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...

Recent Posts

Other Roberts Blogs

Links / Blogroll

What does Australia think of Headless?

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.

Be Sociable, Share!

6 Comments to-date;

6 Responses to “What does Australia think of Headless?”

  1. Blue Tyson Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Can't tell you, haven't seen one yet. :)

    Seem to have found most of your others ok, though.

  2. AdamR Says:
    September 18th, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Wait ... you're telling me that the Melbourne Age doesn't speak for all Australians ...?

  3. Blue Tyson Says:
    September 22nd, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Nup. Not even Rupert Murdoch can do that.

    Shocking, I know.

  4. J Alex Says:
    October 12th, 2007 at 2:30 am

    As a regular yet disgruntled reader of the Melbourne Age I cant believe I missed a review - brief as it is - of an sf novel. This newspaper's review section is resolutely middle brow, and with the more-or-less exception of crime fiction, it treats genre writing very poorly. I am sure that Aus dedicated sf readers look elsewhere - anywhere else - for good review suggestions. I'm glad some sf is reviewed, but suspect that your work slipped past their guard as they see it as more 'literary' than sf, which is a really unproductive distinction I think.

  5. AdamR Says:
    October 12th, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Jane: "...a really unproductive distinction I think..."

    I couldn't agree more.

  6. Hide and reasaon Says:
    November 3rd, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    The paper's main books coverage comes in the weekly A2 section (it's actually very generous, about 40-50 taboid-sized pages of nothing but books), but the reason they don't do much SF is because the paper generally is marketed towards women.

    Really down to whoever's able to write at the time, I spose.

    Also Adam: reading you since Salt, mate! Love your work.