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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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The Paperback Itself

By Adam Roberts | October 17, 2016
Categories: Book News

Thingsthemselves

Last week saw the mass-market paperback publication of my latest, and, we can be honest, best, novel: The Thing Itself. This link will take you to the amazon.co.uk page where, I note, it's on sale from some vendors brand new for a mere £3.63. That's a little over 30p for each of the twelve sections that make up the whole! Not much, considering that those twelve not only provide a variety pack of science fictional goodness and a primer in the Critique of Pure Reason, but will also persuade you to believe in God (if you don't already).

I know that not everybody approves of amazon, and there are good reasons for being wary of it as a retailer; but I wanted to include the link so I could quote a few of the reader reviews from there. So Kate calls it 'a fabulous, clever novel'; Andrew Wallace says its 'another great novel by the Godfather of British SF' and Brian Clegg describes the novel as 'a mind-bending delight' adding:

and nothing like the combination of the title and the cover suggests (yet even this deception is not entirely straightforward). Anyone versed in the genre would instantly make the leap, with the combination of 'The Thing' and a polar setting, to the classic science fiction film The Thing -- and indeed Roberts does make a passing bow to this in the opening of the book. However, the monster in the movie is about as crude as they come -- here, what we experience as alien is both horrible and transfigured as a possible reality for the concept of god. ... I can say without any doubt that this by far the best science fiction book I've read all year. I can also say that it won't be to everyone's taste -- so don't blame me if you don't like it -- but to some it will be a revelation of what science fiction can be. This is the kind of science fiction that should be winning the Booker Prize. Simple as that.

So there we are. On the other hand, 'Rascible' thinks it 'a bit of a muddle'; so not everybody is entirely enamoured.

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