Right after I got done reading the A.I. anthology We Think Therefore We Are, and appreciating Adam Roberts' Garden-Of-Eden story "Adam Robots" as one of the collection's most thought-provoking stories, Pyr Books' Lou Anders posted a rundown of all of Roberts' novels and an explanation of why he deserves more literary fame as a post-modern trickster:
DeathRay wrote of him recently that, "You never know exactly what you're going to get with an Adam Roberts novel, and that's a strength: each of his books is very different in feel from the last."
I certainly think it's a strength, but somehow-I'm ashamed to say-refusing to do the same old thing over and over can hurt you over here in the States when it comes time to building a dedicated readership. And Adam excels at difficult protagonists, often employing people whose values are starkly in contrast to our own, and he loves utilizing the "unreliable narrator," someone who has reason to lie and therefore can't be entirely trusted. It's a technique that is very familiar in the mystery genre, but doesn't always go down well in SF. Honestly, I think if he'd been published over here by a mainstream publisher, he'd be regarded as a serious literary genius like Michael Chabon. As it is, I hope he will forgive me if I say he's something of a well-kept secret. But perhaps that's beginning to change.
It's well worth reading the rest of Anders' post, and now I'm dying to read some of Roberts' novels. Plus his goofy Doctor Who parodies.