Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love-letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book – by the philosopher Kant.
As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. They come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.
using lit-fic techniques and by not playing by the genre rules, [Roberts] rises to the challenge that Mitchell sets down
The Thing Itself is evidence of Adam Roberts' inimitable brilliance.
I do appreciate a novel that makes me think while also entertaining me. The Thing Itself marries the two to perfection. There is so much packed within these pages and, without doubt, it's one of those memorable novels that will stand to repeated readings over the passing of time. A book of the year for me, for sure.
For Winter's Nights
Personally, I found it deeply fascinating...The closest reference point for me was Philip K. Dick's VALIS trilogy which fits in the same general literary area but "The Thing Itself" is definitely much more fun.
Upcoming 4 Me
A time-travelling nerd applies Kant with lethal results in this dazzling philosophical adventure...this is really walking the literary high wire, and Roberts not only keeps his balance, he makes the spectacle compelling
I can't think of another such ostentatiously clever novel that is so dramatically successful.
A remarkable novel: both gripping and intellectually exciting.