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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
Polystom by Adam Roberts
Reviewsâ€˜Rich, snobbish and none too bright, Polystom is Steward of Enting and ruler of a vast estate of woods, fishing villages and wild forest. His land seems almost empty, until one realises that this is because it is peopled with serfs who barely register on Polystom's radar, and can be flogged or hanged at will. Polystom is an exquisite: a lover of opera, moonlight and fine feelings. Such is his self-absorption, though, that on the rare occasions when he realises the blindingly obvious, he decides that his understanding reveals rare levels of insight found only in poets. He is a cypher for doomed youth heading to the trenches, an anti-hero escaped from Turgenev or Chekhov to a solar system where spoilt young nobles fly between worlds in open-top biplanes, swaddled in flying jacket and scarf. As ever with Roberts, the writing is sharp and the characters suitably nasty; but the ghost of Bob Shaw's 1986 novel Ragged Astronauts, which also used the concept of breathable space, looms large...As ever with Roberts, the writing is sharp and the characters suitably nasty Waterstone's - Roberts has created a true marvel'
About the Author
Publication date8th July 2004
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