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The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts
  

The Thing Itself

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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

If you like Adam Roberts you might also like to read books by Ken Macleod, Justin Cronin and Alastair Reynolds.

Synopsis

The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenter's 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. They come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.

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

'A time-travelling nerd applies Kant with lethal results in this dazzling philosophical adventure...this is really walking the literary high wire, and Roberts not only keeps his balance, he makes the spectacle compelling' The Guardian

About the Author

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 19th
Century Literature at Royal Holloway, London University and has written a number of
critical works on both SF and 19th Century poetry. He is a contributor to the SF
ENCYCLOPEDIA.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th October 2016

Author

Adam Roberts

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Author's Website

www.adamroberts.com/

Publisher

Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

Science Fiction
eBook Favourites

Science fiction

ISBN

9780575127739

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