Science Fiction

Daily Mail (London), February 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

Science Fiction


Byline: BY HARRY RITCHIE

YELLOW BLUE TIBIA BY ADAM ROBERTS (Gollancz [pounds sterling]12.99) IT'S the end of World War II and

Stalin is worried. With Germany defeated and the Communist takeover of the U.S.

surely imminent, the Soviet Union is going to need a new enemy.

But Stalin has a cunning plan -- to gather together Russia's best sci-fi writers and order them to create a story about an alien invasion of Earth, which will be sold to the Russian people as a real-life war.

The writers come up with a tale of 'radiation aliens', but then

Stalin changes his mind, the project is dropped and the writers ordered never to breathe a word about the whole sorry episode.

Forty years later, when the Soviet empire is about to disintegrate, something strange happens: the daft story about the aliens seems to be coming true.

It is left to one of the surviving authors to try to find out what on earth is going on. Adam Roberts takes an intriguing premise and makes the most of it in this entertaining and intelligent novel.

SPIRIT

BY GWYNETH JONES (Gollancz [pounds sterling]14.99) 'THE Count Of Monte Cristo in space' is the publisher's billing for Spirit, the latest from the prolific, award-winning and -- warning, warning: astonishing adjective imminent -- female SF writer Gwyneth Jones.

She borrows just bits of Alexandre Dumas's tale in this story of her heroine, Bibi, who is incarcerated for uncounted years on an alien prison-planet. …

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