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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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Paul Cornell is a tall, powerfully-built stallion of a man

By Adam Roberts | December 14, 2009
Categories: Blogging

...with a brain the size of a cement-mixer and taste so impeccable no pecca would come within two thousand miles of it. You can see that this from reading his blog:

My three favourite novels of the year were probably Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts and Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi (going by UK publication dates, that is) ... Yellow Blue Tibia is from that interesting place where a new inflationary universe of SF has sprung up, amongst literary fiction. Some of that universe is formed by literary authors who look down on our ghetto and despise it, and some is formed by literary authors who simply don't see why they should enter a ghetto and prostrate themselves just to write about what they like. Adam Roberts, aside from both groups, is an SF writer who can decide, like Aldiss, Ballard, Priest and most of the others from the New Wave, to use the tropes of a literary novel, ambiguity most of all, to enter that universe himself. He's been, frankly, arrogant in the way he told this year's Hugo nominated authors (and artists, even!) that their work wasn't cutting edge enough. But that doesn't change the fact that he deserves more recognition, and that perhaps the SF ghetto should reach out more to embrace that new universe, and redefine, a little, its terms of engagement with literary quality. Yellow Blue Tibia is a wonderful collision between the Soviet way of seeing the world, the SF way of doing that, and the universe of flying saucers. It keeps its foot in the SF genre, right at the end, by offering not a dreamlike wandering off from its road trip through the Russian consciousness, but a nuts and bolts explanation, which might come as a bit of a shock to a literary audience expecting something more like The Magus or Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow. But who knows, they might have liked that shock, they might want more, and we should welcome them with more, and more like this from Adam Roberts.

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