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review 2016-12-02 00:00
The Thing Itself
The Thing Itself - Adam Roberts “That was the last time I saw that aircraft.” ‘Sophie’s World’ plus monsters. Kantian philosophy is the MacGuffin but wait, come back, it’s also got a John Carpenter ‘The Thing’ inflected opening. So say all the reviews but…it’s a very tenuous connection to ‘The Thing’ (they’re in Antarctica and there are some scares) and despite leveraging Kant this is just a novel about someone who manages to lift the veil on reality, becomes dangerous and goes on the run. No, it’s two *other* features of this rollicking chase novel that elevate Adam Roberts – a writer I knew nowt about – to must-explore-back-catalogue status: the throwaway humour (“Size?”/ “I’d say she’s a sixteen.”/“*Your* size…”) and the balls-to-the-wall storytelling verve. Mysterious institutes, pursuit by security forces, an AI reminiscent of ‘Box’ from ‘Starcops’, a bad guy with some seriously scary abilities…this is way more fun than any novel featuring Kantian philosophy has a right to be. It ends with a discussion outside of time and space that smacks a little too much of that scene with the Architect in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ but really any writer who can toggle between Thomas De Quincey in one chapter and modern dating perils in the next deserves your time. Plus if you’re sick of militant atheism this novel has one or two ideas that may pique your interest. The ideas eventually overwhelm the pulp adventuring but Roberts has won you over long before any Nurofen is required.
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text 2016-11-01 14:56
Jews vs Zombies
Jews vs Omnibus: Jews vs Aliens and Jews vs Zombies - Naomi Alderman,Daniel Polansky,Sarah Lotz,Shimon Adaf,Rachel Swirsky,Eric Kaplan,Rebecca Levene,Lavie Tidhar,Sarah Anne Langton

So that happened! 


For whatever reason, I ending up being assigned a bunch of Jewish science fiction (or science fiction written by Jewish writers, if you prefer) by my editor, which ended up being a fun mini-class. I picked this up as it's edited by the fabulous Lavie Tidhar. His A Man Lies Dreaming is one of those most bananas alt-history pulp meltdowns; it must be seen to be believed. 


I only read Jews vs Zombies, but BL doesn't have anything but the omnibus listed. Like most short story collections, it's a mix of better and worse. "Zayinim" by Adam Roberts is a standout, a sly alt-history that could easily keep going to novel length, given the richness of the detail. "The Scapegoat Factory" is funny, which one does not expect from zombie fiction, as is "the Friday People", but there the humor is black as pitch. The real Talmudic ones didn't work for me, too abstruse, but they may work for others. Definitely a better collection than the silly name implies. 


Ta da!

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review 2016-05-14 11:13
The Ding an Sich...
The Thing Itself - Adam Roberts

The three star rating is a temporary rating because this book will definitely need some pondering and possibly a reread or two.I have to admit to getting lost in the philosophical discussions and the several threads didn't help the flow of the novel for me personally. Everything tied up neatly at the end (I think) but this wasn't an easy book by any means.

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text 2016-05-06 06:47
Reading progress update: I've read 114 out of 352 pages.
The Thing Itself - Adam Roberts

This really isn't the book I thought it was going to be - it's way out there. I'm not sure I am enjoying it that much so far, It's jumping around too much for my taste but I am intrigued where it is going so, onwards...

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review 2016-02-02 07:51
Rave and Let Die - Adam Roberts
Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014 - Adam Roberts

I feel like his best pieces went into Sibilant Fricative: the reviews here are much shorter, for the most part, and less funny. The copyediting errors are much more glaring, too ("shoe-in", Roberts, really?).


Still enjoyed it, though.

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