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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 www.adamroberts.com, 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

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 Tor.com. 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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Tollund

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
Aarhus
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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Noir

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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Jack-din-Sticlă

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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Guildford Library Talk, Sat 23 Nov

By Adam Roberts | November 13, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Here be the details of my upcoming talk at Guildford Public Library: Saturday 23 November 2013 13:30 -- 15:00. And the title of the talk be: "Can science fiction become science fact?" And that image, at the top of this post, be a photograph of Guildford Public Library itself.

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Bête

By Adam Roberts | October 21, 2013
Categories: Book News

Black Sheep are, what can I say? Artist-designers of genius, that's what they are. Here's Bête:

Simon, my editor, talks a little bit about how he commissioned this gorgeous cover on the Gollancz blog today. He also notes that the novel itself includes a talking cat. It's true. However felinophobic I may, myself, be, I figured it was time. And, you know: Sabrina the Teenage Witch features a talking cat. Bulgakov features a talking cat. Considering the kind of writer I am, you can probably guess whereabouts on the scale strung between those two felines my own talking cat comes. Besides, there's a lot more than just a cat. For example, the novel starts, as does the Quran itself, with a cow.

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Space, Time, Machine & Monster A Literary Invasion of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

By Adam Roberts | October 18, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Tomorrow I'll be boarding an early train to Newport, Wales (land of my fathers etc etc) to attend the splendid-looking Space, Time, Machine & Monster event ('A Literary Invasion of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror'). [Previously, on this blog]

Oh, that you might be there too!

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NJSFFR launches: new academic journal of SF/F studies

By Adam Roberts | October 18, 2013
Categories: Lit Crit

[This is very exciting. The I-daresay-its-pronounceable-if-you're-Finnish journal NJSFFR is to launch at this year's Swecon, with the first issue coming next year. And, actually, themselves thinking 'The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research' may not be quite pithy enough, the editors are running a competition for a snappier name. Below is the press release. You'll see that I'm on the advisory board for the new journal, but don't let that put you off submitting your excellent SFF research.]

The FINFAR Society Launches a SF / Fantasy Research Journal
The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal published by the FINFAR Society (Suomen science fiction- ja fantasiatutkimuksen seura ry.) from 2014 onwards.
The purpose of the journal is to introduce and develop research focusing on science fiction and fantasy literature, audiovisual art, games, and fan culture by providing an interdisciplinary perspective on current issues and debates within research into these genres.

The journal is published online in PDF-form. In addition to the peer-reviewed articles, the journal publishes essays, interviews, opinion pieces and academic book reviews. The main language of the journal is English, but articles will also be published in the Nordic languages. The journal’s website will also contain a special section on Nordic research, with information on publications, reviews and university theses on science fiction and fantasy.
The first Editors for the journal are:

Jyrki Korpua, University of Oulu (literary studies)
Hanna-Riikka Roine, University of Tampere (literary studies)
Päivi Väätänen, University of Helsinki (English)

The Current Advisory Board for NJSFFR consists of:
Merja Polvinen, University of Helsinki (English), Chair
Paula Arvas, University of Helsinki (Finnish literature)
Stefan Ekman, University of Gothenburg (English)
Irma Hirsjärvi, University of Tampere (cultural studies)
Urpo Kovala, University of Jyväskylä (cultural studies)
Sanna Lehtonen, Tilburg University (cultural studies)
Cheryl Morgan (publisher and critic)
Frans Mäyrä, University of Tampere (game studies)
Jerry Määttä, Uppsala University (literary studies)
Sari Polvinen, University of Helsinki, (critic, history)
Liisa Rantalaiho, University of Tampere (gender studies)
Adam Roberts, Royal Holloway, University of London (literary studies)
Sofia Sjö, Åbo Akademi University (religious studies, film studies)
Markku Soikkeli (non-fiction author, comparative literature)
For more information, please contact Mika Loponen at mika.loponen@helsinki.fi

The name contest
We refuse to call this journal only by its official name. It should be Bob. Or Susan. Or, preferably, something Nordic. Think of a name for the NJSFFR and win a life-time membership in the FINFAR Society and a supporting membership at Finncon 2014! Please send suggestions to merja.polvinen@helsinki.fi by 30th November 2013.

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The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival 2013

By Adam Roberts | September 25, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

I'm doing two things at this this year's Cheltenham Festival. On Friday 4th October (at 4pm, in the Studio, Imperial Square) I'm on the 'Re-Wired: Memory in the Digital Age' panel:

Join us to explore the impact of the Internet, digital technology and social media on human memory. From Google and GPS to lifelogging services, we are outsourcing more and more cognitive faculties. But are we really becoming shallower, lazier, more stupid? Join novelist Adam Roberts (New Model Army), Stacey Pitsillides (Digital Death), Wendy Moncur (LivingDigital, University of Dundee) and James Smyth (The Machine) to debate one of the most important issues facing us in the 21st Century.

Not sure why they've confiscated the terminal 'e' on James's surname, there. Maybe it's something to do with Cheltenham Council Health and Safety. No matter. Then the following day (Saturday the 5th) I'm doing this splendid-looking Tolkien panel, with the brilliant Brian Sibley, the marvellous Jane Johnson and thinking fantasy-reader's crumpet Joe Abercrombie:

Lord of the Rings regularly tops lists of the best books of all time, and is loved worldwide. But what makes it so special? Former Tolkien publisher Jane Johnson, and as Jude Fisher the writer of the visual companions to Peter Jackson’s films, is joined by author of The First Law trilogy Joe Abercrombie; by Brian Sibley, author of The Lord of the Rings film guides and co-adapter of the classic BBC Radio 4 serialisation, and by Adam Roberts, who’s homage to Tolkien, The Soddit was published last year.

So: the Soddit is ten years old now, give or take. And that should be 'whose', not 'who's'. But whose counting? I mean 'who's'?

It would be very nice to see you there. But if you don't come, I won't cry. I'll understand. I won't cry on the outside, at any rate.

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Sibilant Fricative: Cover Reveal

By Adam Roberts | September 17, 2013
Categories: Book News

Courtesy of the estimable Ian Whates, here is the cover for my upcoming collection of Essays and Reviews, soon to be published by Newcon Press (also check out the like-named blog). GASP AT MY BEAUTY, O WORLD! GASP, I SAY!

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Mummy, He’s Making Eyes At Me

By Adam Roberts | September 17, 2013
Categories: Book News

Pornokitsch have posted the TOC and pre-order details for the newest Jurassic London anthology, The Book of the Dead. And it's (if you'll pardon the phrase) A Monster:

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Some Words from an Egyptologist" by John J. Johnston (Egypt Exploration Society)
"Ramesses on the Frontier" by Paul Cornell
"Escape from the Mummy's Tomb" by Jesse Bullington
"Old Souls" by David Thomas Moore
"Her Heartbeat, An Echo" by Lou Morgan
"Mysterium Tremendum" by Molly Tanzer
"Tollund" by Adam Roberts
"The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn't, The Mummy that Was and the Cat in the Jar" by Gail Carriger
"The Cats of Beni Hasan" by Jenni Hill
"Cerulean Memories" by Maurice Broaddus
"Inner Goddess" by Michael West
"The Roof of the World" by Sarah Newton
"Henry" by Glen Mehn
"The Dedication of Sweetheart Abbey" by David Bryher
"All is Dust" by Den Patrick
"Bit-U-Men" by Maria Dahvana Headley
"Egyptian death and the afterlife: mummies (Rooms 62-3)" by Jonathan Green
"Akhenaten Goes to Paris" by Louis Greenberg
"The Thing of Wrath" by Roger Luckhurst
"Three Memories of Death" by Will Hill

Illustrated by Garen Ewing
Edited by Jared Shurin

More information here.

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Proofs!

By Adam Roberts | September 14, 2013
Categories: Book News

Exciting!

Coming out 16 Jan 2014! Also with oodles of intrinsic Mahendra Singh goodness:

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Space, Time, Machine and Monster

By Adam Roberts | September 10, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

I am appearing at what the good people at Literature Wales are pleased to call a "sci fi, fantasy and horror festival" at the Riverfront in Newport, 18-19 October. But I won't be alone, oh no! Also appearing are: Alastair Reynolds Large As Life And Twice As Natural; Tim Lebbon; Jon Chase; Mark Brake; the incomparable Graham Joyce; Yomi Ayeni; Dimitra Fimi; Rhianna Pratchett; Gwyneth Lewis; Mark Morris; Steve Volk; Louis Savy; Gwilym Games; Steve Bond; Dan Dan the Anthony Man; the delectable Jasper Fforde; the mighty Ben Aaronovitch; Horatio Clare; Catherine Fisher; Huw Aaron; Turnip Starfish (yes, really); Catherine Bray and Sarwat Chadda [you can see the full list of people appearing, and their bios, here]. That's a pretty impressive list of names! Since it's not alphabetical, I assume it's in order either of importance -- which, since they squeeze me in between Louis Savy and Gwilym Games, is fair enough -- or of Welshness, in which case I think I am entitled to feel a little snubbed. Still. I'm excited to be going!

Details of the festival, and of how to book and so on, are here. Come! I insist.

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