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The Red Men by Matthew de Abaitua

The Red Men

The Red Men by Matthew de Abaitua
Mass Market Paperback
Nov 07, 2017 | 368 Pages

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“Sumptuously written, with prose that glitters.”
– Will Self
 “The Red Men is a breathtaking novel of ideas, and a sharp antidote to those shiny magical ‘upload your consciousness into cyberspace wheee’ novels.”
– Charlie Jane Anders, for io9 

“Matthew de Abaitua makes Michel Houellebecq seem like Enid Blyton.”
– Matt Thorne, Encore Award-winning author of Eight Minutes Idle

The Red Men is a brilliant work of social theory, in the same way that novels by authors like J G Ballard and Bret Easton Ellis are works of social theory. The Red Men is as informative and thought-provoking, when it comes to working out how society actually works in the 21st century, as anything by Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, or Manuel Castells.”
– The Pinocchio Theory

“Like the famous elephant surrounded by blind men, its shape and texture suggest differing beasts depending on where you grab it. Literary thriller and domestic drama, thought experiment and drug trip, cyberpunk and technopagan, satire and prophecy.”
– Strange Horizons

The Red Men resonates with everything. Everything here on this site, everything I’ve written, everything I’ve done. Everything I’m doing. In fact, ‘resonates’ is the wrong word. Shakes. It shook me. Read it.”
– Magical Nihilism

“The initial chirpy tone and thread of black humour running through this book gets steadily darker. It is compelling, clever and terrifyingly plausible. It is also savagely violent. As a sharp and accomplished writer, de Abaitua is completely capable of delivering a nuanced, satirical take on the subject.”
– Brainfluff

“This is the kind of post-apocalypse, after-it-all-changed novel – with clever codicils – that the Brits do with so much more classy, idiosyncratic style than anyone else. It is full of magisterial weirdness, logical surrealism, melancholy joy and hopeful terror. If I begin to toss out names like Adam Roberts, Brian Aldiss, Keith Roberts, and J G Ballard, I will not be lavishing undue praise.”
– Paul Di Filippo, for Locus Magazine


If Then may be one of the most important works of British science fiction to appear in recent years. It is stunningly original and superbly well written. For those who care about such things, it is firmly of SF, not the literary mainstream – yet it is technically as complex and well executed as any modernist novel you may meet on your Booker travels. I hope this book will be discussed and debated and praised, for it deserves all three sorts of attention in generous measure. If Then is the opposite of the literature of reassurance, it is everything science fiction should be aiming for, and it is wonderful to see de Abaitua back on the scene.”
– Nina Allan

“De Abaitua builds on the promise he demonstrated in The Red Men in this intellectual science fiction novel, whose ambition is matched by its execution. The author’s thoughtful world-building is enhanced by a cast of relatable characters.”
– Publishers Weekly

“I cannot praise If Then highly enough: eloquent, intelligent, brilliant.”
– Elsa Bouet, Shoreline of Infinity

“The alternating viewpoints set in a modern town and during World War I will have you itching to know what’s really going on.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“It’s a work that doesn’t so much subvert expectations as shatter them utterly. It’s dense, but it also moves; it’s both a breakneck thriller and one of the year’s most thoughtful works of science fiction.”
– Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“Matthew De Abaitua has the knack of delivering the most complex of concepts and diabolical leaps of imagination in a way that first entices then completely draws the reader in. A thrilling book.”
– Strange Alliances

“A marvellously written book, whose invention and surprises gain momentum until its boggler of an ending.”
– SFX Magazine

“A distinctive and grand work of the imagination. You don’t need a VR headset to appreciate this work of art, just eyes and a brain.”
– The Generalist

The Destructives is as successful as its predecessor and together they make one of the most intriguing and disturbing near-future speculations published for some years.”
– Strange Horizons

“J G Ballard does John Varley, or David Marusek by way of M John Harrison, with frostings of Philip K Dick and Peter Watts… De Abaitua’s novel gives us a portrait of an utterly foreign yet believable future.”
– Asimov’s Science Fiction

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