Golden Age SF meets Golden Age Crime from the author Kim Stanley Robinson thinks should have won the Booker.
Jack Glass is the murderer. We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged.
Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, JACK GLASS is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain and JACK GLASS has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits and comes with liberal doses of sly humour.
Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challanges notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom. It is an extraordinary novel.
Adam Roberts is the author of 14 SF novels, most recently Jack Glass (which won the UK BSFA and the US John Campbell awards for best SF novel, 2013), as well as a number of critical works about science fiction, including Science Fiction (Routledge, 2000) and The Palgrave History of Science Fiction (Palgrave 2006). He regularly reviews the genre for The Guardian and is also a Professor of 19th-century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London; where he also teaches Creative Writing to undergraduates, specialising in 3rd-year final projects in SF and Fantasy.