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By Adam Roberts | September 22, 2007
Categories: Book News


This is the cover for Swiftly, to be published by Gollancz next year.  It's a work in progress (the rifles there, I'm told, will be muskets rather than arquebuses), but more or less there.  And isn't it splendid?  As for Swiftly itself, I'd say it's the best novel I've written by quite a long mark.  So there you are.

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17 Comments to-date;

17 Responses to “Swiftly”

  1. Lou Anders Says:
    September 23rd, 2007 at 3:18 am


    And not unlike your recent Splinter, which is also gorgeous.

  2. Roman|Idiot Says:
    September 23rd, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Is there nothing this man can't write?

  3. Ariel Says:
    September 23rd, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Now that is a damn fine cover... but isn't Swiftly the title of a short story collection of yours already..?

    Confused, Manchester

  4. AdamR Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Lou: thanks ... it is nice, isn't it?

    Roman Idiot: you flatter me, I'm afraid. Though that's not to say I don't like it (being flattered I mean).

    Ariel: yep, my Nightshade collection of short fiction was called Swiftly, after the title story; which is also incorporated here, in slightly modified form, as first chapter. But this, see, is a novel; and a novel isn't the same thing as a collection of short stories. Bibliographers will hopefully note the difference between Swiftly: Stories That Never Were And Might Not Be, and Swiftly: a Novel

  5. Octavo Says:
    September 25th, 2007 at 9:15 am

    Great cover - what's it about?

  6. Victoria Says:
    October 10th, 2007 at 11:38 am

    It *is* very lovely. Tell me, when can we expect review copies to come available?

  7. AdamR Says:
    October 10th, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Victoria: sometime early next year, I believe. I'll check with my publishers.

    Octavo, it's set in an alternate nineteenth-century in which Swift's Gulliver's Travels is true, and Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians have been integrated into the logic of expanding empire. It's as Swiftian as I could make it; which is to say, not just that it uses the trappings of Swift's tale, or that it's broadly satirical (my understanding of satire is a little different to Swift's, I think), but above all that it deals in lots of poo. I figured it was about time somebody wrote the great novel about poo. If it's good enough, as a subject, for Swift (and Rabelais) then it's good enough for me.

  8. Octavo Says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I've always felt that the very best SF and Fantasy is the kind that makes you really think about what it means to be human, so "Gulliver's Travels" is actually one of my all-time favourites alongside "Frankenstein", "The Island of Dr Moreau" and a few others. One of my most treasured books is a tiny little leather-bound, 18th-Century pocket edition of "Gulliver's Travels" that fits in the palm of my hand and which I was lucky enough to find on

    I really look forward to reading your take on it.

    Oh, and apologies for cluttering the place with quotation marks, but I can't figure out how to italicise anything in my comments...

  9. Adam Whitehead Says:
    November 23rd, 2007 at 12:07 am

    My review copy of this dropped through the letterbox a couple of days ago (courtesy of Mr. Spanton) and I've been impressed by it so far. I think Swift would indeed have approved of the quantity and quality of poo involved!

  10. AdamR Says:
    November 23rd, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    All comments by people with the excellent name 'Adam' gratefully received at this blog.

  11. Adam Whitehead Says:
    November 24th, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Ha. We met at the Gollancz party (I think I was hanging around with the disreputable Mr. Abercrombie) and you said exactly the same thing. The SF&F world definitely needs more Adams, I feel.

  12. AdamR Says:
    November 24th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I repeat myself. Ah well. I do remember meeting you, actually; and 'disreputable' is exactly the right word for describe Joe Abercrombie.

    More Adams! More I say!

  13. Adam Whitehead Says:
    November 25th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Finished it. Very enjoyable, although I had to have a long think about the ending of the book and what it meant.

    I put up my review here:

  14. AdamR Says:
    November 25th, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Having a good long think about a novel after finishing it seems, to me, on balance, a good thing ...

  15. Adam Whitehead Says:
    November 27th, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Absolutely, but it's odd how often I hear people complaining about books that do this (such as with Gene Wolfe).

  16. Joey B Says:
    February 9th, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Well if the novel is anything like the short story it's bound to be an excellent read. I for one can't wait to add it to my shelf.

  17. AdamR Says:
    February 9th, 2008 at 12:45 pm