The Thing Itself

by Adam Roberts

Science Fiction

LoveReading View on The Thing Itself

A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

It begins like a modern version of John Carpenter's sinister SF horror movie THE THING when two research scientists isolated in an Antarctic station stumble across unholy matters hitherto unknown to man and the ensuing catastrophe sees one fall into the clutches of lasting madness and illumination while the other is badly maimed both in body and soul. Decades later, the latter now a drunk and an abject failure is coopted by a mysterious institute to work for them and contact his former colleague now locked away in an asylum to revisit the theories that led to the polar mayhem, and his nightmare begins all over again. Involving PETA, a curious artificial intelligence, the Fermi paradox positing the existence of extraterrestrial life and the convoluted philosophical works of Kant, this complex novel of ideas fires wildly in all directions, with glances towards, of all people, James Joyce and Thomas de Quincey, in a serious attempt to elucidate the nature of reality. Mind-bending, ambitious but always a swift read, an important work of science fiction that will have you guessing all the way.

Maxim Jakubowski

The Thing Itself Synopsis

Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters' The Thing. Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love-letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book - by the philosopher Kant. As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. The come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.

The Thing Itself Press Reviews

'using lit-fic techniques and by not playing by the genre rules, [Roberts] rises to the challenge that Mitchell sets down' SFX

'The Thing Itself is evidence of Adam Roberts'
inimitable brilliance. Tor.com

'I do appreciate a novel that makes me think while also entertaining me. The Thing Itself marries the two to perfection. There is so much packed within these pages and, without doubt, it's one of those memorable novels that will stand to repeated readings over the passing of time. A book of the year for me, for sure.' For Winter's Nights

'Personally, I found it deeply fascinating...The closest reference point for me was Philip K. Dick's VALIS trilogy which fits in the same general literary area but The Thing Itself is definitely much more fun.' Upcoming 4 Me

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780575127722
Publication date: 17/12/2015
Publisher: Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780575127722
Publication date: 17th December 2015
Author: Adam Roberts
Publisher: Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback
Genres: Science Fiction,
Categories:

About Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts is commonly described as one of the UK's most important writers of SF. He is the author of numerous novels and literary parodies. He is Professor of 19thCentury Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number ofcritical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SFENCYCLOPEDIA.

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