SALT Salt is classic SF by a debut writer.
Salt is a crystal compound of Sodium and Chlorine; faceted and transparent. Simple and pure. What life could there be without salt? It is known as God's diamond, by which we should be aware of the infinite variability of scale for the divine perspective. Every grain is a landscape, a world.
And us? We are fragile. We dissolve in immensity like salt water.
And after thirty-seven years of travel through the vastness of space we arrived on the planet Salt. And we took Heaven and Hell with us.
Told by two people, Petja and Barlei, Salt is the story of a planetary colonisation that slips into a tragedy of Biblical proportions. The two communities who went to Salt were united by the dream of a new beginning and, isolated in a landscape of cruel majesty, torn apart by ancient enmities. Salt is a novel of remarkable power, intense beauty and profound insight, In its evocation of an alien world it compares to nothing less than Dune.
`Evocative in its characterisation, the SF elements of Salt are understated. It may be set in the future, but the reasons behind the exodus from Earth are never stated, and the time deliberately vague. The power of Salt quietly creeps up on you, making a convincing and powerful debut: SFX
‘Adam Roberts’ confident debut as a science-fiction writer is a pleasure to read. The plot - planetary settlement in the far future, tech solutions to problems - unwinds with only a light dusting of clues to the bloody future just over the horizon. It’s a future shaped by chloride chemistry (the title Salt fits like a glove), framed by politics’ New Scientist
‘Roberts’ evocation of Salt’s bleak landscapes is elegant and evocative, and his narrative is knotty and sophisticated . . . neither side is blameless; the moral shading is subtler than blunt schematic didacticism; the tragedy all the deeper. Salt is a strong debut, and an affecting, effective novel.’ Interzone
`Salt, both in its ambition and execution, invites comparison to other SF novels of high stature . . . Let there be no doubt, however, that Salt is a novel that succeeds on its own terms. Roberts’ prose carries the weight of a serious theme, but never becomes bombastic or portentous itself. This is the work of a writer who has already found his voice, and has something meaningful to say. With Salt, Adam Roberts has produced the finest first novel to grace the field of science fiction in many years’ SFSite.com.
`Adam Roberts’ brilliantly written tale of the colonisation of the planet Salt has all the hallmarks of a writer with many years experience. Where do these accomplished debut writers come from?’ Starlog
`Salt is a compelling tale . . . this narrative describes one of the darkest human fates Science Fiction has yet produced’ Starburst
‘A moving, intelligent and great book. If you enjoy the political edge of Iain Banks’ books and the demands of Doris Lessing’s then you’ll love SALT. If you enjoy intelligent SF that’ll make you laugh and sight they you’ll love SALT. Whatever, you’ll love SALT’ Infinity Plus
‘A ‘Locus Recommends’ title for 2000