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Adam Robots: Short Stories [Paperback]

Adam Roberts
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

17 Jan 2013
Gathered together for the first time from a major publisher are the short stories of Adam Roberts. Unique twisted visions from the edges and the centre of the SF genres. Stories that carry Adam Roberts' trademark elegance of style and restless enquiry of the genre he loves so much. Acclaimed stories, some that have appeared in magazines, some in anthologies, some appearing for the first time. Stories to make you think, to make you laugh, to make you wonder, to make you uneasy. Stories that ask questions, stories that sow mysteries. But always stories that entertain.

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Adam Robots: Short Stories + Jack Glass
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (17 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575130342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575130340
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adam Roberts is a writer of science fiction novels and stories, as well as Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature in English at Royal Holloway, University of London. Three of his novels, "Salt", "Gradisil" and "Yellow Blue Tibia" were nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award; and his most recent novel "By Light Alone" has been shortlisted for the 2012 BSFA Award. He has published over a dozen novels, a number of academic works on both 19th century poetry and SF, stories, parodies, bits, pieces, this and that.

Product Description


Adam Robots is a remarkably clever, fun and thoughtful journey; a veritable delight for any science fiction fan, Roberts just seems to get better with each book. (Antony Jones SFBOOK.COM)

Book Description

First UK publication for the short stories of an award-shortlisted and acclaimed author. One of the best writers of his generation.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feast of SF 25 Feb 2013
Nobody can accuse Roberts of short changing his customers. Apart from the stunning cover art (just look at it!) this book contains 23 stories and a poem. Which is also a story.

As the introduction suggests, these stories really do seem to cover most aspects of current SF, but, as with Jack Glass (which was in three parts, each satisfactorily genre-warping) Roberts refuses to let things get categorised too neatly. Or at all, really. Most of these stories defy categorisation. Nor does he hold back from philosophical depth, using his stories to examine the nature of sin (in the titular "Adam Robots"), cause and effect ("Shall I tell you the problem with Time Travel?"), and potential manipulations or augmentations of human nature ("ReMorse", "The Chrome Chromosome" "Me-topia") as well as to critique literature in various ways (in the weirdly self-referential "Review: Thomas Hodgkin, 'Denis Bayle: A Life'", in "Dantean" and "And Tomorrow And") as well as to... do loads of other interesting stuff in a fun and never predictable way.

Fancy a pseudo medieval Welsh story? It's here, yet with definite SFnal overtones but which are maddeningly elusive. Or "War of the Worlds" from the Martian perspective? Or a life story, told in verse by a roistering industrialist father to his disappointing son? Then "The Mary Anna" is for you. (This poem gave me that maddening feeling that I almost recognise what it's parodying - but I can't quite get it. Does anyone know?) Or some satisfying speculation about where dark energy really comes from ("Anticopernicus") or string theory ("S-Bomb")

In short, this collection is a tour de force, so many good ideas, going in so many directions. Buy it now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speculative fiction at its best 27 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was already impressed by earlier works by Adam Roberts, but with not enough hours in the day to read as much as I'd like, it was a delight to find his latest is a collection of short stories. I'm only a third the way thru so far and I already feel like I've had more than my money's worth. The stories are varied (in content and style), entertaining, humorous, thought-provoking, and enthralling. Roberts is a master of his craft, whose work is very accessible. I'd humbly suggest that this would be a great introduction to the author to the previously unacquainted.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great compendium to dip in 3 Feb 2013
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
There are times when you're reading that you really want stories that you can dive into during journeys, or something a little different for your lunch break and that's where short stories really weave their magical influence, or in the case of Adam Robots, programme you with their influence as his own brand of Sci-Fi short stories comes to the fore in this publication by Gollancz.

Each have their own moral, their own wonderful twist which when blended with the authors ability to weave a tale that really drags you in does exactly what the reader wants out of these types of story. Add to the mix a cracking sense of wonderment, some great twists as well as characters that will stay within your memory and all round you're in for a treat.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adam Robots:Short Stories 5 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As always he writes beautifully and his stories are inventive and full of insights. His robots illuminate the human condition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Neo-Classical SF 7 Aug 2013
By Dmitry Portnoy - Published on
This compendium of crisp, clever, intricate tales is a terrific introduction to Adam Roberts, an always intriguing but not always consistent British SF author and critic, here staking out the rarefied career-plateau he first scaled with his space-romp "Jack Glass." Years have passed since I've read a collection this eclectic, stimulating, and just plain fun, going back all the way to Ted Chiang's "Stories of Your Life and Others." Ted Chiang is a good comparison. Traditionalists, he and Adam Roberts both apply the structures and approaches of Golden-Age SF to up-to-the minute physics and social and cognitive sciences. Craftsmen, they both write lucid, polished prose that prizes precision and clarity over flourish and filigree. Thinkers, they care about the content and context of ideas more than the quirks and niceties of character, though they never embarrass themselves: their people are thick and layered but not quite three-dimensional; it's just clear where their primary interest lies.

Unlike Ted Chiang, who publishes rarely, and tries to change the world with every story, Adam Roberts seems unselfconsciously prolific and blessed with a light touch. He is also much more (cheerfully) pessimistic. Ted Chiang agonizes over every eventuality and despairs when he cannot find a happy ending; Adam Roberts lances the boil and moves on. You need some lemonade to chase the milk of human kindness. Roberts earns his pitilessness through curiosity and intellectual integrity, and he never preaches, but serves-up.

Here you'll find sparkling ideas and pitch-black wit, a respect for tradition and mastery of the latest trends, a brevity of expression and a breadth of imagination, a playfulness of plot and a seriousness of purpose. More than one story here--the title tale, "Anticopernicus"--is so earth-shatteringly, jaw-droppingly awesome, so surprising, so challenging, so perfect, that only Ted Chiang could have written it. Except Adam Roberts did it first, willing to joke and juggle and wink while Chiang tinkers endlessly, perfecting perpetual-motion machines. Funny how two such opposite approaches brought the two to conquer neighboring peaks. Funny how few (or no) others come even close.

Read this book now.
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparable to Ted Chiang 9 Dec 2013
By A - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't be misled by the pulp-fiction cover - it is nothing like that. How did I not know about this incredibly talented writer? As another reviewer has noted, the flavor of these stories is comparable to that of Ted Chiang's in the sense that many of the stories are more surrealism than SF. If I had to draw a difference between the authors, I would say that Chiang's stories are often set in little pocket clockwork fantasy universes not our own with their own very carefully consistent logic, whereas Roberts's stories are often, though not always, more plausibly justifiable as set in our universe. They have in common attention to detail of intricate internal logic that trumps plausibility, and reading the stories are also delightful mental puzzles.

This book contains a profusion of stories. Not all are great but most are. The only major criticism that I have is the author's habit of getting the reader invested in a story that has the makings of being great and then leaving it unresolved, so we have to guess at how it ends. It drives me crazy.
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