kindle ´ Yellow Blue Tibia Ð Hardcover read ✓ adam roberts

Adam Roberts Ñ Yellow Blue Tibia reader

kindle ´ Yellow Blue Tibia Ð Hardcover read ✓ adam roberts Ì Russia 1946 With the Nazis 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 eually convinced that 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 This is a very odd book It’s the kind of love child that might result from someone distilling Umberto Eco and Kurt Vonnegut Adam Roberts takes on the spectre of Soviet Russia and at the same time explores how science fiction shapes and is shaped by the issues at work in the society of its time Yellow Blue Tibia is not your typical work of alternative historyAt the end of World War II Stalin gathers some of Russia’s greatest science fiction minds and asks them to create an alien menace that will keep Russia unified following the defeat of the Nazis Just as abruptly this secret project gets scrapped and the writers are told to forget it ever happened Konstantin Skvorecky does exactly this for another forty years but in 1986 his life takes a turn for the surreal He runs into another of his writer comrades from that project Jan aka Ivan Friedman now a colonel in the KGB He encounters two Americans and a Russian physicist turned taxi driver who are somehow involved in a plot to blow up Chernobyl Nobody wants to explain anything to Skvorecky and somehow he gets wrapped up in a conspiracy that might be of his own makingThe convoluted conspiracies that lie beneath the surface of Yellow Blue Tibia remind me of Foucault’s Pendulum After Colonel Ardenti’s mysterious visit to the publishing house the various characters of the Templar conspiracy start coming out of the woodwork for real A similar thing happens here with Friedman’s reappearance triggering the landslide of events that culminate in Skvorecky and Saltykov’s mad drive to Kiev Don’t get me wrong there is no way Roberts’ writing comes even close to Eco’s and I don’t think it would be fair to either of them to say that he’s trying to emulate that style No my comparison here is entirely one of content; both authors tackle the curious effect that conspiracy theories have on reality Roberts draws from the rich conspiracy laden background of Soviet Russia where people really did disappear for decades without explanationRoberts’ style reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut Characters enter and exit the narrative in a meandering way pausing to deliver exposition or advance the plot before disappearing back into the space between pages Motivations are thin or bizarre at best What is Friedman really after—does he believe in this conspiracy or he is merely cynically manipulating it Whose side is he on after all How did Saltykov become embroiled in all this This is where Yellow Blue Tibia probably fails some people for Roberts refuses to tie up all the loose ends and turn in a conventional five act narrative where everything is resolved and clear cutI think this book truly shines in two ways First as I already mentioned there is the connection to the ethos that pervaded Soviet Russia Second it is somewhat a commentary on science fiction in the twentieth centuryI won’t pretend to be an expert at twentieth century history let alone Russian history so the extent to which I can comment on this remains superficial But it seems to me that the society of Russia following World War II is the perfect setting for Roberts’ tale This wouldn’t necessarily work in another country where freedoms and civil liberties are rigorously observed But in Soviet Russia there is just enough of that sense of ahistory for Skvorecky’s own self doubt to be believable At first he patently rejects the idea that the story he and his fellow science fiction writers developed could actually be coming true It is after all absurd But as evidence piles up and people in positions of authority insist that it is the case he begins to doubt himself It’s not a matter of proof or persuasion but simply the persistent reminder that in Russia nothing is as it seems and there is the truth and then there is the truth as told by the PartyThere’s a great scene in the middle of the book when Skvorecky visits a club and is asked to deliver a speech on UFOs that demonstrates this concept Skvorecky refuses to talk about UFOs on the grounds that he does not believe they exist Yet his audience refuses to swallow this reasoning choosing instead to believe he is speaking in circles lest he get in trouble with the KGB and the Communist Party for speaking of something that is not sanctioned Roberts demonstrates the lengths to which some people had to go to get their point across without running afoul of censors and secret policeYellow Blue Tibia also explores the relationship between science fiction and society Science fiction has often had a rocky relationship with authoritariancommunist regimes—why depict a future society that isn’t communist if communism is supposed to be the answer to all our problems Skvorecky and his fellow writers are oppressed yet at the same time valued by Stalin and his cronies And Skvorecky meditates upon how science fiction has changed since the end of World War II The science fiction of the 1930s and 1940s is significantly different from the science fiction that followed—the difference due in part to the spectre of nuclear apocalypse now lingering over every writer’s pen No longer was science fiction only about colonies on the moon or aliens from Mars Suddenly humanity had the power to destroy all life on Earth uite easily and even accidentally It might have been the first time when globally something that had only been science fiction was suddenly very very realIf you’re looking for a uick and easy read look further for Yellow Blue Tibia is not it Similarly it’s not uite the deep and moving work of introspection that Eco or Vonnegut might produce It’s somewhere in between easy enough to read but not necessarily easy to comprehend and enjoyable if you are willing to go along with it I don’t know if I would recommend it for people who gravitate towards alternate history but if you are interested in Soviet Russia or science fictional conspiracies you should definitely give this a try

text õ Yellow Blue Tibia Ñ Adam Roberts

Russia 1946 With the Nazis 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 eually convinced that the Soviet Union needs a Either I loved this book or I didn't love it or it was some third thing But really I loved it and you'll just have to read the book to understand the first sentence of this review In 1946 science fiction author Konstantin Andreiovich Skvorecky along with a group of other writers is given the task of inventing an alien invasion scenario by Josef Stalin Stalin believes that America's defeat by the Soviet Union is imminent and he wants to invent a new enemy that the Soviet people can be united against So begins the utterly wonderful Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts Konstantin stumbles through the next 40 odd years mostly drunk until he runs into an old friend another former SF writer who was also part of Stalin's project who informs Konstantin that the imaginary scenario they came up with all those years ago is actually coming true From that point on Konstantin is involved with numerous misadventures as he struggles to understand what is going on in the world around him He is charming and funny and my favorite parts are his conversations with others There is a dry wit to these conversations that seems wholly Russian and a wealth of authentic details of life under Communism I can't say much about this book without giving something away so I'll end before I spoil it Konstantin Skvorecky yellow blue tibia

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Yellow Blue TibiaNew 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 tr This book had some big issues but I have to admit there was something about the tone and the language and the characters that kept me going I loved Saltykov even if his mysterious syndrome hadn't actually been a specific category of diagnosis at the time this novel is supposed to have taken place and even if some of his symptoms seemed like OCD than Asperger's I loved the narrative voice I loved the way the action seuences were written After that There's pretty much just one woman in the novel and her personality is a little underdeveloped There are some speedy recoveries from typically unspeedy injuries I've seen some criticism of some of the Russian cultural aspects of the book though I wouldn't have noticed the errors myself The right book for the day I was reading it in any case