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5.0 out of 5 stars proper Sci-Fi
The book is clever with three stories with very different plot lines and 'feel' to them. Only in the final section are the three brought together.

Also included are some genuinely thoughtful concepts reminiscent of the SF greats of the 50s & 60s.
Published 5 months ago by Andrew Miller

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3.0 out of 5 stars Original SF
Jack Glass, notorious criminal and murderer of millions is imprisoned on a asteroid with seven other criminals. The people who have sent him there for eleven years don't know he is there, but when they find out they will be back to get him. It is a cruel, sharp and brutish place, and he must use all his guile to escape from the un escapable place.

On a small...
Published 7 months ago by Half Man, Half Book


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5.0 out of 5 stars proper Sci-Fi, 31 Mar 2014
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The book is clever with three stories with very different plot lines and 'feel' to them. Only in the final section are the three brought together.

Also included are some genuinely thoughtful concepts reminiscent of the SF greats of the 50s & 60s.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Original SF, 2 Feb 2014
This review is from: Jack Glass (Paperback)
Jack Glass, notorious criminal and murderer of millions is imprisoned on a asteroid with seven other criminals. The people who have sent him there for eleven years don't know he is there, but when they find out they will be back to get him. It is a cruel, sharp and brutish place, and he must use all his guile to escape from the un escapable place.

On a small planet elsewhere, two sisters are experiencing a spell in gravity in a sealed orbital habitat owned by their hyper rich family. There are themselves, and few personal staff, and 20 or so servants. Normal life is interrupted following the murder of one of the servants, and one of the sisters, Diana, takes over the investigation from the police allocated to the investigation. as she progresses thing are not what they seem, and the murder is a prompt to discover some of the greater questions and threats to the family.

I have read a couple of his before, the last one read I thought was not great at all so I wasn't looking forward to this much. I thought that it was an original story line, a bit gruesome and brutal at the beginning. I liked the way that the story unwrapped in layers, so you were never sure just what to expect next.

The characters were interesting, Jack Glass in particular as he was innovative and single minded. I couldn't warm to the two sisters, they came across as arrogant, and self interested, but that may have been the idea. The worlds that he has created didn't come across as fully plausible, but the integrated tech did. Overall ok, not are I would read another by him just yet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read, 19 Dec 2013
This review is from: Jack Glass (Paperback)
Interesting: yes.

Well written: very.

Thought provoking: somewhat.

Inventive: exceptionally.

I only felt let down by the ending of the first story of three (althougth, really, the three tales do follow a linear narrative), which was ridiculously unbelieveable, but very creative.

My only other criticism: why did Diana not question Jack Glass on his escape method from prison? Wholly out of character, Adam.

Buy it. Read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Sep 2013
This review is from: Jack Glass (Paperback)
Excellent book defied expectations of the genre . Was gripped to the end . Almost read it in one sitting
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack in Class, 24 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Jack Glass (Golden Age) (Hardcover)
The book cover looks amazing and apart from the rocket ships, could be mistaken for non-genre literature. The three quotes on the back all mention the word "literary". So it makes me smile to think of a reader picking up this book expecting Ian McEwan (mentioned on the reverse), and discovering (and hopefully falling in love with) this political, techno, 100% pure science fiction novel. The inside jacket gets it right "From a tiny asteroid in the far reaches of space, to a comfortable country house, to a sealed orbital habitat, Adam Roberts takes us on a spellbinding journey through a future that challenges all our notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom." Get in! The book is split into three stories. The first is a very melancholic and dark prison tale, full of despair and horror. This acts as an introduction to the main story and longer middle section. This second story uses a common cyberpunk theme of warring multinational corporations and heirs amongst numerous others. The third and final section deals with the war aftermath and revolutionary activity against these vicious capitalist "clans". Funny, serious, exciting and thought provoking. The prose throughout is a joy to read.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Age Mysteries, 10 Sep 2012
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jack Glass (Golden Age) (Hardcover)
Adam Roberts' latest novel is in three parts, each written as a separate mystery (of a sort - they're not all Whodunnits) but making up a greater whole.

The first part is a prison story. A group of convicts are marooned on an asteroid for seven years. They must make it habitable or they will die.

The second introduces two teenage girls, the putative heirs to the Clan Argent. Diane and Eva are the result of advanced genetic engineering (we may suspect, but never learn for sure, that Alice, Beth and Carol before them may not have come up to scratch...) There is perhaps a touch of Dune here - the Argents jostle with a number of other clans for a position immediately below the ruling Ulanovs but above a mass of guilds, commercial concerns and mafias. Treachery and violence is always distinctly possible.

The third part follows closely from the second and could be described as a locked room mystery (but so could the others as well). It does bring together themes from the book as a whole, and it provides some answers (although I don't think we ever learn who the man was running through the olive grove in the heat of the day (or why he was running) in part 2).

"Jack Glass" does, in some respects, pick up themes from last year's By Light Alone. I'm thinking especially of the sort-of post-scarcity setting - in Jack Glass, there is no shortage of room - humanity has populated space with flimsy sphere habitations - or of food - most people exist on spore grown "ghunk" fed by sunlight. But, as in the earlier book, it's far from being a utopia: the poor live flavourless lives, subsisting on the basics and very definitely at the bottom of the heap.

Another resemblance is in characters. As in "By Light", "Jack Glass" has as its main protagonists (apart from Jack himself) a couple of rather spoiled, privileged teenage girls. Roberts has some fun creating a plausible future teen-speak ("No wavey way!") which is only one example of his ingenious use of language in the book - the preface, for example introduces the verb "to doctorwatson". Some of the invented terms are explained in an appendix, which also serves as a short primer to 26th century society. This is a rigid hierarchy, with the Ulanovs at the top and the Sump at the bottom.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, though very slightly less than I did By Light Alone, mainly because I found most of part 2 rather slow in pace, especially after the dramatic end to part 1. Having said that, considering it as a single book, it's really very good and fun SF and well worth reading, whether you've read Roberts before or not.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking return to form, 15 Jun 2013
By 
A. J. Poulter "AP" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jack Glass (Paperback)
After two lacklustre near future novels this far future novel, which plays with the toys of the murder mystery genre, is a cracking return to form for this author.

A few centuries hence, the solar system has become a large slum, in which trillions live in bubble homes floating in space, subsisting on basic food grown from hydroponics and recycled water. Above the masses are the police/gangsters and above them are the Clan Families. And pre-emminent among the Clan Families are the Ulanovs, the source of all power. Not surprisingly, there are those in the 'Sump', the bubble-dwellers, who want to change this despotic system.

The story focuses on the two scions of the Argent Family, Diana and Eva, the former gene-engineered for intuition, the latter for logical reasoning. Eva is working on her seventh PhD, which is on "champagne supernovas", a very rare type of supernova which appear for no discernable reason. And there is a rumuour that someone has invented an FTL drive. If this is true it then it could either free mankind to roam the stars or give the stars to the Ulanovs, or another of the Families...

I think I have said enough as I do not want to give away anything that might ruin the impact of the three crime/whodununit-puzzles herein. I have not said anything about the title character but he is declared a murderer right at start so this snippet is giving nothing away. I found this novel hard to put down, as it fires on all cylinders in its rich blend of genre fictions. If you have not read anything yet by this author yet, try this novel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More excellent work from Roberts, 22 Mar 2013
This review is from: Jack Glass (Golden Age) (Hardcover)
This was a really enjoyable read, and continues Adam Roberts' reputation for producing thoughtful, intelligent, interesting stories.

This novel is a set of three murder mysteries- the first one is entirely self-contained, and would have worked fine on its own. The other two follow on from the first and tie into a larger story concerning the power balance of the solar system. In each one, the murderer is confirmed up-front to definitely be Jack Glass, but even so the reader is kept guessing the entire time as to how Jack Glass could have done it, or even how he could have been involved at all. This premise works really well, and I kept wanting to find out what happens next and how each story could be resolved. The main characters, both Jack and later on Diana, scion to one of the powerful "clans" of the solar system, are likewise all well-crafted and interesting.

The only criticism I'd have is the way the ending was handled. While the resolution to the murder is surprising as ever, the other major aspect of the novel (how the characters' story starts to affect the power balance of the solar system, and potentially pave the way for a revolution), is left somewhat unresolved and not all that satisfying. It would definitely be a good set-up for a sequel, but I'm not sure if that's going to happen or not.

Apart from that, a great read, and highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag - some good some bad, 15 Mar 2013
By 
Robert (Uxbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jack Glass (Golden Age) (Hardcover)
This book is three stories about Jack Glass, a wanted criminal in a future solar system where a draconian oligarchy rules the space-ways. Glass is rumored to be a terrorist and is certainly anti-authority. He believes that his survival is vital to the survival of the species. And so he has to commit a series of murders. The first tale is of seven convicts marooned on an asteroid and what they will do to survive. One of the convicts is Glass, and what will he do to survive? The second and third tales are linked with the same characters and lead to a chase across the solar system, from Earth to space habitat. The second tale was an Agatha Christie style whodunnit. Deliberately so, and was probably the more interesting of the to because it introduced the nobility of the future. The third was a chase story and was a bit of a bore.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another extraordinary work by Adam Roberts, 3 Feb 2013
This is the second extraordinary novel by Adam Roberts (after Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel) I've enjoyed and I've now upgraded him into the group of my favourite writers.

Roberts is simply brilliant: He has unique ideas (the ending or "solution" to the first of the three parts of this novel is mind-blowing), combines SF and mystery with ease and his use of language is remarkable.

A few examples (no spoilers) for ...
... insight: "The past is further away than the furthest galaxy. We know it, intuitively, because we understand the irrevocability of past action, and sometimes that makes us sad."
... clever use of a Tom Paxton-song: "(...) at that point he no longer had a mind to have a last thing on."
... creating memorable quotes (and more): "Asking the dream to interpret the dream is liable to lead to a short circuit."
... humour: "God's prepuce" (I think this is hilarious, but don't even look this word up if you are religious and easily offended)
... more insight: "One of the curiosities of anger is that the more you focus it outward, firing it at the injustices of the world, the more it actually parses your own self-pity and resentment."
... word creations: "Judasalem", "hashwine"

Be warned though - Roberts has a vocabulary (amanuensis, internecine, prepuce) that makes you glad you are reading it on a Kindle.

PS: I would be really surprised if Jack Glass does not win at least one award this year.
PPS: We are all entitled to our opinion, but it boggles the mind to see that someone can give this one star and call it an "appallingly disappointing waste of letters".
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Jack Glass (Golden Age)
Jack Glass (Golden Age) by Adam Roberts (Hardcover - 26 July 2012)
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