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Adam Roberts
Ancaster Books, 39 pages

Adam Roberts
Adam Roberts is in the English Department of Royal Holloway, one of the 8 larger colleges of the University of London. He received his MA from Aberdeen University and his PhD from Cambridge University. Salt was his first science fiction novel.

Adam Roberts Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Yellow Blue Tibia
SF Site Review: Swiftly
SF Site Review: Land Of The Headless
SF Site Review: Splinter
SF Site Review: Splinter
SF Site Review: Gradisil
SF Site Review: The Snow
SF Site Review: The Sellamillion
SF Site Review: The Soddit
SF Site Review: Swiftly
SF Site Review: Stone and Polystom
SF Site Review: Jupiter Magnified
SF Site Review: Stone
SF Site Review: The New Critical Idiom: Science Fiction
SF Site Review: Park Polar
SF Site Review: On
SF Site Review: Salt

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Trent Walters

Anticopernicus Do you like big, mind-blowing ideas in your SF? Here's one doozy in Adam Roberts' novella Anticopernicus -- a crazy one. Often, SF's big ideas go somewhere far away and open outward. This one does the opposite in a way that whips out the magnifying lens on our view of humanity.

The story opens with a quote about the basics of dark matter from Michio Kaku. Then it leaps into the story: Aliens have approached the solar system, but their ship hangs out in the Oort Cloud, waiting. They do not explain their motives for coming -- except those which are not their motives: Not here to hurt or conquer. Rather, they invite the humans out for a chat.

Ange, meanwhile, is a starpilot, recently divorced, who gets left behind on the journey out to meet the aliens. She enjoys her privacy, her time away from humanity. Her friend Ostriker harangues her about her antisocial ways, but Ostriker simply doesn't understand, which is about when the aliens disappear without warning... before anyone can meet them.

Things start to go horribly wrong aboard Ange's ship: one crewmate dies, then another. Systems begin to fail. Air becomes scarce. That's when the alien returns.

The title plays in a number of ways, thwarting reader expectations. Does it refer to Copernicus' idea of perfect circles, view of the universe, political persuasion, or something else? It turns out to be all and none -- something unique, playing with and against perspectives. Although the narrative drags a little in the beginning, this one is a must read for every serious reader in science fiction. Emily Dickinson described poetry as feeling "physically as if the top of my head were taken off." Does that make this story poetry?

Copyright © 2012 Trent Walters

Trent Walters teaches science; lives in Honduras; edited poetry at Abyss & Apex; blogs science, SF, education, and literature, etc. at APB; co-instigated Mundane SF (with Geoff Ryman and Julian Todd) culminating in an issue for Interzone; studied SF writing with dozens of major writers and and editors in the field; and has published works in Daily Cabal, Electric Velocipede, Fantasy, Hadley Rille anthologies, LCRW, among others.

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