SF of 2015: The Thing Itself (2015) by Adam Roberts

TheThingItself

I seem to have a knack for complementary book serendipity, so naturally I would commit to reading Philip K. Dick’s snaky and reality-dissecting output, including his delusional Exegesis, around the same time as the release of Adam Roberts’ latest, Kitschies-nominated novel, The Thing Itself (2015). Among other things, The Thing Itself has helped me to understand Dick’s delusional approach to reality better than The Exegesis ever could, for although the Gollancz cover and blurb would have you believe this is Roberts’ The Thing or Who Goes There? tribute– and it’s there, it’s there– the foundational strand of the The Thing Itself is much more Dickian in nature, in tone, and in the way it messes with the reader’s head.

There’s the scene where reality appears to slip away from the protagonist during a peak moment of suspense:
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The 2015 Blewgo Awards! It’s not what you think!

Welcome to the 2015 Blewgo Awards! As in, I blew it for not reading these 2014 buzzed-about SF novels sooner. It sounds like it might be a porn award, but it’s not!

The shortlist was determined by me, based on an unscientific selection of novels I neglected during my 2014-novel reading extravaganza but remained implanted in my memory for whatever reason.

The 2015 Blewgo Award ceremony was held on Saturday night, in my kitchen, over a bowl of soup. The guests of honor were a couple of moths bodyslamming the window, and a gecko that wanted to eat those moths. It was an intimate affair.

The winner was determined by a panel of me. Continue reading

Jack Glass (2012) by Adam Roberts

JackGlass1Following the antics of one Adam Roberts on Twitter, and on his blog Sibilant Fricative, has impelled me to purchase a few of his many, numerous, (rushed?) novels. (For the writer hopefuls out there, Twitter inanity does, apparently, work, as a soft marketing technique.) (But only if it involves puns.) Because his latest, well-received novel Bête is not yet available in my realm (argh), I selected Jack Glass as my first Roberts read. This 2012 BSFA Best Novel is described as a (sort of) riff on the (sort of) Jack the Ripper phenomenon, (in space!), while employing Golden Age crime and sci-fi tropes. This sounds right up my galactic alley!

 

Would you like some pastiche with your genre? Continue reading