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REVIEW – New Model Army (2010) By Adam Roberts

August 31, 2010

THE ZONE have my review of Adam Roberts’ New Model Army.

New Model Army is not merely a good book or an enjoyable book.  It is a book that has the potential to reinvigorate science fiction as a literature central to the cultural and political life of the 20th Century.

My review examines New Model Army through the prism of a particular understanding of the development of the modern novel.  An understanding that suggests that the mainstream literary novel shaped and was shaped by a fundamental change in the way that we see ourselves as a species.  A change that gave birth to the concept of the Human Right but also to the capitalist system that we currently live under.

By virtue of its tendency to hug the walls of a literary ghetto, science fiction is rather less wedded to this particular politico-literary gestalt than the mainstream literary novel and while this has maginalised science fiction in the eyes of some critics and writers, this marginalisation has resulted in a greater degree of freedom in the ways in which science fiction can depict the human condition.  New Model Army is a work that attempts to forge a new way of looking at human events.  A mode that seems well suited to this particular time and this particular place and, as a result, the novel has the potential to change things.

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