By Adam Roberts | September 18, 2007
Categories: Book News
Gollancz SF works were previously unevenly distributed in Australia. It's a pleasure that they are now readily available, since the publisher has a reputation for quality. Forget sword and sorcery, here are thought-experiments, exercises in imaginative writing. Adam Roberts' novel posits a future in which fundamentalist Christianity and Islam have merged. High-tech means that punishment takes new and cruel forms: criminals can be beheaded but remain living. Jon Cavala, a poet, is beheaded for adultery. He is fitted with devices that replace his sensory apparatus and keep him in a half-life. Cavala wanders the countryside, suffers discrimination, and ends up coerced into becoming a soldier. Here Roberts' speculations about future warfare are very grim. At what point, he posits, do we abandon humanity? This book has a cool tone and intellectual rigour reminiscent of Yevgeny Zamyatin's classic We.
Not for an Age but for all time; or more accurately yes, actually, for an Age, and more specifically for the 16th September 2007 edition of said.