Adam Roberts Books In Order

Real-Town Murders Books In Order

  1. The Real-Town Murders (2017)
  2. By the Pricking of Her Thumb (2018)


  1. Salt (2000)
  2. On (2001)
  3. Stone (2002)
  4. Polystom (2003)
  5. The Snow (2004)
  6. Gradisil (2005)
  7. Land of the Headless (2007)
  8. Splinter (2007)
  9. Swiftly (2008)
  10. Yellow Blue Tibia (2009)
  11. I Am Scrooge (2009)
  12. New Model Army (2010)
  13. The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo (2010)
  14. Anticopernicus (2011)
  15. By Light Alone (2011)
  16. Jack Glass (2012)
  17. Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea (2014)
  18. Bete (2014)
  19. The Thing Itself (2015)
  20. Bethany (2016)
  21. The Black Prince (2018)
  22. The Compelled (2020)
  23. Purgatory Mount (2021)
  24. Middlemarch: Epigraphs and Mirrors (2021)
  25. The This (2022)


  1. The Parodies Collection (2013)


  1. Swiftly Stories (2005)
  2. Adam Robots (2013)
  3. Irregularity (2014)
  4. Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014 (2015)
  5. Lost Worlds Short Stories (2017)
  6. Stories of Hope and Wonder (2020)


  1. Park Polar (2001)
  2. Jupiter Magnified (2002)


  1. The Lake Boy (2018)
  2. The Man Who Would Be Kling (2019)

Anthologies edited

  1. Classic Science Fiction Stories (2022)

Non fiction

  1. Science Fiction (1989)
  2. The History of Science Fiction (2005)
  3. The Riddles of the Hobbit (2013)
  4. Get Started in: Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (2014)
  5. Sibilant Fricative (2014)
  6. Landor’s Cleanness (2014)

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Adam Roberts Books Overview


After 37 years on a brutal and dangerous journey through space, a federation of settlers finally arrives on the planet Salt. Thus begins the colonization of this brave new world a process that inevitably slips into a tragedy of biblical proportions. The two communities who undertook the voyage originally united in peace and a shared vision of a fresh beginning. Once isolated in a landscape of cruel majesty and minimal resources, however, ancient enmities begin to tear them apart. Related alternately by Petja, from the Alsist people, and Barlei a Senaarian, their different voices, perspectives, and experiences come together to make an unusually rich and complex story about the fragility of life. A remarkable debut novel. ‘…
in the same vein as Frank Herbert’s Dune…
accomplished, engaging and fascinating.’ Locus. ‘…
brilliantly written.’ Starlog.


Tighe lives on the Worldwall. It towers above his village and falls away below it. It is vast and unforgiving and it is everything they know. Life is hard on the Worldwall, little more than a clinging on for dear life. And then one day Tighe falls off the world. And falls, and falls and falls…
and survives. He finds a new part of the Worldwall, a city, more people than he ever imagined existed and a war. A war fought by the Popes and their armies. A war Tighe must join, a war that will take him on a journey into the heart of the mystery behind the Worldwall. ON is a superbly confident novel of a changed world. It has echoes of a Canticle for Leibowitz and The Book of the New Sun. It is a remarkable feat of imagination and sustained narrative drive. Its hero is immensely appealing. Coming after SALT it is evidence of an extraordinary SF career in the making.


Sprung from a prison in the centre of a star, the universe’s last criminal is employed to kill the population of a planet. It is a crime that will tear apart an interstellar utopia. Keeping ahead of detection and preparing the crime, the killer voyages to numerous worlds and hones the instincts required for murder. And wonders who is behind the contract. Roberts’ new novel is an extraordinary fusing of ideas, exotic locations, personal drama and an enquiry into the nature of crime in a society that thinks it has forgotten how to commit it.


‘Roberts joins my list of essential authors.’ VECTOR Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association ‘A purveyor of illusions that underscore the real.’ SFSite. comIn his fourth novel, the critically acclaimed author Adam Roberts once again produces an innovative, rewardingly different SF tale, full of extraordinary ideas. In Adam’s universe, a breathable atmosphere extends between planets, aristocrats cruise insterstellar space in biplanes, and skywhals make mysterious distant orbits. The hero, Polystom, the fiftieth steward of Enting, has always lived in a world of certainties: certain that his new wife will love him, certain that his servants respect him, certain that war will bring him the glory he seeks. Then his uncle Cleonicles the inventor of the Computational Device, the greatest work of man, the summation of human knowledge, the explanation of the stars dies. And that is only the first shock to Polystom‘s comfortable view of life…
Adam Roberts is author of the novels Salt, which was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, On, and Stone. He teaches at London University, and has also published academic works on both 19th century poetry and SF.

The Snow

The new Adam Roberts novel is a story of global apocalypse, old hatreds and new beginnings. It is his best novel to date. And this is how the world will end…
The Snow started falling on the sixth of September, soft noiseless flakes filling the sky like a swarm of white moths, or like static interference on your TV screen – whichever metaphor, nature or technology, you find the more evocative. Snow everywhere, all through the air, with that distinctive sense of hurrying that a vigorous snowfall brings with it. Everything in a rush, busy-busy snowflakes. And, simultaneously, paradoxically, everything is hushed, calm, as quiet as cancer, as white as death. And at the beginning people were happy.’ But The Snow doesn’t stop. It falls and falls and falls. Until it lies three miles thick across the whole of the earth. Six billion people have died. Perhaps 150,000 survive. But those 150,000 need help, they need support, they need organising, governing. And so the lies begin. Lies about how The Snow started. Lies about who is to blame. Lies about who is left. Lies about what really lies beneath.


‘The politics are convincing, the depiction of a near future world where war is only declared once the planners know victory is assured is a credible development of the present, and the notions of a legal system that institutionalizes war, and that the practicalities of winning the war once victory is declared are the problematic thing, are fine present into future SF. Oh, and the digs at Dick Cheney are biting and funny. On the hard SF/mythic side, Roberts’s use of Scandinavian legend as an allegory to the magnetic boost technologies he uses to put planes into orbit has the smack of an SF trope that’ll become a universal clich in a few years.’ Starburst Gradisil is an epic space opera of family revenge and the birth of a nation. Not very long from now, if you are wealthy, space can be yours, space to grow. New technology has seeded a rebirth of the pioneer spirit. A new breed of adventurer has slipped the bonds of gravity and begun a fresh life in orbit, free from interference by government, free from the petty concerns of earth. Who wouldn’t want such freedom? Who wouldn’t want to escape from society’s tangles from the claws of the corporations, from the stifling love of family? But tradition, fear, and revenge carry a murderous weight, a gravity that is not so easy to escape. The death of Gradisil‘s grandfather, floating high in the uplands above earth, was only the beginning. And now the US government is looking up at the new nation above our heads with jealous eyes.

Land of the Headless

THE Land of the Headless is set in a far future where mankind has taken his religious dogma and the divsions that result from it out into space. On a planet where society is shaped by a strict adherance to the word of God as laid out in the Old Testament and Quran a poet is accused of the rape of a woman. Found guilty he must face the punishment laid down in the Good Book; beheading. Beheaded, he is fitted with a neck valve, ordinator and basic sensory equipment and sent out into the world. But he bears a terrible and very visible stigma. the only way he can make a living is to join the army and serve in the war against the neighbouring planet. And plan his revenge against the man he believes is really guilty. Land of the Headless is a searing satire of religious fundamentalism, a novel of love and war and a study of self delusion. It is an elegantly written, thought provoking and unique SF novel.


A Wellsian sequel to Gulliver’s Travels and a unique piece of SF literature all of its own. It is 1848 and the British Empire has grown rich exploiting Lilliputian slaves the finesse of their working allowing unheard of feats of minature engineering; even Babbage’s computing device has been made to work. But now the French have formed a regiment of previously peaceful Brobdingnagian giants and invasion looms. In a world where humanity is both smaller and larger than it once was, love and hate loom large. Mankind discovers itself at the center of scale. Lilliptians are 12 times smaller than us but there are those 12 times smaller than them, and 12 times smaller again and so on. And the scale of being goes up from Swift’s giants also. Adam Roberts has written both a rip roaring 19th century adventure, a love story, and a thought provoking pre atomic SF novel about our place in the universe.

Yellow Blue Tibia

A group of Soviet authors are shocked to watch the science fiction story they wrote 40 years ago slowly come to life in this fantastic tale from the author of Swiftly In Russia, the year is 1946 and with the Na*zis recently defeated, Stalin gathers half a dozen of the top Soviet science fiction authors in a dacha in the countryside. Convinced that the defeat of America is only a few years away and equally convinced that the Soviet Union needs a massive external threat to hold it together Stalin orders the writers to compose a massively detailed and highly believable story about an alien race poised to invade the earth. The little group of writers gets down to the task and spends months working until new orders come from Moscow to immediately halt the project. The scientists obey and live their lives until, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, the survivors gather again, because something strange has happened: the story they invented in 1946 is starting to come true.

I Am Scrooge

Marley was dead. Again. The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house counting money. The boards that he has nailed up over the doors and the windows shudder and shake under the blows from the endless zombie hordes that crowd the streets hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiiiinns! Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town? Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top hatted and crinolined zombie horde? Was Tiny Tim’s illness something infinitely more sinister than mere rickets and consumption? Can Scrooge be persuaded to go back to his evil ways, travel back to Christmas past and destroy the brain stem of the tiny, irritatingly cheery Patient Zero? It’s the Dickensian Zombie Apocalypse God Bless us, one and all!

New Model Army

A nightmarish vision of future war from a literary master of SF.

Adam Roberts’ new novel is a terrifying vision of a near future war-a civil war that tears the UK apart as new technologies allow the worlds first truly democratic army to take on the British army and wrest control from the powers that be. Taking advances in modern communication and the new eagerness for power from the bottom upwards, Adam Roberts has produced a novel that is at once an exciting war novel and a philosophical examination of war and democracy. It shows an exciting and innovative literary voices working at the height of his powers and investing SF with literary significance that is its due. A giant has brought war to England’s heartland. He stalks across the fields and towns to the west of London. The British army has tried to destroy him but each time has has beaten them. When they bring in air support and deploy heavy weapons he simply melts away, only to form again somewhere else and deliver another devastating blow. Pantegral is a New Model Army-a giant whose thoughts flow through countless wireless connections, whose intelligence comes from the internet and real-time camera updates, whose mind is made up of thousands of minds, each deciding what Pantegral will choose to do. And Pantegral has chosen the joy of the fight. His fury is truly democratic. Adam Roberts’ stunning new novel is a savage satire on on our capacity for war and a celebration of our need for love. It confirms his status as one of the most exciting voices writing today.

The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo

Lizbreath Salamander is young and beautiful. Her scales have an iridescent sheen, her wings arch proudly, her breath has a tang of sulfur. And on her back a tattoo of a mythical creature: a girl. But when Lizbreath is drawn into a dark conspiracy she will have to rely on more than her beauty and her vicious claws the size of sabres…
A dragon has disappeared, one of a secretive clan. As Lizbreath delves deeper into their history she realises that these dragons will do anything to defend their secrets. Welcome to the world of The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo. A world of gloomy Nordic dragons leading lives uncannily like our own despite their size, despite the need for extensive fireproofing of home furnishings, a world of money ho*arded, a world of darkness and corruption. A world where people are the fantasy.

Swiftly Stories

From the Land of Lilliput to Jupiter Magnified In 2000, British author Adam Roberts published his first SF novel, Salt, to wide acclaim. Locus magazine described Salt as ‘…
in the same vein as Frank Herbert’s Dune.’ And in 2001, the beginning of a new millennium, Salt was named a finalist for the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year. Now, five SF novels later, Adam Roberts presents us with Swiftly, his first short fiction collection. These twelve handpicked tales eight published here for the first time showcase Roberts’s authorial expertise at interweaving world building with style, tone, and image. Roberts, whom award winning author Jon Courtenay Grimwood calls ‘the king of high concept,’ is the rare hard sf writer who emphasizes character over construct. In ‘Swiftly,’ the title story to this collection, mid 1840s Europe is at the height of its manufacturing prowess, due in large part to the finely honed skills of the enslaved Lilliputian like people. But the French Army threatens the English shore, and one British citizen dares to assist the French in order to free the enslaved. In the sequel story, which closes this collection, ‘Eleanor’ marries manufactury owner Jonathan Burton, only to observe her husband’s demise at the hands of his own Lilliputian workers. To learn if she’s been a good mother, a pregnant woman telephones her unborn daughter sixteen years into the future in ‘The Time Telephone.’ The telephone call cost more than $15,000, and several hundred digits needed to be dialed! And when ‘Jupiter Magnified’ fills the Earth’s skies, scientists’ opinions on the cause of the phenomenon abound, ordinary citizens contemplate the end of the world, and one man’s personal relationships become all encompassing. From the psychological collapse of a prominent scientist ‘Stationary Acceleration’ to the impact of a secret military experiment on its human host ‘Blindness and Invisibility’ to an ascent from the levels of Hell ‘Dantesque’, Swiftly transcends hard sf as it conveys us to the heights and depths of the human condition. Contents Swiftly Dantesque Stationary Acceleration Tour de Lune The Time Telephone Blindness and Invisibility The Siege of Fadiman Allen Met the Devil The Question of ?query term New Model Computer Jupiter Magnified Eleanor

Science Fiction

Science Fiction is a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most popular areas of modern culture. This second edition reflects how the field is rapidly changing in both its practice and its critical reception. With an entirely new conclusion and all other chapters fully reworked and updated, this volume offers:
DT A concise history of Science Fiction and the ways in which the genre has been used and defined
DT Explanations of key concepts in SF criticism and theory through chapters such as Gender, Race, Technology and Metaphor
DT Examines the interactions between Science Fiction and Science Fact
DT Anchors each chapter with a case study drawn from short story, book or film, from Frank Herbert’s Dune to Star Wars, from The Left Hand of Darkness to Neuromancer.
Introducing the reader to nineteenth century, Pulp, Golden Age, New Wave, Feminist and Cyberpunk Science Fictions, this is the essential contemporary guide to a major cultural movement.

The History of Science Fiction

The first comprehensive critical history of SF for thirty years, this book traces the origin and development of science fiction from Ancient Greece, via its rebirth in the seventeenth century, up to the present day. Concentrating on literary SF and in the later chapters cinema and TV, it also discusses the myriad forms this genre takes in the contemporary world, including a chapter on graphic novels, SF pop music, visual art and ufology. The author is ideally placed to write it: both an academic literary critic and also an acclaimed creative writer of science fiction, with five novels and many short stories to his credit. Written in lively, accessible prose, this study is specifically designed to bridge the worlds of academic criticism and the SF fandom. The History of Science Fiction argues that, even today, this flourishing cultural idiom is shaped by the forces that determined its rise to prominence in the 1600s: the dialogue between Protestant and Catholic worldviews, the emerging technologies of the industrial age, and the cultural anxieties and excitements of a rapidly changing world. Now available in paperback, it will be of interest to all students, researchers and fans of SF.

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