The Thing Itself

The Thing Itself Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters The Thing Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station T

  • Title: The Thing Itself
  • Author: Adam Roberts
  • ISBN: 9780575127722
  • Page: 189
  • Format: Paperback
  • Adam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters 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 booAdam Roberts turns his attention to answering the Fermi Paradox with a taut and claustrophobic tale that echoes John Carpenters 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 The come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.

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      Published :2019-01-04T00:39:41+00:00

    1 thought on “The Thing Itself”

    1. Adam Roberts is the wielder of a megaton-range imagination, allied to a nano-sharp ability to fashion engaging stories populated with interesting characters - he is an author unafraid of taking a concept to the edge, of exploring genuinely challenging ideas.The Thing Itself continues this conceptual exploration, and while it isn't as brilliant as Roberts' Bete or Stone its still a damn fine novel, with some very interesting things to say. I love stories that explore the Fermi paradox (Cixin Liu' [...]

    2. What a troll!If you have read my reviews for a while, you'll know my hate of book blurbs and how they often spoil a book. Adam Roberts is not quite on my buy-it-without-reading-the-blurb list (not a real list, but I should make it), so I did read this blurb. And it completely spoils the first two pages! And it sets the book up to be an homage to 'The Thing' which it isn't at all!Yes, it starts with two scientists doing a SETI project during the long Antarctic night. But that is soon left behind [...]

    3. 3.5 - 4 starsAt first glance this book seems easy to characterize with a catchy tag line, to wit: the philosophy of Kant meets the cosmology of Lovecraft in a story inspired by John Carpenter's 'The Thing'. Fun, no doubt, even if it was simply that, but once you've made the journey through the book you will find that Roberts is doing something a little more subtle than that tag line implies and even turns many of these tropes on their head.The main story thread takes place in the present and det [...]

    4. One might think of philosophy as a vital intellectual endeavor, or little more than fodder for rambling late-night conversations in a college dorm, enhanced by assorted chemical stimulants and some Pink Floyd dialed up on Spotify. But it has provided a dazzling fever dream of a foundation for The Thing Itself, a book in which Adam Roberts quite possibly achieves Peak Adam Roberts, mixing such elements as mad scientists and helicopter chases over Arctic wastes with the curious spectacle of a time [...]

    5. Wow, well I’ll try and do The Thing Itself justice, but you’re better off just reading it and marvelling in its mind-blowing awesomeness. The blurb would have you think it’s a version of John Carpenter’s The Thing (a film I love) but really only the first part deals with the isolation and ensuing madness of Antarctica. There’s philosophy, a shady organisation, artificial intelligence, a shoeless man on the run and whole raft of stories throughout time.At the heart of the book is the th [...]

    6. As the recent two Adam Roberts novels did not quite work for me for various reasons, I was a bit wary of this one though the general feeling from the description was positive as the book seemed to go on the "big philosophical" issues side and in most A. Roberts books, the thematic tends to determine my interest more than anything else (there are of course exceptions in his few adventure like novels). The Thing Itself consists of a main narrative following Charles Gardner some decades after his t [...]

    7. I wanted to like this book more because it has such a great premise (which I won't spoil), but it just didn't totally click with me. Finishing it was a struggle.

    8. Another great Adam Roberts' novel. The first 100 pages will be a real surprise for the reader because The Thing Itself certainly defies expectations. Among others, this extremely clever novel, written by an atheist, tries to prove the existence of god. Let's say it partially succeeds, but in order to do this, Roberts uses some of the most crazy science-fictional ideas I have ever read. And I'd say that if you need to use extreme speculative ideas in order to prove the existence of god than certa [...]

    9. I'm not sure anything will ever be as rich as the splendid and insightful Bete-- which is something completely different and one of my favorite SF novels ever-- but this satisfies that craving for something smart and funny and full of SF and literary love, which is what I've come to expect from Roberts.

    10. 5★ for me, and I don't hand these out often. The Thing Itself is a science fiction thriller about two men working for SETI on an Antarctic research base in the 1980s. It tells the fascinating story of what happens to them one long south-polar night, and the repercussions of this event. It does this through the intertextual lens of Immanuel Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’, the Fermi Paradox, a dash of James Joyce, some H.G. Wells, a sliver of John Carpenter, and more. (A lot more referen [...]

    11. Категориите на Кант като рамка на история за строго-секретни супер компютри, извънземни, преследване във времето, антиутопичен секс, Джойсов монолог, английски от 17-ти век и хиляди препратки към какво ли не? Ъм? ОК, да, първият рефлекс е човек да преглътне на сухо и се запита [...]

    12. Well, I started this book very dubious because of some negative reviews, but I trust Tudor's assessments and plus I've loved all of Adam Robert's other works.And I was immediately drawn in, dazzled and delighted at the scope of this ambitious, and in my eyes, successful work on the nature of reality according to Kant. The narrative is puzzling at times, but all becomes clear and relevant eventually after many twists and leaps backwards and forwards in what we experience as time and space.We star [...]

    13. This latest book from the master of intellectual science fiction, Adam Roberts, is a mind-bending delight - and nothing like the combination of the title and the cover suggests (yet even this deception is not entirely straightforward). Anyone versed in the genre would instantly make the leap, with the combination of 'The Thing' and a polar setting, to the classic science fiction film The Thing - and indeed Roberts does make a passing bow to this in the opening of the book. However, the monster i [...]

    14. A book filled to the brim with interesting concepts, as all good Science Fiction should be. Within these pages, Adam Roberts takes us on a wild ride that leads from 18th century philosophy to Artificial Intelligence, time travel, aliens, telekinesis and a plethora of other off-the-wall topics. The downside is that there's no heart to the story. While we may love the ideas, we do not love the characters. This, along with the disappointingly forced experimental style of the historical narratives w [...]

    15. I found this highly entertaining. It's a kinda funny pitch, in that it's basically Eli Cash saying, "Everyone knows Kant's metaphysics of the Ding an Sich is a metaphorical attempt to describe reality; what this book presupposes is: maybe it's literal?" Roberts then turns that into a twisting, turning, philosophically spitballing SF/eldritch horror story about AI, (maybe?) aliens, time travel, Arctic madness, and crazy reality-warping super-powers. It's also very funny, mind-bending, and ultimat [...]

    16. Astounding novel. I didn't expect too much because it was such an unusual premise for a sci-fi novel, I figured he would wring 400 pages out of that and job done. But there is so much richness to the storytelling here, great inventiveness in prose style throughout and genuine humour peppered across the present-day storyline particularly. Then throw into the mix an explanation of Kant that I actually felt I understood properly for once, and you get a very satisfying experience. I hadn't read Robe [...]

    17. Such a fabulous clever novel. While I can't claim to have understood every bit of it (at least not on this first reading), Adam Roberts' wonderful, wonderful writing made sure I enjoyed every page of it.

    18. A fun entry in the "What if x was right all along?" genre, in which x = an opaque/much-debated philosopher or spiritual guru. This time, x = Kant, and the result is an inventive, perspicacious exposition on apperception and die (der?) Ding an Sich. The structure was interesting (Kant's 12 categories), and probably deserves more thought + attention, but I'm not sure it'd be wholly rewarding. The tacking back+forth between the main strait of the story and the formally disparate coves was, again, i [...]

    19. Let me state up front that there were times when I said aloud that I wasn't smart enough to be reading this book. Part sci-fi speculative fiction in the mold of the Amy Adams' film, "Arrival," part meditation on Kantian philosophy, Roberts' book gives you a lot to chew on. In fact, I even nerded out a bit and listened to a few lectures on Kant's ideas when I started the novel to make sure I had a glimmer of what Roberts was talking about. Apparently, the central premise of Kant's "Copernican Rev [...]

    20. Very good until some point when it deviates and starts to explore its philosophic agenda. However, still an interesting book that tries to deal with the existence of God (perhaps not very successfully, since the author is an atheist trying to make a different claim).

    21. After a bright promising start this book comes to a screaming halt before it really gets started. It ends up being a rather poor novel jumping from storyline to storyline. The underlying theme trying and failing to tie it all together is the philosopher Immanuel Kant. Quasi intellectual nonsense is what it ends up being. An origianl concept is the only thing saving this waste of time from getting 1 star.

    22. Публикувано в списание ShadowdanceНека започна това ревю, като отбележа, че независимо какво пише в анотацията на книгата в Амазон и Гудрийдс и какви асоциации навяват корицата и заглавието, тази книга определено НЕ е духовен наследник или реинтерпретация на филма на Джон Карп [...]

    23. Francis Spufford recommended ‘The Thing Itself’ to me in The Guardian, although it didn’t need a very hard sell because I’d read seven of Adam Roberts other novels. Roberts is a brilliant high concept sci-fi writer: his novels always have some deeply interesting conceit at their centre, and generally experiment with structure in original ways as well. On the other hand, too many of his narrators fall into the narrow category of Crap Men, who generally don’t treat women very well. In th [...]

    24. Woof. What is this? Sci-fi/philosophy/existential theistic propaganda? Yes? I don’t know. It’s wild though. I can’t properly explain this book to you and if I did, I’d probably get a bunch of stuff wrong. I’m certain I didn’t get about half of it. But I I liked it? Yeah. I liked it.

    25. As it turns out, The Thing Itself is less of a thrilling read and more of a spoonful of sugar that helps the Kantian philosophy go down. But I prefer to absorb philosophy like Jack Reacher absorbs his coffee: no frills, no cream, and definitely no sugar.

    26. The first 60% of this book is a four-star book. The last 40% of the book drags it down to a two-star book — and here is why: Adam Roberts, like some of my favourite science fiction writers, is not afraid to tackle big ideas with simple, straightforward language. I frequently cite Arthur C Clarke as one of my favourite science fiction writers because he makes the effort to draw the common man into big philosophical questions about humanity and our place in the universe. Roberts, too, seems to h [...]

    27. The truth is, I liked the first 4/5 of this book five stars worth--I looked forward to reading it every chance I could get. But that last 20% wasn't as much fun. I guess the author was worried about consistency, or completion, or something, but he wasn't having as much fun writing the ending as he had writing the rest of the book. But it's still an excellent book for anyone who thinks that thinking is fun. There's lots of chances to think about Kant and reflect on the ways that consciousness sha [...]

    28. Novels with esoteric subject matter are almost never as boring as I fear they will be. *Moby Dick* was the sharpest surprise on that subject -- even by the standard of a comic novel it has a lot of laughs, but for a book with a chapter titled "Cetology" it is astonishingly entertaining. *The Thing Itself* joins that tradition. It pivots on the work Immanuel Kant, but keeps it light in a way that eminent deontologist never bothered to. I think that's the ingratiating impulse most novelist enterta [...]

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