About Adam

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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This is, official homepage of British science fiction writer Adam Roberts. Please use the links in the menu bar above if you're here to find out more about Adam's published books to-date, or more about Adam himself, or if you want to get in touch with Adam.

Or, if you're here to see what Adam's been up to recently, just keep reading:

Latest News

Sibilant Fricative

By Adam Roberts | July 6, 2014
Categories: Book News

Newcon Press are publishing this collection of SF/Fantasy related essays and reviews, with a preface by BSFA Award-winning critic Paul Kincaid, in August (I believe the launch is at Loncon): Newcon supremo Ian Whates facebooked the above photo to show that actual copies are now in existence. Exciting stuff!

I set up the like-named Sibilant Fricative blog in large part to flog, er to 'promote' the book; and so I shall. The blog has accumulated a variety of other things upon it (none of which are in included in the Sibilant Fricative book, confusingly); but don't let that distract you. I intend to flog, er, promote this title within an inch of its life.

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Bête Bound Proof

By Adam Roberts | June 22, 2014
Categories: Book News

... in my grubby hand. Looks nice!

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Cover Reveal: US Edition of Twenty Trillion

By Adam Roberts | June 18, 2014
Categories: Book News

I'm not a big fan of the idiom 'cover reveal', actually. It's the 'reveal' part, like I'm a stage performer whisking a white sheet off something as the audience oos and aas. Still that is the idiom, and I'll run with it. So. [takes breath] ... St Martin's Press in New York New York will be putting out Twenty Trillion; and here is the very very lovely cover they have come up with. Isn't it fine?

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By Adam Roberts | June 12, 2014
Categories: Awards

It's been quiet around here for a little while. Awards seasons has been in full spate and *sigh* it's been an awards season without room for anything I published in 2013, so there's been nothing to report. But just when I thought it was going to pass me by entirely came the rather wonderful news that my short story 'Tollund' has been shortlisted for the 2014 Sidewise Awards. The Sidewise, as you know very well, is dedicated to alternate-history, and this year's shortlists look very strong. I'm delighted to be in such company. Winners will be announced at Loncon.

'Tollund' was written for Jared Shurin's excellent collection of original Mummy fiction, The Book of the Dead. That link will take you to purchasing opportunities, of which you should definitely avail yourself. My story's title, of course, makes reference to the single Seamus Heaney released with Madness back in the 1980s:

"Some day I will go to Aarhus
In the middle of our street
In the middle of our street,
To see his peat-brown head

Such a great poem.

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Twenty Trillion Variants

By Adam Roberts | April 28, 2014
Categories: Book News

Courtesy of the estimable Mahendra Singh, two could-have-been never-were alternate timeline variant covers for Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea. Cool, no?

In related news, check out this excellent Ron Miller essay on Mahendra's superb artistry from i09.

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By Adam Roberts | April 20, 2014
Categories: Book News

Edited by Ian Whates. Available now. Classy stuff, you know.

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The Brick Moon/Another Brick in the Moon

By Adam Roberts | April 13, 2014
Categories: Book News

Lovely cover, there, from Gary Northfield. The book itself is coming soon:

Jurassic London is delighted to announce The Brick Moon, a new edition of the classic tale from Edward Everett Hale.

Hale’s prophetic novel, first published in 1869, is the first to imagine the launch of an artificial satellite – making it the perfect fictional pairing with Stars to Satellites and Longitude Punk’d, two new exhibitions at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The new edition comes complete with “Another Brick in the Moon”, a sequel to Hale’s original tale, penned by award-winning science fiction author Adam Roberts.

The Brick Moon is a fascinating tale that touches on themes of immediate relevance to the Royal Observatory and its history: the quest for longitude, the Greenwich Meridian and satellite technology. And Adam Roberts’ short-story response, ‘Another Brick in the Moon’, has recast the tale in his characteristically beguiling way,” commented Richard Dunn.

The book is decorated by Greenwich artist, Gary Northfield, who selected – and re-imagined - a classic view of the Royal Observatory from the archives of the National Maritime Museum.

The Royal Observatory’s Stars to Satellites exhibition tells the story of satellite navigation technology, from the origins of the idea in Hale’s story to today’s GPS systems and smartphone apps. Meanwhile, Longitude Punk’d takes the historic story of the quest to determine longitude at sea and retells it in a playful fashion through the prism of the Steampunk movement.

Nine prominent Steampunk artists and writers have filled the Royal Observatory’s historic Flamsteed House with fantastical drawings, objects and costumes that evoke a science-fiction version of the 18th 19th-centuries, reflecting the retro aesthetic of The Brick Moon.

Naturally enough, my sequel involves a big climactic scene at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Pleasingly, I got feedback from the RMG people tweaking the practicalities of this, and was able to incorporate their comments. In all, writing this one was a blast.

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Tolkien lecture, Pembroke Oxford May 2

By Adam Roberts | April 11, 2014
Categories: Events and Appearances

More details here.

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Edge Hill Robots

By Adam Roberts | April 3, 2014
Categories: Awards

I'm very pleased that my short story collection Adam Robots has been long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story prize, an award uniquely targeted at collections of original short fiction. Shortlist announced in May.

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SFX reviews “Riddles of the Hobbit”

By Adam Roberts | November 23, 2013
Categories: Reviews

Five stars, no less!

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By Adam Roberts | November 13, 2013
Categories: Book News

The Trei website has just posted this rather handsome cover-art snap of their upcoming (or, wait: is it out now?) brand new Romanian translation of Jack Glass. Exciting!

And the blurb! "Într-un viitor, în care deplasările prin sistemul solar sunt controlate de o oligarhie nemiloasă, Jack-din-Sticlă este căutat pentru activităţi teroriste. Jack crede că supravieţuirea lui este vitală pentru supravieţuirea speciei şi de aceea trebuie să comită mai multe crime… Cele trei părţi ale cărţii sunt tot atâtea intrigi SF poliţiste, străbătute de un fir comun. Prima se petrece într-o închisoare spaţială sumbră şi abundă în accente de disperare şi horror. Este practic o introducere pentru partea a doua, care utilizează tema cyberpunk clasică a războiului dintre corporaţii supranaţionale."

Help me, Google translate!

"In a future where traveling through the solar system are controlled by a ruthless oligarchy, Jack-in-Bottle is wanted for terrorist activities. Jack believed that his survival is vital for survival of the species and therefore have to commit more crimes ... The three parts of the book are all detective fiction intrigue, crossed by a common thread. The first takes place in a grim prison space abounds in accents of despair and horror. It's basically an introduction to the second part, using classic cyberpunk theme of war between supranational corporations."

That's even better than the story I actually wrote! Hurrah!

3 Comments to-date;

Guildford Library Talk, Sat 23 Nov

By Adam Roberts | November 13, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Here be the details of my upcoming talk at Guildford Public Library: Saturday 23 November 2013 13:30 -- 15:00. And the title of the talk be: "Can science fiction become science fact?" And that image, at the top of this post, be a photograph of Guildford Public Library itself.

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By Adam Roberts | October 21, 2013
Categories: Book News

Black Sheep are, what can I say? Artist-designers of genius, that's what they are. Here's Bête:

Simon, my editor, talks a little bit about how he commissioned this gorgeous cover on the Gollancz blog today. He also notes that the novel itself includes a talking cat. It's true. However felinophobic I may, myself, be, I figured it was time. And, you know: Sabrina the Teenage Witch features a talking cat. Bulgakov features a talking cat. Considering the kind of writer I am, you can probably guess whereabouts on the scale strung between those two felines my own talking cat comes. Besides, there's a lot more than just a cat. For example, the novel starts, as does the Quran itself, with a cow.

3 Comments to-date;

Space, Time, Machine & Monster A Literary Invasion of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

By Adam Roberts | October 18, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Tomorrow I'll be boarding an early train to Newport, Wales (land of my fathers etc etc) to attend the splendid-looking Space, Time, Machine & Monster event ('A Literary Invasion of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror'). [Previously, on this blog]

Oh, that you might be there too!

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NJSFFR launches: new academic journal of SF/F studies

By Adam Roberts | October 18, 2013
Categories: Lit Crit

[This is very exciting. The I-daresay-its-pronounceable-if-you're-Finnish journal NJSFFR is to launch at this year's Swecon, with the first issue coming next year. And, actually, themselves thinking 'The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research' may not be quite pithy enough, the editors are running a competition for a snappier name. Below is the press release. You'll see that I'm on the advisory board for the new journal, but don't let that put you off submitting your excellent SFF research.]

The FINFAR Society Launches a SF / Fantasy Research Journal
The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal published by the FINFAR Society (Suomen science fiction- ja fantasiatutkimuksen seura ry.) from 2014 onwards.
The purpose of the journal is to introduce and develop research focusing on science fiction and fantasy literature, audiovisual art, games, and fan culture by providing an interdisciplinary perspective on current issues and debates within research into these genres.

The journal is published online in PDF-form. In addition to the peer-reviewed articles, the journal publishes essays, interviews, opinion pieces and academic book reviews. The main language of the journal is English, but articles will also be published in the Nordic languages. The journal’s website will also contain a special section on Nordic research, with information on publications, reviews and university theses on science fiction and fantasy.
The first Editors for the journal are:

Jyrki Korpua, University of Oulu (literary studies)
Hanna-Riikka Roine, University of Tampere (literary studies)
Päivi Väätänen, University of Helsinki (English)

The Current Advisory Board for NJSFFR consists of:
Merja Polvinen, University of Helsinki (English), Chair
Paula Arvas, University of Helsinki (Finnish literature)
Stefan Ekman, University of Gothenburg (English)
Irma Hirsjärvi, University of Tampere (cultural studies)
Urpo Kovala, University of Jyväskylä (cultural studies)
Sanna Lehtonen, Tilburg University (cultural studies)
Cheryl Morgan (publisher and critic)
Frans Mäyrä, University of Tampere (game studies)
Jerry Määttä, Uppsala University (literary studies)
Sari Polvinen, University of Helsinki, (critic, history)
Liisa Rantalaiho, University of Tampere (gender studies)
Adam Roberts, Royal Holloway, University of London (literary studies)
Sofia Sjö, Åbo Akademi University (religious studies, film studies)
Markku Soikkeli (non-fiction author, comparative literature)
For more information, please contact Mika Loponen at

The name contest
We refuse to call this journal only by its official name. It should be Bob. Or Susan. Or, preferably, something Nordic. Think of a name for the NJSFFR and win a life-time membership in the FINFAR Society and a supporting membership at Finncon 2014! Please send suggestions to by 30th November 2013.

3 Comments to-date;

The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival 2013

By Adam Roberts | September 25, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

I'm doing two things at this this year's Cheltenham Festival. On Friday 4th October (at 4pm, in the Studio, Imperial Square) I'm on the 'Re-Wired: Memory in the Digital Age' panel:

Join us to explore the impact of the Internet, digital technology and social media on human memory. From Google and GPS to lifelogging services, we are outsourcing more and more cognitive faculties. But are we really becoming shallower, lazier, more stupid? Join novelist Adam Roberts (New Model Army), Stacey Pitsillides (Digital Death), Wendy Moncur (LivingDigital, University of Dundee) and James Smyth (The Machine) to debate one of the most important issues facing us in the 21st Century.

Not sure why they've confiscated the terminal 'e' on James's surname, there. Maybe it's something to do with Cheltenham Council Health and Safety. No matter. Then the following day (Saturday the 5th) I'm doing this splendid-looking Tolkien panel, with the brilliant Brian Sibley, the marvellous Jane Johnson and thinking fantasy-reader's crumpet Joe Abercrombie:

Lord of the Rings regularly tops lists of the best books of all time, and is loved worldwide. But what makes it so special? Former Tolkien publisher Jane Johnson, and as Jude Fisher the writer of the visual companions to Peter Jackson’s films, is joined by author of The First Law trilogy Joe Abercrombie; by Brian Sibley, author of The Lord of the Rings film guides and co-adapter of the classic BBC Radio 4 serialisation, and by Adam Roberts, who’s homage to Tolkien, The Soddit was published last year.

So: the Soddit is ten years old now, give or take. And that should be 'whose', not 'who's'. But whose counting? I mean 'who's'?

It would be very nice to see you there. But if you don't come, I won't cry. I'll understand. I won't cry on the outside, at any rate.

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Sibilant Fricative: Cover Reveal

By Adam Roberts | September 17, 2013
Categories: Book News

Courtesy of the estimable Ian Whates, here is the cover for my upcoming collection of Essays and Reviews, soon to be published by Newcon Press (also check out the like-named blog). GASP AT MY BEAUTY, O WORLD! GASP, I SAY!

2 Comments to-date;

Mummy, He’s Making Eyes At Me

By Adam Roberts | September 17, 2013
Categories: Book News

Pornokitsch have posted the TOC and pre-order details for the newest Jurassic London anthology, The Book of the Dead. And it's (if you'll pardon the phrase) A Monster:

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Some Words from an Egyptologist" by John J. Johnston (Egypt Exploration Society)
"Ramesses on the Frontier" by Paul Cornell
"Escape from the Mummy's Tomb" by Jesse Bullington
"Old Souls" by David Thomas Moore
"Her Heartbeat, An Echo" by Lou Morgan
"Mysterium Tremendum" by Molly Tanzer
"Tollund" by Adam Roberts
"The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn't, The Mummy that Was and the Cat in the Jar" by Gail Carriger
"The Cats of Beni Hasan" by Jenni Hill
"Cerulean Memories" by Maurice Broaddus
"Inner Goddess" by Michael West
"The Roof of the World" by Sarah Newton
"Henry" by Glen Mehn
"The Dedication of Sweetheart Abbey" by David Bryher
"All is Dust" by Den Patrick
"Bit-U-Men" by Maria Dahvana Headley
"Egyptian death and the afterlife: mummies (Rooms 62-3)" by Jonathan Green
"Akhenaten Goes to Paris" by Louis Greenberg
"The Thing of Wrath" by Roger Luckhurst
"Three Memories of Death" by Will Hill

Illustrated by Garen Ewing
Edited by Jared Shurin

More information here.

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By Adam Roberts | September 14, 2013
Categories: Book News


Coming out 16 Jan 2014! Also with oodles of intrinsic Mahendra Singh goodness:

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Space, Time, Machine and Monster

By Adam Roberts | September 10, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

I am appearing at what the good people at Literature Wales are pleased to call a "sci fi, fantasy and horror festival" at the Riverfront in Newport, 18-19 October. But I won't be alone, oh no! Also appearing are: Alastair Reynolds Large As Life And Twice As Natural; Tim Lebbon; Jon Chase; Mark Brake; the incomparable Graham Joyce; Yomi Ayeni; Dimitra Fimi; Rhianna Pratchett; Gwyneth Lewis; Mark Morris; Steve Volk; Louis Savy; Gwilym Games; Steve Bond; Dan Dan the Anthony Man; the delectable Jasper Fforde; the mighty Ben Aaronovitch; Horatio Clare; Catherine Fisher; Huw Aaron; Turnip Starfish (yes, really); Catherine Bray and Sarwat Chadda [you can see the full list of people appearing, and their bios, here]. That's a pretty impressive list of names! Since it's not alphabetical, I assume it's in order either of importance -- which, since they squeeze me in between Louis Savy and Gwilym Games, is fair enough -- or of Welshness, in which case I think I am entitled to feel a little snubbed. Still. I'm excited to be going!

Details of the festival, and of how to book and so on, are here. Come! I insist.

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Sir Niallalot Reviews

By Adam Roberts | September 5, 2013
Categories: Reviews, Short Fiction

Niall Alexander (@niallalot on Twitter) has reviewed Robots for the Tor.Com blog. It's a thoughtful, interesting review, with some positive and some negative things to say. He calls the book overall a 'difficult, if intermittently excellent (and certainly representative) collection'. Can't say fairer than that. One thing particularly piqued my interest:

Some of the science fiction collected herein is stunning, as essential as it is eclectic, but perhaps an equal quantity of it can be summarised thusly: here’s an idea. Isn’t it interesting? Next!

I take the force of this latter criticism, directed (of course) at me. But part of me thinks: I've read a thousand collections of SF short fiction that, in effect, do precisely that. Perhaps it (the logic thumbnailed in Alexander's pithy phrase) is part of the problematic of short SF itself? Or is that just me trying to wriggle free from under the butterfly pin? Either way, Here’s an idea. Isn’t it interesting? Next! strikes me as an excellent title for a collection of science fiction short stories, and I may appropriate it for future use.


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Riddleses of the Hobbitses

By Adam Roberts | September 5, 2013
Categories: Book News

It seems the proofs of this book (due out December this year) have arrived in the Palgrave office; though they have yet to make their way out to me. Exciting!

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On the 23 November I’ll Be Talking. In a Library! (shhh!)

By Adam Roberts | August 21, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Adam Roberts: "Can science fiction become science fact?" at Guildford library

23 November 2013 13:30-15:00

Guildford Library
77 North Street

General information
Science fiction is all about imagining the future but how successful have past writers been and how realistic are the imaginings of contemporary sci-fi writers? Have they achieved a realistic vision or are their works implausible? Science fiction novelist, Adam Roberts, examines the issues.

Adam teaches English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. In April this year, the University of Lincoln’s Department of English hosted an international conference on Adam’s writing.

Intended for ages 14 and above.

Tickets are £5, including refreshments.

Book online using debit or credit cards.

Telephone credit/debit card bookings on 01483 543599. A small handling charge may apply.

Tickets can also be bought in person from Guildford library.
For ticket sales:-

webpage info:-

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Dozois 2013

By Adam Roberts | August 12, 2013
Categories: Book News, Short Fiction

Gardner Dozois's 30th collection of the Best SF of the year is out. It contains a story by me, but (to quote Paul McAuley, who has two stories in the volume), 'don't let that put you off.' I might as well go on quoting Paul, actually:

Gardner says: 'Every year is special, because every year good new writers come along, and every year the older writers continue to do really good work. It's exciting to watch the field evolve, and I don't think the overall level of literary quality in science fiction has ever been higher-and I've been watching the field for a long time.'

Some fun facts:
Annual editions of this anthology have been published continuously since 1984. At a rough count, the series as a whole has contained about 9,500,000 words of fiction, by hundreds of different authors. It has won the Locus Award for Best Anthology seventeen times, more than any other anthology series in history. Gardner Dozois has won fifteen Hugo Awards as Year's Best Editor, and has been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Robert Silverberg said of the series 'The Dozois book is the definitive historical record of the history of the science-fiction short story' and called it "a wondrous treasure trove of great stories and an archive that has immeasurable historical significance." George R.R. Martin said 'The best that science fiction has to offer, chosen by the most respected editor in the field. A copy belongs on the shelf of every SF reader.'

Here's the TOC, if you're interested; and you can buy it here. I don't know when it'll be out in the UK.

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Adam Robots Reader

By Adam Roberts | August 5, 2013
Categories: Book News, Short Fiction

Wait, that cover splash is not right.

That's better. Well, my collection of short fiction was published. It has been variously reviewed, and I have been unsystematic about gathering notices together. But here is one I saw today, by Niall Harrison, that tall man, on the Strange Horizons blog:

Thesis: Adam Roberts is distinctive among contemporary sf writers not just because he writes unashamed ideas-fiction, but because he writes unashamed old ideas-fiction. There aren’t many novums here you won’t have seen before, from the Adamic robot of the title to the various kinds of immortality, the ethics-modifying substances to the time travel devices. That’s perhaps true of much of the field, and yet by and large Roberts doesn’t pursue either of the common strategies for dealing with it, or even give much indication that he sees it as a problem; he doesn’t really write multi-novum stories, and his worlds are often too streamlined to be fully immersive. So in what ways do the stories here work? First, I think Roberts is getting extremely good at structure; his stories vary widely in length and register, from a very effectively fragmented tale like “A Prison Term of a Thousand Years” (2008), which at four pages is in no danger of outstaying its welcome, to a near-novella-length piece like “Anticopernicus” (2010), which uses its duration to invest its Fermi Paradox-riff with psychological and thematic complexity. Second, his writing is precise and often funny, with its now-familiar precise yet fussy-fidgety style. And third the absence of immersion is actually often freeing, used as a prompt to encourage critical reading and reflection. Some of my favourite stories are the most meta-referential, such as “Wonder: A Story in Two” (2007), which explicitly investigates the notion of conceptual breakthrough, and is echoed by “Dennis Bayle: A Life” (2013), a review of an imaginary book filled with imaginary books that asserts and (I think) disproves the notion that sense-of-wonder requires “novelistic momentum.” Most of the pieces here didn’t get much attention on their first publication -- there are few Year’s Best alumni, and no award nominees -- but Adam Robots demonstrates that Roberts can be as effective in the short form as in the long.

Finally, Pete Young sent me the following photo, with the following message: 'my son Miles is 4 next week, loves robots and rockets, which is a good start. When he saw the cover of Adam Robots, he went for it... I've been trying to get him started on something a little less high-concept, but this time he insisted.' I say: give me a child until he is 4, and I shall make him a Robot Jesuit! Or words to that effect.

What's that? You want to know how to get hold of a copy? All good bookshops, my friend! All good bookshops. Also: (kindle or ppbk). Also, only one month until makes kindle or ppbk available to Americans! But, really, my first suggestion would be: all good bookshops.

2 Comments to-date;

… back. In Black. And White. And Red (with pleasure) All Over.

By Adam Roberts | August 5, 2013
Categories: Awards

Apologies for the way this site fell into silence. It was probably a stunned silence -- Jack Glass won the BSFA and Campbell awards, and I was as amazed as I was delighted. I have the trophies sitting on my mantlepiece now, and it's taken me a while to gather my chin from the floor. But I promise to blog more assiduously from hereon in.

1 Comment so far

2013 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Shortlist

By Adam Roberts | May 19, 2013
Categories: Awards

I could not be more delighted to have made the (very strong) 2013 John W. Campbell Memorial Award shortlist:

The Hydrogen Sonata, Iain M. Banks (Orbit)
Any Day Now, Terry Bisson (Overlook)
Existence, David Brin (Tor)
The Rapture of the Nerds, Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross (Tor)
Empty Space, M. John Harrison (Gollancz; Night Shade ’13)
Intrusion, Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey)
The Fractal Prince, Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz; Tor)
Blue Remembered Earth, Alastair Reynolds (Ace)
Jack Glass: The Story of a Murderer, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
Slow Apocalypse, John Varley (Ace)
Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson (Grove Press)

The award, for best SF novel, will be presented during the Campbell Conference, to be held July 13-16, 2013 at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence KS.

I wish I could go, but on the 14th I'm giving a TEDx talk at the Houses of Parliament. Still; to be on the same list as Empty Space, Intrusion, The Fractal Prince, Blue Remembered Earth, 2312, Alif the Unseen and the rest is enormously flattering, and an honour.

4 Comments to-date;

The Lowest Heaven

By Adam Roberts | May 9, 2013
Categories: Book News

That book to which the Robots version of Adam contributed a story? It's The Lowest Heaven, edited by Jared 'The Man' Shurin and Anne 'The Woman' Perry; it'll be launched June 13th and the Royal Observatory are taking pre-orders now. Oh, it's a good collection. It's a very very good collection.

Anne Perry's middle name isn't actually 'The Woman', by the way. It's 'C.' Just to clear that up.

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Bilim Kurgu Tarihi

By Adam Roberts | May 7, 2013
Categories: Book News

Turkish publisher Bilim ve Gelecek Kitapligi (Google translate leads me to believe the name means: 'the Library of Science and the Future') of Istanbul have just acquired the translation rights to my Palgrave History of Science Fiction. Hurrah!

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Publishers Weekly choose Jack Glass as one of their ‘Books of Summer 2013’

By Adam Roberts | May 7, 2013
Categories: Book News, Reviews

Which is nice of them.

In an interview with PW, Roberts says that he set out to write a new kind of whodunit, where the murderer’s name is revealed on page one yet is still a surprise to the reader at the end. He succeeds admirably with this three-part SF mystery, which just won the BSFA Award. Its eponymous antihero has various escapades while keeping dangerous technological secrets from falling into the wrong hands.

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