to FB I felt (as I noted in the comments, there) 'more than a little nervous, actually. Posting this feels -- weirdly exposing. Like I've given away the key to my soul. Perhaps I should delete it.' Of course, this unease was a sort of optical illusion. Nobody else cares enough about my choice of books for said choice to leave me, in any way, vulnerable. That was the feeling, though. Odd, no?

So! 10 books that had a properly shaping influence upon me. Since this is about forming me and my taste the list is going to skew adolescent, and accordingly more than a little gauche. Nothing to be ashamed of, that, in and of itself; although it's a bit worrying how male my key texts all used to be. Anyway: here we go.

1. Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are. One of my holy books.

2. Tintin. I'd tag the whole of Hergé's output if I were allowed (and who's to say I'm not allowed? You? YOU'RE not the boss of me.) But if I'm not allowed, I'd settle for the two moon mission books. I havered between choosing this and choosing the two Lewis Carroll Alice books, which, in some sense, occupy a similar picture/text place in my imagination's storeroom.

3. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings. One novel, you know.

4. Tennyson's 1832 Poems -- this began with falling deeply for 'Mariana', mediated through a profound reaction to Millais painting of the same name; but it lead quickly through into all his other early lyrics. The Lotos Eaters! Ah, The Lotos Eaters.

5. Macbeth. [MACBETH? Argh! Hot-potato-orchestra-stalls-Puck-will-make-amends. *tweaks nose*] This was my O-level Shakespeare; the tomorrow-and-tomorrow speech still has the power to lift the tiny hairs at the back of my neck. Not my favourite Shakespeare any more, but the most shaping and influential of his plays on my *coughs* development.

6. Robert Graves The White Goddess.

7. Nabokov, Pnin. "Lolita" is probably a better novel, and Pale Fire certainly a cleverer one, but Pnin is the most moving, as well as the funniest. It also contained some of Nabokov's best prose. It's also short. I read my Dad's old penguin copy. If I weren't allowed Pnin I'd choose "Signs and Symbols", my single favourite ever short story.

8. Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London. I was a suburban middle-class kid, and material deprivation was a purely notional matter in my life. This book made poverty real to me, imaginatively, and changed the way I saw the world. I could fold Nineteen Eighty-Four in here, too.

9. Dickens. I'm tempted to mention either Little Dorrit or Our Mutual Friend, as they are now my two favourite Dickenses. Dickensseses. But the fact is, it was reading Dombey and Son, and more particularly the chapters detailing little Paul's decline and death, that first took the top of my head off. I remember reading it mouth open at the sheer skill of the writing.

10. Roald Dahl, "A Piece of Cake". This is a tricky one, really: I read Dahl's kid's writing, of course; everyone read it when I was growing up. It was almost compulsory. And there was a TV series made of his adult 'tales of the unexpected' short stories, which was also pretty popular. But this one short story was in a different category: a brief, autobiographical piece about him flying a Gloster Gladiator over the desert, crashing it and waking up in hospital with his burns all bandaged. I remember reading it as an early teenager, for no real reason, just because I chanced upon the paperback. It had the most profound effect upon me. I'm not sure I could diagnose why, or how: it's not a twist-in-the-tale piece, or a sample of his grotesque monstrous inventiveness. Indeed, it's rather oblique. Nor was I particularly interested in world war 2, or the RAF, or flying or anything like that. But the plain fact is: before I read it I had no ambitions to be a writer (I wanted, in point of fact, to make animated cartoons). Then I read it. And after I had read it I wanted to be a writer. Simple as that. Perhaps it had to do with its obliqueness, or its queer reticent potency: it struck me very forceably at a very deep level and I couldn't see how it had done so. At any rate, something vast shifted about inside me as with the motion of great waters, and I wanted to be a writer. Which is, now, what I am.

No science fiction? I know! And I read SF obsessively as a teenager (as I still do). Le Guin would be the eleventh title: The Dispossessed most likely. Though I also loved Earthsea.

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Finished copies of Bête now in …

By Adam Roberts | September 4, 2014
Categories: Book News

I'm extremely excited by this ... you can tell, by the ellipses ... these are the ellipses of an excited author ...

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News for August, or ‘Who Hath Not Seen Thee Oft Amid Thy Online Store?’

By Adam Roberts | August 29, 2014
Categories: Blogging

In the parching August wind cornfields bow the head, sheltered in round valley depths on low hills outspread, and I have been moderately busy. I went on holiday, came back, spent time at Loncon, came back from that. Here's a round-up post of news.

1: is that I have finally rolled up the scroll named 'Punkadiddle'. As you'll see at the end of that link, the best of the old blog is now printed up in a book, £3:42 from amazon online store as e-book, so: you know. Buy! Buy! Buy!

2. I have agreed to act as a judge for next year's Kitschies, which (a) means my own novels are guaranteed NO place on the shortlist, hurrah! (or, wait ... boo?) and (b) a Niagara of books has begun flowing through my front door. The good news is that I get to swap aesthetic judgment with the rest of the panel, all of whom are considerably cooler than I: Kate Griffin, Kim Curran, Frances Hardinge and Glen Mehn. The downside is: it's a lot of reading. There's another downside, which I'm thinking of converting into an upside. You know what they say: when life gives you lemons and industrial quantities of sugar -- make lemonade. Often, after I read a book, I'll write (and blog) a quick review, Writing out my thoughts makes those thoughts clear in my head. Writing, I fear, comes more naturally to me than thinking. So I figured: what if I reviewed every title? Last year I believe the K.s had more than 300 submissions, so I'd be committing myself to a peck of work. But I could turn into a project. Like Magnetic Fields writing and releasing 69 Love Songs. I could do 369 Love Songs: SFF Novels Editions. What do you reckon?

If I review 369 titles at, say, 500 words per review (which if I'm honest is the shorter end of my horribly prolix reviewing habit), we'd be looking at 185,000 words. That would make an interesting e-book: The Complete Science Fiction and Fantasy Output of 2014 Reviewed! (I don't doubt there are many more than 369 SFF titles released in any one year; but it would be a broader sample than the usual review collection manages, and might be interesting to do). At any rate I've made a start: check out the August entries over on the SibFric blog. This may putter out, or gather prodigious steam. I'm honestly not sure.

3. At Loncon Ian Whates launched a book with a story by me (and stories by others, more noteworthy than I) in it: mine being 'Baedecker’s Fermi' in Paradox: Stories of the Fermi Paradox ...

He also launched Sibilant Fricative: the Book. As I mentioned above: Buy! Buy! Buy!

4. Another thing I did this summer was write a 'How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy' book, for the people who used to publish the 'Teach Yourself' franchise, but who have now rebranded them as 'Get Started In'. The proofs for said book came in this week.

5. I also wrote something long-ish for Jared Shurin that may appear as a book-length publication at some later point. I'm quite proud of it actually, but pride is a sin, and I don't want to compound my sinfulness by dilating on the matter here.

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Sibilant Fricative

By Adam Roberts | July 6, 2014
Categories: Book News

Newcon Press are publishing this collection of SF/Fantasy related essays and reviews, with a preface by BSFA Award-winning critic Paul Kincaid, in August (I believe the launch is at Loncon): Newcon supremo Ian Whates facebooked the above photo to show that actual copies are now in existence. Exciting stuff!

I set up the like-named Sibilant Fricative blog in large part to flog, er to 'promote' the book; and so I shall. The blog has accumulated a variety of other things upon it (none of which are in included in the Sibilant Fricative book, confusingly); but don't let that distract you. I intend to flog, er, promote this title within an inch of its life.

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Bête Bound Proof

By Adam Roberts | June 22, 2014
Categories: Book News

... in my grubby hand. Looks nice!

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Cover Reveal: US Edition of Twenty Trillion

By Adam Roberts | June 18, 2014
Categories: Book News

I'm not a big fan of the idiom 'cover reveal', actually. It's the 'reveal' part, like I'm a stage performer whisking a white sheet off something as the audience oos and aas. Still that is the idiom, and I'll run with it. So. [takes breath] ... St Martin's Press in New York New York will be putting out Twenty Trillion; and here is the very very lovely cover they have come up with. Isn't it fine?

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By Adam Roberts | June 12, 2014
Categories: Awards

It's been quiet around here for a little while. Awards seasons has been in full spate and *sigh* it's been an awards season without room for anything I published in 2013, so there's been nothing to report. But just when I thought it was going to pass me by entirely came the rather wonderful news that my short story 'Tollund' has been shortlisted for the 2014 Sidewise Awards. The Sidewise, as you know very well, is dedicated to alternate-history, and this year's shortlists look very strong. I'm delighted to be in such company. Winners will be announced at Loncon.

'Tollund' was written for Jared Shurin's excellent collection of original Mummy fiction, The Book of the Dead. That link will take you to purchasing opportunities, of which you should definitely avail yourself. My story's title, of course, makes reference to the single Seamus Heaney released with Madness back in the 1980s:

"Some day I will go to Aarhus
In the middle of our street
In the middle of our street,
To see his peat-brown head

Such a great poem.

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Twenty Trillion Variants

By Adam Roberts | April 28, 2014
Categories: Book News

Courtesy of the estimable Mahendra Singh, two could-have-been never-were alternate timeline variant covers for Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea. Cool, no?

In related news, check out this excellent Ron Miller essay on Mahendra's superb artistry from i09.

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By Adam Roberts | April 20, 2014
Categories: Book News

Edited by Ian Whates. Available now. Classy stuff, you know.

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The Brick Moon/Another Brick in the Moon

By Adam Roberts | April 13, 2014
Categories: Book News

Lovely cover, there, from Gary Northfield. The book itself is coming soon:

Jurassic London is delighted to announce The Brick Moon, a new edition of the classic tale from Edward Everett Hale.

Hale’s prophetic novel, first published in 1869, is the first to imagine the launch of an artificial satellite – making it the perfect fictional pairing with Stars to Satellites and Longitude Punk’d, two new exhibitions at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The new edition comes complete with “Another Brick in the Moon”, a sequel to Hale’s original tale, penned by award-winning science fiction author Adam Roberts.

The Brick Moon is a fascinating tale that touches on themes of immediate relevance to the Royal Observatory and its history: the quest for longitude, the Greenwich Meridian and satellite technology. And Adam Roberts’ short-story response, ‘Another Brick in the Moon’, has recast the tale in his characteristically beguiling way,” commented Richard Dunn.

The book is decorated by Greenwich artist, Gary Northfield, who selected – and re-imagined - a classic view of the Royal Observatory from the archives of the National Maritime Museum.

The Royal Observatory’s Stars to Satellites exhibition tells the story of satellite navigation technology, from the origins of the idea in Hale’s story to today’s GPS systems and smartphone apps. Meanwhile, Longitude Punk’d takes the historic story of the quest to determine longitude at sea and retells it in a playful fashion through the prism of the Steampunk movement.

Nine prominent Steampunk artists and writers have filled the Royal Observatory’s historic Flamsteed House with fantastical drawings, objects and costumes that evoke a science-fiction version of the 18th 19th-centuries, reflecting the retro aesthetic of The Brick Moon.

Naturally enough, my sequel involves a big climactic scene at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Pleasingly, I got feedback from the RMG people tweaking the practicalities of this, and was able to incorporate their comments. In all, writing this one was a blast.

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Tolkien lecture, Pembroke Oxford May 2

By Adam Roberts | April 11, 2014
Categories: Events and Appearances

More details here.

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Edge Hill Robots

By Adam Roberts | April 3, 2014
Categories: Awards

I'm very pleased that my short story collection Adam Robots has been long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story prize, an award uniquely targeted at collections of original short fiction. Shortlist announced in May.

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SFX reviews “Riddles of the Hobbit”

By Adam Roberts | November 23, 2013
Categories: Reviews

Five stars, no less!

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By Adam Roberts | November 13, 2013
Categories: Book News

The Trei website has just posted this rather handsome cover-art snap of their upcoming (or, wait: is it out now?) brand new Romanian translation of Jack Glass. Exciting!

And the blurb! "Într-un viitor, în care deplasările prin sistemul solar sunt controlate de o oligarhie nemiloasă, Jack-din-Sticlă este căutat pentru activităţi teroriste. Jack crede că supravieţuirea lui este vitală pentru supravieţuirea speciei şi de aceea trebuie să comită mai multe crime… Cele trei părţi ale cărţii sunt tot atâtea intrigi SF poliţiste, străbătute de un fir comun. Prima se petrece într-o închisoare spaţială sumbră şi abundă în accente de disperare şi horror. Este practic o introducere pentru partea a doua, care utilizează tema cyberpunk clasică a războiului dintre corporaţii supranaţionale."

Help me, Google translate!

"In a future where traveling through the solar system are controlled by a ruthless oligarchy, Jack-in-Bottle is wanted for terrorist activities. Jack believed that his survival is vital for survival of the species and therefore have to commit more crimes ... The three parts of the book are all detective fiction intrigue, crossed by a common thread. The first takes place in a grim prison space abounds in accents of despair and horror. It's basically an introduction to the second part, using classic cyberpunk theme of war between supranational corporations."

That's even better than the story I actually wrote! Hurrah!

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