By Adam Roberts | June 16, 2010
Slight haitus around here; apologies for that. I'll try and be more regular, and will start with this splendid review of New Model Army on weRead (courtesy Phil):
On one level, you could see this book as another sci-fi dystopia – and, yes, it’s that – but as ever, the writing is superb, the story construction compelling and the characterisation fulfilling. The opening sentence: “I am not the hero of this story” is true – the NMA itself is the subject, and one can imagine lesser writers taking that and using it as a pretext for hopping from one character to another, painting none of them, all in the name of focussing on the subject matter. Adam Roberts gives his narrating character a full history, personality and motive for his actions whilst still making the NMA itself the hero of the story. I’ve read all Adam Roberts’ novels and they really are superb. Some of them are less accessible than others (‘On’ and ‘Polystom’ are seriously weird!) but from Gradisil onwards he seems to be retaining his hallmark skill of taking a single unusual concept and wrapping it into a novel of outstanding quality. Reading a book as good as New Model Army one cannot help but rail against the ignorance of the literary classes that eschew Adam Roberts (and Kim Stanley Robinson) whilst heaping praise on Margaret Atwood just because she has managed to convince the book world that she’s not a science fiction writer (she is) because science fiction writers don’t write ‘proper novels.’ All three produce first class novels as good as anything Hilary Mantel or Salman Rushdie has ever written. One can but hope that this will be recognised one day.
One can indeed but-hope.No tags for this post.