New Model Army Paperback – 15 Apr 2010
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[The] intellectual enfant terrible of British SF. He transforms what might have been a conventional war story into a series of investigations into the nature of democracy, love, war and, ultimately, revolution. Frequently revelatory. (Eric Brown THE GUARDIAN)
At times, New Model Army is a challenging novel, but rise to the task and you'll find it a revelatory one. A short, sharp shock of a narrative: masterfully composed, rich in ideas and dangerously daring. Adam Roberts is truly a giant of British speculative fiction. From Yellow Blue Tibia to this, one can only wonder, breathlessly, what glorious horrors the man might enact upon us next. (THE SPECULATIVE SCOTSMAN)
Related as a confessional piece, Roberts' intriguing and spectacular work is less a novel than a philosophical treatise. If that sounds like a turn-off, it certainly shouldn¿t be, for New Model Army is written in stunning prose that is often lyrical, if not poetic. (TOTAL SCI-FI)
Firefights and philosophy alike are couched in prose of unflagging pace. (James Lovegrove FINANCIAL TIMES)
This is a fantastic piece of contemporary writing: edgy, relevant and strangely moving. I highly recommend it to those who like to be challenged as well as entertained. (KAMVISION)
New Model Army is a remarkable novel, ostensibly following one soldier's narrative, it actually manages to engage the reader in a much deeper discussion about the human condition that is war. (British Fantasy Society)
A nightmarish vision of future war from a literary master of SF.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The New Model Army, the quasi-sentient protagonist of the piece, is the ultimate expression of what the Americans like to call Network Centric Warfare. They are a geographically dispersed force of mercenaries, all sharing information, all aware of each other and their surroundings, and all armed to the teeth. A way to think of them would be perhaps to imagine a fusion of the mercenaries of the 1960s with the community from EVE online. They are an army of armchair experts, pooling the collective knowledge of the crowd and applying it to the pursuit of warfare in a totally democratic manner, by a majority vote. By conducting their warfare in this way, and only striking where they know they are strong, they are able to repeatedly inflict tremendous losses on the defending British Army, still relying on the chain of command, and on rigid military doctrine.
It's a not unrealistic development of the direction that most modern armies are beginning to take, and it serves to present the narrator of the piece, a soldier within the army, with a way of exploring the nature or war, love and the human relationship with democracy.Read more ›
The novel begins by explaining and then showing how an anarchist, net-savvy army could trump a conventional 'feudal authoritarian' army on any given day of the week.
Like uneven paving slabs on a pavement however the sheer number of wilful errors kept tripping me up as I read through it: like the two tanks that get their turrets blown off without killing the rest of the crew inside; the supposed uselessness of air power in an urban setting, and the regular army troops who, like German army extras in a B war movie, are unintelligent (not cool enough for the net age obviously), lacking in initiative and are apt to concentrate in tight groups or advance in line like napoleonic troopers.
The regular army in this setting is obviously a strawman for the more flexible NMA which relies exclusively on internet comms that, for some reason, is never hacked, jammed or simply watched for intel gathering on what tactics the 'free soldiers' are going to vote on next.
With so much literature out there on what actual war and war technology is like it takes a special kind of ignorance to portray this as any kind of realistic example of war. Al-Qaeda too makes use of the internet and is stateless, but when they put soldiers into the field they get shredded by regular troops, and while they are indeed ghost-like they have proven incapable of bringing down even weak regimes. In conclusion - harmful, but not giants.
Still, perhaps the actual war bit is not important in this novel. Nor the bland characterisation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A war story in which the ideas take precedence over the combat scenes, which is fine by me. Characterisation takes a back seat too while the author works through rather dry... Read morePublished 4 months ago by S Litton
I find something to be vaguely disturbing about this book.
I think it's that the narrator declares axioms which are false, and then builds an entire argument on them, and... Read more
What if a truly democratic army existed? If, instead of hierarchical arrangements, what's known as the chain of command was dissolved into a highly technological method of deciding... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Eileen Shaw
The book posits the social and technology changes in Western societies undermining their top-down structures. Read morePublished on 18 May 2014 by JPMT
This book immediately gripped me with it's fascinating conceit of the 'democratic' fighting force enabled by modern technology, and to start with it was a real page burner. Read morePublished on 4 Feb. 2014 by Matt Weyland
It has a Fab Concept. However it doesn't quite work. Some of it is too heavy handed and not well enough researched to be credible. Read morePublished on 9 July 2013 by James Kemp
Some clever ideas and fast plot gives what is at heart a book about political ideas much more readable. Read morePublished on 7 May 2013 by MR. D. P. Galea
I just about finished this book and it took a while. It was more of a mission than a pleasure. It does not start too well and then I became irritated at the authors need to use... Read morePublished on 5 Sept. 2012 by ReaderZ
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