Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Yellow Blue Tibia

The book for December / January is Adam Robert's well reviewed Yellow Blue Tibia. I say well reviewed, Kim Stanley Robinson himself said that Yellow Blue Tibia should have been up for the Booker prize. Meanwhile, it was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke, the John W Campbell, and the British Science Fiction Association prizes instead.
While last month's book, Darwin's Radio, was solidly American, Yellow Blue Tibia crosses the Iron Curtain to explore the murky aspects of Communist propaganda, where fact can become strange as fiction, or possibly the other way around. As Eric Brown said in his Guardian review:
It's 1945. Stalin calls together a group of science fiction writers and orders them to produce a scenario of alien invasion; he perceives the American threat to be on the wane, and the Soviet state needs an enemy against which to rally. No sooner have the writers developed a scenario than Stalin demands they forget the idea on pain of death. Skip to 1986, when Konstantin Skvorecky, ex-SF novelist and world-weary alcoholic now working as a translator, is approached by an old colleague who tries to convince him that their long-forgotten scenario is in fact coming to pass: aliens appear to be invading the world. What follows is in part a droll comedy of manners parodying the fall of Soviet communism, part an intellectual inquiry into the idea of multiple quantum realities and part an attempt to discover why, despite the ubiquity of reported sightings, UFOs have never been proved to exist. As ever with Roberts, the writing is impeccable and the ideas riveting.
I must confess that this book has been on my reading list for a while, so that I am very glad that I now have the excuse to buy it.
You can find more about Adam Roberts and his writing at his website: http://www.adamroberts.com/

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