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Polystom (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 8 Jul 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (8 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575075414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575075412
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.3 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


EVENTS Adam will be appearing at the NFT Crime Scene 2003 with Richard Morgan on Saturday 12th July. Adam Roberts will be reading extracts from his novelat Borders, Oxford Street on 14th July. Adam will also be teaching a SF course at the Cheltenham Festival in October. REVIEWS 'Adam Roberts continues to intrigue, invent and tantalise.'DREAMWATCH 'As ever with Roberts, the writingis sharp and the characters suitably nasty.'THE GUARDIAN 'Roberts is able toinclude the big sf stuff and let it entrance us for a bit, but then he takesus back down to earth (or whatever) to deal with how and why it's there in the first place. His abolity to write on both scales in (to me) the mark of a good sf writer... It remains for me to categorically state that this is Roberts' best novel so far.'INFINITY PLUS 'Many will read this with great affection and praise.'SFCROWSNEST 'Polystom is a complex novel, and Roberts has created a richly fascinating world and complex characters to popuate it. He writeswith intensity about human emotions in a world strangely dissimilar from ourown.'THE ZONE 'This is a superb piece of work, full of little details which create an alien, moribund society as disorientating as the physical universe it inhabits (Roberts is a real master of this)'STARBURST --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Roberts ('The King of High Concept' The Guardian) returns with his most ambitious novel yet.

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Top Customer Reviews

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A great read. As always with Adam Roberts this is a story based around one or two small "what if's". What if - the universe were much smaller, with five planets, and there was a thin breathable atmosphere between the planets. What if - society in this universe relied on a very rigid social structure that was quite simply "the only way it could possibly be". Then what if - Polystom (the title character) so secure at the top of this society, gets slowly pulled into realisation that life really isn't that simple, is it?

A very thoroughly realised world and distinctive main characters come together in three short stories to make up POLYSTOM. The hints and threads all steadily come together in the final part with an original engaging twist. The only issue I generally have with Adam Roberts fiction is that he seems to avoid the traditional ending, leaving things a little too ambiguous for my taste (see, NEW MODEL ARMY, BY LIGHT ALONE), but sometimes leaves just enough loose thread to answer the major questions - with just enough remaining that the story could be far from finished (see, JACK GLASS, SALT) and you're hungry for more. This is certainly one of the latter, and one of my favourite of Roberts' novels.

Highly recommended, particularly if you're a fan of other high-concept science fiction/thrillers/fantasy/mystery.
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Format: Paperback
I chose this largely based on the book cover notes with a mind that it may be along the lines of Moorcocks Dancers at the End of Time. Though no relevance to that, Polystom sketches an engaging world , HG Wells/Victorians in Space, however does not follow through with plot execution or characters you really invest in whilst reading the book. On reflection its culmination veers towards a cyberpunk concept of alternate realities; interesting though not defining.
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Format: Paperback
This book is annoying. Few of the characters are in any way sympathetic. The story meanders.

And then it all suddenly makes sense and becomes somehow worthwhile. Incidentally, I'm not sure that this book has anything to with alternate realities (see other reviews) at all. In fact, I'll go further and say that it definitely doesn't have anything at all to do with alternate realities - and the fact that the other reviewers missed this may have something to do with their low scores.

More of a clinical exploration than a breathless dash through otherwise typical space opera territory, a book that demands a little patience as it sacrifices pretty much everything in favour of its high-concept core. But I like high concept.

Finally, one of the things that makes high-concept 'high' is the general irreality of it all. Clearly, there won't be any alternate reality that we can experience. But what happens in this book WILL happen, in some way shape or form. Therefore: read and be intrigued.
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