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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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Locus on Headless

By Adam Roberts | July 10, 2007
Categories: Book News

Nick Gevers, LOCUS:

The SF novels of Adam Roberts invariably centre on jaw-dropping concepts extrapolated to wonderful, and satirical extremes. There is no doubting the cumulative power of his work, its aspiring strangeness and neatly calculated absurdist brio. Consider the premise of Robertss latest book Land of the Headless. . . a brilliant burlesque conceit, and Roberts exploits it in bravura fashion, reflecting soberly on economic marginalization and segregation even as he segues into elaborate farce in the manner of Robert Sheckley. That the literary touchstone of the novel is Marcel Proust adds a further strain of inspired oddness ... [The Hero Cavala] is a Proustian narrator, profoundly reflective and egregiously memorious; and thus Roberts achieves his remarkable juxtaposition of fraught inner turmoil and zany outward satire, escaping the usual superficiality of satirical characterization with admirable dexterity. Psychological depth in a picaresque protagonist: most unusual and very welcome. Its a crazy scheme but it works; in line with Proustian concerns of memory, Cavala remembers not only himself but much of the central matter of the 50s satirical SF of Sheckley, Bester, Pohl and Kornbluth, and that revival is aesthetically very pleasing.

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6 Comments to-date;

6 Responses to “Locus on Headless”

  1. Octavo Says:
    July 11th, 2007 at 11:57 am

    "Absurdist brio...brilliant burlesque conceit...bravura fashion..."

    I'll bet Mr Gevers is a riot at parties, eh? :o)Still, it's an unstintingly positive review and who could ask for more.

    "Egregiously memorious"? Is "memorious" even a word? And is he implyimg that you may have overdone it with the "memoriousness"?

  2. AdamR Says:
    July 11th, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Hypermemoriousness has always been a failing of mine.

  3. thomas conneely Says:
    July 15th, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    I'd be careful about that 'segue into elaborate farce ' as well. I don't think that would make you very popular in a small room. And are those 'neatly calculated absurdist brios' not outlawed now by the health and safety people?.
    Brilliant.

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