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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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Canberra’s Blutibia

By Adam Roberts | June 2, 2009
Categories: Book News

The man with the superhero name, Colin Steele, reviews Ian McDonald's Cyberabad Days and my YBT in the Canberra Times (23/05/2009) under the pleasing headline 'Big Ideas in Brits' Creative Burst':

British science fiction is currently undergoing one of its periodic bursts of creativity. Adam Roberts and Ian McDonald, two of the leading SF authors, certainly don't lack for imagination.

Good! Steele calls YBT:

...an SF mystery, involving UFOs and Scientology, a comedy of the Absurd in a Gogol-like satire of the Russian bureaucracy, and a multiverse "quantum alternatives that radiated" conclusion. ... Philip K Dick would have been proud of Roberts with the latter's hint that maybe the 20th century was only an invention!.

Philip K Dick would have been proud. If that's not the highest praise, I don't know what is.

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6 Comments to-date;

6 Responses to “Canberra’s Blutibia”

  1. Harlequin Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Bringing Philip K. Dick into it is pretty dangerous, Mr Roberts. Before you know it, you'll be wondering if this entire life is not simply a hallucination that you're having after taken Substance D in a hallucination created by overdosing on Substance M. It's a nightmare.

    But regardless, congratulations on the continued praise that YBT is (rightfully) receiving.

  2. Adam Roberts Says:
    June 13th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.

    Also: Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups...So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

  3. Harlequin Says:
    June 28th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Is it fair to say that they produce realities? I think you need to be careful not to fall into semantic traps. No matter what is manufactured, it remains a construct - an entity that remains at the mercy of analysis. Analyse any human construct and it evidently falls short of the reality that it mimics - obviously, such analysis requires context to be communicated, but with such increases in communication (open to anyone, more or less), the context in which an entity exists is very easily informed. By which I mean, yes, pseudo-realities are being created - but the technologies that facilitate such creation also facilitate greater information needed to disprove those same pseudo-realities. News corporations cannot hide the truth of events when millions of voices can independently publish conflicting information elsewhere.

    And if they can be disproved, why call them realities?

    Your comment about the power of words is, however, undoubtedly true. Society is shaped by what concepts can be communicated, and such communication requires words. As the meaning changes, so does what can be said.

  4. Adam Roberts Says:
    June 29th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    You make good points ... I should perhaps have been clearer that both paragraphs in the last comment were quotations from PKD.

  5. Harlequin Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    And now I feel like a fool. Hell and damnation.

  6. Adam Roberts Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Tsh and psh; not in the least bit foolish.

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