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

Farmer Roberts

By Adam Roberts | January 31, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Into London today for lunch with my editor, the excellent Simon Spanton. No sooner had I stepped into his office than he was mocking my jacket + hat combo, to the point of taking a photo and posting the result to twitter along with a mock-ish tagline. You'll have to follow that link if you want to see the picture. For some reason wordpress won't let me upload it here.

1 Comment so far

New Genre Army call for papers

By Adam Roberts | January 30, 2013
Categories: Events and Appearances

Papers are invited for the first international conference on the work of British writer Adam Roberts.

This event aims to bring together scholars, critics, writers and fans for the first academic conference dedicated to the literature and ideas of Adam Roberts. Papers are welcome on any topic related to Roberts’ writing from academics, researchers, fans, and anyone else interested. Topics might include, but are not limited to: -‘High-Concept SF’ and the Novel of Ideas

-Writing science fiction in the 21st Century: responsibilities and challenges
-Military SF, Political SF, Philosophical SF
-Britishness / British humour, sarcasm, style
-Utopia and Dystopia
-Unreliable Narrators
-Heroes and Antiheroes
-Postmodernism: Metafiction and Intertextuality
-Writing under nicknames: alternative writer identities
-Propaganda, Deception, Conspiracy Theories
-‘Practicing what you preach’: writing fiction with an academic background
-The role of technology
-Cynicism and Satire
-Depictions of Britain
-Dictators, Mass-Murderers, Criminals
-Crime Fiction in Science Fiction, Genre within Genre, and beyond Genre
-Space Colonization and Galactic Empires
-Pop Culture and Parody
-Alternative History

The conference welcomes proposals for individual papers and panels from any discipline and theoretical perspective. Please send a title and 300-500 word abstract for a 20 minute paper along with your name, affiliation and 100 word professional biography to by 15th February 2013.

The conference is organised by Christos Callow, PhD candidate, Department of English, University of Lincoln and Dr Caroline Edwards, Lecturer in English, Department of English, University of Lincoln. The conference is sponsored by Gylphi: Arts and Humanities Publisher and the English Department of the University of Lincoln.

New Genre Army: An International Conference on the Writing of Adam Roberts

Friday 5th April 2013, Department of English, University of Lincoln

Sponsored by Gylphi: Arts and Humanities Publisher and the University of Lincoln. Part of the Gylphi Contemporary Writers series

Keynote Speakers: Professor Farah Mendlesohn (Anglia Ruskin University) Dr. Andrew M. Butler (Canterbury Christ Church University)

Response and Q&A from Adam Roberts

For more information or to respond to the call please contact:

Christos Callow
University of Lincoln

Dr. Caroline Edwards
University of Lincoln


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News for January: BSFA Award Nom! Kitschies Nom! Nom-nom!

By Adam Roberts | January 30, 2013
Categories: Awards

I'm always a bit leery of posting website material during pre-awards season, for fear of seeming appearing to pimp my stuff, but there has been news.

First, I am delighted and pleased and indeed stunnedelighted that Jack Glass has been shortlisted in the BSFA Award Best Novel category. The winners will be announced at EightSquared, the 2013 Eastercon, Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford this Easter; I'm genuinely sorry that I won't be able to be there to congratulate Mike Harrison in person, but Steve Baxter has kindly agreed to stand-in for me in the unlikely event that my novel etc etc.

Secondly: the same day I was staggerghasted to discover that Jack Glass has also been shortlisted for the Kitschies Red Tentacle. The winner of this will be announced on Tuesday, 26 February at the Free Word Centre, London; and I hope to be there.

This double honour has genuinely delighted me.


PS: On the subject of self-promotion versus awards-pimpage, this is what I tweeted a week or so back on the matter:

[1] re: awards pimpage, and to be clear: I have no problem with self-promotion, as anyone who follows my twitter feed will know.

[2] Self promotion is about making people aware of your books. Awards pimpage is something else: it's about trying to win yourself awards.

[3] The downside of self-promotion is that it may annoy people. The downside of awards pimpage is that it corrupts awards themselves ...

[4] ... turning them into prizes for Most Effective Self Promotion, rather than prizes for the best book. That hurts everybody.

I'm a bit stuck with this self-defeating Christopher-Tietjens-esque attitude that awards should be given to the best book/story/whatever, rather than to the Most Effective Self-Promoter. It's a hopeless struggle, I accept: but there you go.

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By Adam Roberts | January 16, 2013
Categories: Book News

Buy yours today! (Also available in superrobotic kindle format*).

[*'superrobotic' kindle is exactly the same as regular kindle. Value of short stories may go down as well as up. £6.99 in ebook format. Pirates will incur my displeasure.]

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Scrooge – Ein Zombie-Weihnachtsmärchen

By Adam Roberts | December 7, 2012
Categories: Book News

Sie können kaufen Sie dieses Buch für alle deutschsprachigen Freunde.


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20 Trillion Leagues Under the Sea: Cover

By Adam Roberts | December 6, 2012
Categories: Book News

Amazon have this down for release October 2013; don't know if that's right -- but I do know that (a) the cover is a beauty, m'hearties, and that (b) the book, when it emerges, will be adorned by a plethora of absolutely gorgeous illustrations by Mahendra Singh. Not the cricketer, no. The artist! Really -- if you don't know his Hunting of the Snark artwork then you're missing one of the great treats of the internet. That he is my friend doesn't, I think, disqualify me from insisting that he is one of the most distinctive, most evocative and simply best illustrators at work anywhere today. There's something about his combination of 19th-century precision-gravure and his surrealist or otherwise imaginatively-unfettered modernity of idiom that just knocks the top of my head off.

I'm really honoured that I've been able to collaborate with him on this project.

As for the story, well it's come a long way from this jumping-off-point, as the third of six possible Verne sequel/update/metatext/doojabs. The core idea is the same but the details have largely changed.

3 Comments to-date;

NMA: Movie News

By Adam Roberts | December 5, 2012
Categories: Book News

I'm delighted that MUSE films have optioned New Model Army. It is, I think, one of my two best novels, one of the things I'm proudest of writing, and although I know full well that only a tiny fraction of books optioned by film production companies ever actually make it to the Big Screen, nonetheless I've found the whole process fascinating. If it has done nothing else, this experience has given me the chance to hang out with the brilliant Chris Hanley, and talk film and filmmaking with him, which has been wonderful. Beyond that I got to write a treatment of my own novel, to see what a film option contract looked like, and to play the Imaginary Casting game. Hurrah!

3 Comments to-date;


By Adam Roberts | December 2, 2012
Categories: Book News

Appearing in an anthology of short stories alongside Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Hanif Kureishi and many others? Really? Why, it appears to be true.

And is it for sale? Yes: buy direct from the publishers at that last link, or from amazon here.

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By Adam Roberts | November 15, 2012
Categories: Events and Appearances

University of Lincoln's Department of English will be hosting New Genre Army: An International Conference on the Writing of Adam Roberts in April 2013. Farah Mendlesohn and Andrew M Butler are key-noting; follow that link for the official call for papers (if you're thinking of giving a paper). I'll be there, trying somehow to overcome my embarrassment at being the centre of attention. Ahem!

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Resurrection Engines

By Adam Roberts | November 9, 2012
Categories: Book News

Snowbooks say this was published on the 1st Nov, but a little bird tells me the issue date has been moved to the 1st December. Soon, though! Also, the 'sixteen' tales you can see on the other end of that publisher's site link has been distilled down to a more focussed fifteen, as you can see above. Buy, or preorder, from amazon, or direct from the publishers. Or would you prefer it that your engines do NOT resurrect? That'd be harsh. Here's the TOC, since you ask so nicely:

'The Soul-Eaters of Raveloe' by Alison Littlewood
'A Journey To The Centre Of The Moon' by Alan K. Baker
'She-Who-Thinks-For-Herself' by Juliet E. McKenna
'The Great Steam Time Machine' by Brian Herbert & Bruce Taylor
'Silver Selene' by Philip Palmer
'White Fangoria' by Roland Moore
'The God Of All Machines' by Scott Harrison
'The Crime Of The Ancient Mariner' by Adam Roberts
'There Leviathan' by Jonathan Green
'The Island Of Peter Pandora' by Kim Lakin-Smith
'The Ghost Of Christmas Sideways' by Simon Bucher-Jones
'Talented Witches' by Paul Magrs
'Fairest Of Them All' by Cavan Scott
'Tidewrack Medusa' by Rachel E. Pollock
'Robin Hood And The Eater Of Worlds' by Jim Mortimore

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Jack Sticla

By Adam Roberts | November 8, 2012
Categories: Book News

That's (... dacă nu mă înșel ...) the Romanian for Jack Glass. I'm very pleased indeed to announce that a Romanian translation of my novel will be appearing late 2013, perhaps 2014, from the exciting publishing house of Editura Trei. As far as I'm concerned this is one of the most significant things to happen in that part of the world since 1859 when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza. Other people may have a more grounded perspective on the matter. Still, bravo! Or as they say in Romania: 'bravo!'

8 Comments to-date;


By Adam Roberts | November 7, 2012
Categories: Reviews

A couple of links. Theresa Derwin from the esteemed BSFG reviewed Jack Glass for the society newsletters. An excerpt:

Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, Jack Glass is another superlative performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain. Imbued with humour, clever tricks and a language that sparkles, Jack Glass is a masterpiece of storytelling; rather than being the traditional whodunit, it is a ‘how and when’ he did it. There is currently an argument within genre fiction such as SF, Horror and Fantasy, that it is not ‘literary’. Well, I encourage any reviewers or readers of the genre to find otherwise, especially with this extraordinary novel and with Roberts work in general. Roberts is an SF powerhouse, and a force to be reckoned with in the genre.

'Best SF Group' indeed! In another part of the planet, the most excellent Miriam Burtsein, The Little Professor herself, has reviewed I Am Scrooge:

My first impulse was to describe Adam Roberts' I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas as a "charming concoction." Except that the book has multiple graphic incidents of various people having their faces chewed off by zombies, which I suspect most readers would not find charming. Impaled, blasted, and bludgeoned zombies are probably also low on most charm meters. And yet...despite the zombocalyptic goings-on, this novel's essentially lighthearted approach to its blood-and-guts (OK, brain-and-guts) subject matter is, well, charming.

I Am Pleased!

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Tolkiens biggest heroes as are the hobbits have the world conquered

By Adam Roberts | October 10, 2012
Categories: Book News

It appears I have an essay in this promising looking collection.

4 Comments to-date;

Reissue News 2: Soddit

By Adam Roberts | September 22, 2012
Categories: Book News

The other exciting reissue news is the original A.R.R.R.Roberts title, The Soddit, in this handsome new livery. In two sizes, no less! Two! Soddit and Sodditto.

3 Comments to-date;

Reissue News 1. Charles Dickens says

By Adam Roberts | September 22, 2012
Categories: Book News

... 'buy this book!'. Not really, of course, he's dead. But were he alive today Dickens would surely say: 'wait ... what strange realm is this? How are these carriages drawn through the streets sans horse? What keeps those speeding silver craft in the sky?' and so on. He probably wouldn't say anything about I Am Scrooge, now reissued for Christmas. That's not even the real Charles Dickens. It's a miniature plastic one. Look at his feet!

In other news, Sainsbury is selling "I Am Scrooge by Sir Adam Roberts". So you could buy that one as well.

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The Hobbit at 75

By Adam Roberts | September 21, 2012
Categories: Events and Appearances

Jane Johnson, Brian Sibley, David Brawn and I will be talking about "The Hobbit" at the British Library tonight, 6:30-8pm: why don't you come along?

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Chet for the win

By Adam Roberts | September 18, 2012
Categories: Book News

Yesterday's rather vulgarly pluggy post went against the grain, rather, if I'm honest. I'll be a touch more circumspect today in this, another post catching up on stuff of mine that has appeared over the summer. The first thing is to direct you to the site of the excellent Pandemonium press, run by good people, and with its heart in the right place ('Pandemonium books are released as both limited editions and ebooks, with a portion of all proceeds from our sales going towards charitable causes'). The next thing is to point you in the direction of their Novelettes (scroll down). There I am!

I wrote a story about a trip to the moon, a lunar adventure, an encounter with strange aliens (all that). Then I bethought me of the good old days when my novels were called things like Salt, On, W and !. Now there was a naming convention! Accordingly I named my new novelette An account of a voyage from World to World again, by way of the Moon, 1726, in the Commission of Georgius Rex Primus, Monarch of Northern Europe and Lord of Selenic Territories, Defender of the Faith. Undertaken by Captain Wm. Chetwin aboard the Cometes Georgius. I think this might catch on, as a new novel-naming convention.

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Saucy Jack, he’s a haughty one, saucy Jack, he’s a naughty one

By Adam Roberts | September 17, 2012
Categories: Book News

Buy from:; other retailers; kobo ebooks.

So, how've you been?

Yes, yes, it's been a while. I shall keep things more up to date around here from now on, I promise -- starting with this post about my latest novel Jack Glass. This is pure plug. Impure semi-plug and other posts to follow.

Anyway, this is the book with, by general opinion, the nicest cover of any of my novels (thank you, Blacksheep). More, according to the entirely disinterested opinion of, er, my wife, it's my best novel yet. You wouldn't want to call my wife a liar, now, would you? Less subjectively it is a mash-up Golden Age SF space opera and Golden Age whodunit. If you don't like those two things then you won't like this, but if you do like them, then ... who knows? Maybe my wife is right. Here's one reader's opinion: from a certain N. O. Tasockpuppet: 'This is most excellent stuff, this triptych of "locked-room mysteries". Inspired by both the "Golden Age of Sci-Fi" and similarly classic whodunits, Adam Roberts has fashioned a Space Opera that satisfies both the imagination and the intellect.' See?

There have been a few published reviews as well, and I'll run briefly through them. To start with the less than enthusiastic: Saxon Bullock, at SFX, was lukewarm -- the review isn't online, I'm afraid, but in a nutshell it was: 'this is a book in three parts; it's good but the first part is exceptionally good so the whole thing doesn't really work, 3 stars out of 5'. Which is hard to argue with. The estimable Guy Haley, despite opening his review with one of the nicest things I've ever read about myself ('Roberts' books are truly difficult to rate, because there isn't anything else like them in the modern SF genre') overall blows as cool as he does hot about the novel. And the great Christopher Priest reviewed the book in The Guardian. It's a review that's difficult to excerpt, and, as you'll see if you click the link, manages to be both positive and rather puzzled and negative at the same time. I tend to the view that it's as close as Priest will come to a dithyrambic review of my writing, given the parameters of his Reviewer's Voice, and his mixed reaction to my writing more generally. But maybe I'm fooling myself.

Other reviews are more straightforwardly positive. Niall Alexander at calls it 'magnificent' (' ... perfectly plotted, winningly worded, and as rewarding, despite everything, as anything you’re apt to read this year, this trifecta of golden age goodness is yet another example of Adam Roberts’ tremendous talents').

Paul di Filippo says nice things about my writing, and this novel, in a locusonline review; wondering as he goes why 'Roberts’s books slide under everyone’s radar, consumer and reviewer alike ... drastically ignored by peers (no Nebula nominations) and fans (no Hugo nominations). But why? His work is always elegantly written, thought-provoking, suspenseful, ingeniously speculative and deftly plotted. He knows the history of the field inside and out (having written a big critical history of our lineage). He honors mainstream fiction as well. I find his characters eminently lifelike, his tone droll and acerbic and yet not insensitive to common human passions. In short, he seems the very model of a modern SF writer.'

Harry Ritchie, at the Daily Mail, says: 'The ingenuity factor is impressive enough, but this is a novel that also manages to shift our sympathy towards the infamous culprit, as we discover not only who done it and how but why, for this is a mightily oppressive future where trillions are governed by a dictatorial elite and capitalism at its rawest. Startlingly clever - a maestro’s performance.'

Liviu Siciu, over at Fantasy Book Critic: '[To say] "it is an extraordinary novel" is quite the understatement. A top 10 novel of 2012 for me.'

The Material Witness blog wasn't sure what to say: 'It's been about a month since I raced through Jack Glass in the space of 24 hours, and the reason it's taken me this long to review it is that I simply haven't been able to figure out how to write about it. That has nothing to do with the writing of Adam Roberts, which is exquisite throughout - smart, witty and addictive - nor the brilliance of Jack Glass, which is a fascinating, compelling and challenging tale of personality, politics and socio-economics. I have enjoyed no novel more during 2012.'

John Clute has some spontaneous jactitations over at Strange Horizons. he breaks open the R S Thomas (that great poet), amongst other things.

And finally, the hugely perceptive and rather neglected critic Dan Hartland, despite making cruel aspersions about my male pattern baldness ('... and between you and me, my hair is thinning a bit ...'), says some very interesting things.

8 Comments to-date;


By Adam Roberts | July 5, 2012
Categories: Book News

Ian Whates, that excellent man, has just sent this through; the cover-art for the forthcoming Solaris Rising 1.5, including a story from me. Runs, ahem, rings around most short-story-collections cover art.

1 Comment so far

Next Stop, Utop

By Adam Roberts | July 3, 2012
Categories: Events and Appearances

This is where I'm at for the next few days:

13th International Conference
Tarragona, 4th-7th July 2012

I'll be giving the opening keynote; very exciting. There's a wine reception afterwards!

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Adam Robots

By Adam Roberts | June 22, 2012
Categories: Book News

That thing Keats said about a thing of beauty? It applies here.

This is the latest iteration of the cover for my forthcoming Collected Short Stories, which Gollancz are putting out next year. It is, in a nutshell, yet another blinder played by the genius people at Blacksheep. I'm very conscious how lucky I have been with my cover art, and each of the last few (all Blacksheep designs) have upped the bar. I didn't think it was possible to get any better than the cover for Jack Glass, but this comes close to topping it.

4 Comments to-date;

Resurrection Engines

By Adam Roberts | April 30, 2012
Categories: Book News

Nice cover! Who's inside?

"The anthology will feature sixteen brand new stories from some of the most exciting names writing in genre fiction today, and will be Steampunk ‘reimaginings’ or ‘retellings’ of classic works of literary fiction. Below is a list of the authors contributing to the book, along with their chosen literary work. "Resurrection Engines: Sixteen Extraordinary Tales of Scientific Romance" will be published in hardback on June 30th, then released in paperback in time for Christmas!"

01 - Brian Herbert & Bruce Taylor (H.G. Wells)
02 - Lavie Tidhar (Alice in Wonderland)
03 - Adam Roberts (Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
04 - Philip Palmer (Wilkie Collins)
05 - Juliet E. McKenna (H. Rider Haggard)
06 – Jonathan Green (Moby Dick)
07 - Alan K. Baker (Journey to the Centre of the Earth)
08 – Roland Moore (White Fang)
09 - Scott Harrison (Jekyll & Hyde)
10 - Alison Littlewood (Silas Marner)
11 - Jim Mortimore (Robin Hood)
12 – Cavan Scott (Snow White)
13 – Kim Lakin-Smith (Peter Pan / The Island of Doctor Moreau)
14 – Paul Magrs (Wuthering Heights)
15 – Simon Bucher-Jones (A Christmas Carol)
16 – Rachel E. Pollock (Treasure Island)

Comes out on my birthday, which is nice.

1 Comment so far

Martin Citywit

By Adam Roberts | March 30, 2012
Categories: Short Fiction

Captures my mood rather well at the moment, actually: artwork by the estimable Gary Northfield based on a short story of mine called 'Martin Citywit' which will be appearing in Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke, a collection of SF shorts based on Dickens and edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin. The book is out soon, and you should buy it, for a portion of proceeds will go to PEN, which is a very good cause. But more proximately, you should pop over to the Pornokitsch site right now and take part in the auction. Gary N. has very generously donated all the half-dozen illustrations he did for the volume; and they are things of beauty indeed. Bid, I bid ye! Bid!

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Heman Chong

By Adam Roberts | March 20, 2012
Categories: Chitchat

A friend sent me the link to the latest Rossi & Rossi exhibition: some splendid, beautiful canvases by Heman Chong, a snip at £2300, including the Headless and Snow images, below. Speaking as an author: I'm flattered to be included in such company, and to have provoked such fine art.

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Vec-tor and the Snow-Dog

By Adam Roberts | February 18, 2012
Categories: Non-Fiction

The new Vector is out; and the obscure music-related pun in this post title, up there, is my way of indicating that I've an article in it: 'On Science Fiction Music', pp22-28. Worth the price of admission on its own, I'd say.

2 Comments to-date;


By Adam Roberts | February 16, 2012
Categories: Events and Appearances

Come along, why don't you? Saturday 25th Feb, Senate House in central London, from 2pm: entrance is free.

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Odd Strange Fantasy

By Adam Roberts | February 16, 2012
Categories: Book News

You wait for ages for a book to come along containing a contribution from yourself, and then three come along all at once. First, the Gollancz Masterworks reissue of Stapledon's Odd John (1935) with a new introduction by Y.T.:

Fishbowltastic cover, I think, though of limited relevance to the actual story. Then there's Keith Brooke's anthology of original critical essays Strange Divisions and Alien Territories: the Sub-Genres of Science Fiction (Palgrave 2012), containing my essay on SF and Religion called 'Does God Need a Starship?'.

And finally, The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature (edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn). I contributed the 'Gothic and Horror Fiction' essay to that one:

So in sum: odd; strange; fantastic.

2 Comments to-date;

Jack Glass Cover

By Adam Roberts | February 7, 2012
Categories: Book News

I've known about this for a while, and now that's it's been officially announced (on the Victor Gollancz website) I can go public. This is the cover for Jack Glass; my favourite, I think, of all my covers. To quote Aishwarya (a real person with a twitter account; although also, confusingly, a character in Jack Glass): 'Okay, wow. I see @arrroberts' run of great covers continues.' It's true!

Click, as they say, to embiggen.

9 Comments to-date;

University of Kent at Canterbury Reading

By Adam Roberts | January 29, 2012
Categories: Events and Appearances

I'm giving one of the University of Kent at Canterbury 'CREATIVE WRITING TUESDAY READINGS' (6 pm; £2 entry; Darwin College Senior Common Room) next Tuesday (31st Jan). I grew up in Canterbury, so I'm really looking forward to this event.

3 Comments to-date;

2012 BSFA Awards

By Adam Roberts | January 24, 2012
Categories: Awards

I'm immensely pleased and honoured that By Light Alone has been shortlisted for the 2012 BSFA Award for Best Novel. The shortlist is a very strong one, this year:

Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith (Newcon Press)
Embassytown by China Mieville (Macmillan)
The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)
By Light Alone by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
Osama by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

BSFA members and attendees at Eastercon can vote, the winners being announced at Olypmus 2012, this year's Eastercon. It's a tricky call deciding which of that list is best: I don't envy you having to make your decisions!

4 Comments to-date;

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