Justina Robson


Justina Robson has written seven novels. Her debut SILVER SCREEN was published by Macmillan in 1999 and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award. Justina would then write MAPPA MUNDI (2001), NATURAL HISTORY (2003) and LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE (2005).

Justina’s most recent series is the Quantum Gravity sequence, published by Gollancz in the UK (and by Pyr in the US). It is very much a mixture of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Of this Justina says, ‘[It] is, among other things, one of those kick-ass-female-protagonist-with-vampire-boyfriend things so beloved of Zeno’s own John Berlyne. Except he isn’t a vampire — he’s an elf. She’s a machine. The other boyfriend is a demon. It’s exactly what you would expect from a serious SF writer.DOWN TO THE BONE, the fifth-and-final book in the series, was published in 2011 by Gollancz (UK) and Pyr (US).

Justina’s work has been shortlisted for many awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, John W. Campbell and BSFA Best Novel. In 2001 she was joint winner of the Amazon Writer’s Bursary which led to a brief period as Writer in Residence at Queen Mary & Westfield College, London. Her short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and collections.

In addition to writing she enjoys the occasional teaching position at The Arvon Foundation. She has also appeared as a guest participant in the following projects: The Foresight Project, BioCentre, and Human Futures@FACT .

She wavers between taking herself very seriously and not seriously at all.  She finds writing about herself in the third person very strange.

Robson’s supreme strength as a writer of science fiction has always been her ability to create characters whose point of view offers a new perspective on the world in which they exist and act.’   —  Strange Horizons

A novelist of real vision.’  —  Zadie Smith

SILVER SCREEN and MAPPA MUNDI showed intelligence, grace and a lively but humane imagination. Robson’s considerable sense of humour lay in ambush, backed up by a postfeminist tendency to look the problem straight in the eye. Combined with a clean, powerful narrative drive and a cosmological sensibility, this clarity of vision now demonstrates itself as her major asset, making her one of the very best of the new British hard SF writers. But it proves her identity too, moving her on, like the Forged themselves, into a space of her own choosing.’  —  Guardian 

 

titles



THE SWITCH

The Glorious Angels

  1. THE GLORIOUS ANGELS
  2. TBC

Quantum Gravity Series:

Translation Rights Controlled by Gollancz

  1. KEEPING IT REAL
  2. SELLING OUT
  3. GOING UNDER
  4. CHASING THE DRAGON
  5. DOWN TO THE BONE

LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE

NATURAL HISTORY

MAPPA MUNDI

SILVER SCREEN

covers

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  • THE SWITCH
  • GLORIOUS ANGELS
  • Quantum Gravity Series (UK, US)
  • Quantum Gravity Series: KEEPING IT REAL (Translation Editions)
  • Quantum Gravity Series (Translation Editions)
  • Quantum Gravity Series (English Audio Editions)
  • SILVER SCREEN (UK, US, Germany, eBook)
  • MAPPA MUNDI (UK, US, Germany, eBook)
  • NATURAL HISTORY (UK, US, Germany, Spain)
  • LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE (UK, US)
  • Stand-Alone Novels (Audio)

translations

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THE SWITCH
- Gollancz (UK, 2017)

GLORIOUS ANGELS
- Gollancz (UK, 2015)

Quantum Gravity:

- DOWN TO THE BONE - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- CHASING THE DRAGON - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- GOING UNDER - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- SELLING OUT - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Audible (Audio, 2013)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Jalava (Finland, 2013 - Aitoa peliä)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Hayakawashobo (Japan, 2012 - アルフハイムのゲーム_特務探査官リーラ・ブラック)
- DOWN TO THE BONE - Pyr (US, 2011)
- DOWN TO THE BONE - Gollancz (2011)
- GOING UNDER - Milady (France, 2010 - Destination Faerie)
- SELLING OUT - Milady (France, 2010 - Ascenseur pour Démonia)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Milady (France, 2010 - Bienvenue en Otopia)
- CHASING THE DRAGON - Pyr (US, 2009)
- CHASING THE DRAGON - Gollancz (UK, 2009)
- GOING UNDER - Blanvalet (Germany, 2009 - Elfentod)
- SELLING OUT - Luitingh Fantasy (Netherlands, 2009 - Daemonia)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Albatros (Czech, 2009 - Zachovej klid)
- SELLING OUT - Audible (Audio, 2009)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Luitingh-Sijthoff (Netherlands, 2008 - Elfenbloed)
- GOING UNDER - Pyr (US, 2008)
- GOING UNDER - Gollancz (UK, 2008)
- SELLING OUT - Blanvalet (Germany, 2008)
- SELLING OUT - Pyr (US, 2007)
- SELLING OUT - Gollancz (UK, 2007)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Blanvalet (Germany, 2007 - Willkommen in Otopia)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Fanucci (Italy, 2007 - Lila Black)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Pyr (US, 2007)
- KEEPING IT REAL - Gollancz (UK, 2006)

LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Spectra (US, 2006)
- Pan (UK, 2005)

NATURAL HISTORY
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Bibliopolis (Spain, 2005 - Historia Natural)
- Bastei Lübbe (Germany, 2004)
- Spectra (US, 2004)
- Pan (UK, 2004)

MAPPA MUNDI
- JABberwocky eBook Program (2016)
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Pyr (US, 2006)
- Bastei Lübbe (Germany, 2003)
- Macmillan (UK, 2001)

SILVER SCREEN
- JABberwocky eBook Program (2016)
- Audible (Audio, 2013)
- Bastei Lübbe (Germany, 2006 - Transformation)
- Pyr (US, 2005)
- Pan (UK, 2000)

reviews

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    • GLORIOUS ANGELS
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      ‘A showcase for the authors relentless imagination. It tap dances along the lines between genre boundaries, kicking up its heels with a giddy, ferociously smart inventiveness.’  —  SFX

      ‘A novel that demands a lot from the reader – but its rewards are immensely satisfying… a slow-burner of a novel, beautifully written, and Robson drip-feeds the world-building and the various plot-strands at a stately pace that picks up to become a taut thriller swimming in high concepts.’  —  Independent (‘From Victoria Schwab to Justina Robson: The best female science fiction and fantasy writers you should read now’)

      ‘It’s kind of hard to define where THE GLORIOUS ANGELS fits in with other sci-fi novels. That’s not to say that it doesn’t – it just stands out from so many other… the story is incredibly intelligent and well structured… the characters are incredibly deep and personable… There’s a real mix of emotions and ideas explored across the course of the book – all told from each character’s point of view, seamlessly shifting from one perspective to another… What this book really does is tell an engaging, complex story, and it tells it well without condescending to stereotypes.’  —  SciFi Now (5*)

      ‘In a genre where magic is so often just explosions and fireballs, Robson stands out for her inventive magic system; cities rise and fall depending on their ruler’s mood and a whole species relies on emotional and mental manipulation for its survival. She is equally as creative in her world-building… I was impressed by the boldness and scale of Robson’s vision… a compelling read… if you’re looking for a bold, unashamedly different story, then The Glorious Angels is for you.’  —  Bending Over Bookwards

      ‘A compellingly complex novel… a lot of twists and turns that allow us to fully immerse ourselves in the world that Justina Robson has created. This is a book where you will never be bored by the intricate detail built over time, there is action, intrigue, sex and fantastic characters that you will want to find out more about. It looks like Justina Robson has a long term game plan for where this story is going to end, but what a fantastic start THE GLORIOUS ANGELS makes.’  —  Flickering Myth

      ‘An intriguing… tale of war, internecine politics and ancient technologies. The opening chapters form a longish prelude, richly detailing the lives of courtly intrigue and intellectual exploration that Tralane Huntingore and her daughters lead in the city of Glimshard. Beautiful prose and some succulently concocted sex scenes keep one’s interest from flagging; and once the plot kicks in and the action leaves Glimshard, GLORIOUS ANGELS quickens from thoughtful to forceful.’  —  FT.com

      ‘A densely plotted and fascinatingly thought provoking novel which will best be appreciated by reading more than once. The language is beautifully controlled and structured, the characters fascinatingly different but credible and the various views of what governs human behaviour are worth considering.’  —  We Love This Book

      ‘A book that has a cracking overall arc, a solid plotline… I was left wanting more. I really can’t wait to see what Justina hits with on the second title in this series.’  —  Falcata Times

    • Quantum Gravity - KEEPING IT REAL
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      ‘Life is anything but real in this entertaining fusion of SF and fantasy spiced with sex, rockin’ elves and drunk faeries… Deft prose helps the reader accept what in lesser hands would be merely absurd.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      ‘For Fans of… Tolkien, had he gone electric, dropped acid, and discovered tantric sex…’  —  Entertainment Weekly

      This is by far the most entertaining book Robson has written, a novel packed with memorable characters and ideas but that doubles as holiday-reading escapism. No mean balancing act.‘  —  SFX

      ‘This is a novel that, like the realities that shatter into one, tears apart all genre conventions and mixes them together into something new. And if that weren’t enough to stack against it: In a male-dominated industry, this is a novel written by someone channeling their inner teenage girl, writing for teenage girls… KEEPING IT REAL may turn out to be one example of the change that SF may want to embark on. Because this isn’t SF for SF readers. This is SF for a generation raised on anime, manga, and MMORPGs. This is SF for the Wii gamer.’  —  Ain’t It Cool News

      ‘If you are a fan of sci-fi or fantasy KEEPING IT REAL has something for you!…I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were inventive and interesting….Robson did a great job of connecting the reader to her characters. The universe that she has created or multi-verse (not sure which would be correct) is also very imaginative and I believe the melding of sci-fi and fantasy elements was extremely well done. 4/5*’  —  SFSignal.com

      ‘… skillfully builds a seamless connection between sf and fantasy in this fast-paced series opener featuring a strong, action-oriented heroine and a unique world setting. With appeal to fans of contemporary culture and mature YAs, her latest effort belongs in most libraries.’  —  Library Journal

      ‘Worlds overlap in unexpected ways as Black must face her old adversary, travel to Alfheim, plus deal with demons and a power crazed Queen in this action-packed futuristic sci-fi that will appeal to techies and fantasy fans alike. Tension between the characters is credible even if the premise is a bit far-fetched and it’s fun watching Black grow into her new self as she confronts magic in ways few other humans have managed in this first of the Quantum Gravity series.’  —  MonstersAndCritics

      ‘There’s a treat in store for you all, as the new Justina Robson is out. Lila Black is a spy, and a bodyguard, and every so often she breaks into the sheer joy of the toys she carries within her. It’s good to see that almost naïve geek love you see among born techies translated into a character so beautifully. The only truly bad thing about this book is that it isn’t stand-alone and now I’ve got to wait until she’s finished writing the next one, wanting much, much more.’  —  Starburst (5* Review)

      ‘Robson lets loose and had fun with this tale, a rock ‘n’ roll saga including elves, magic, and cyborgs… Robson creates fascinating characters and worlds for them to inhabit, meanwhile sacrificing none of her other strengths and not once succumbing to the easy genre cliches, at least not without keen irony.’  —  Booklist

    • Quantum Gravity -SELLING OUT
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      ‘Cyborg secret agent Lila Black learns that her worst enemy may be her own traumatic past in Robson’s high-powered second Quantum Gravity installment… Robson’s mix of magical and technological elements, intrigue and action should be just the thing for paranormal and fantasy adventure readers.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      ‘It’s good. It’s really very good indeed. I loved it.’  —  Peter F. Hamilton

      ‘This absorbing and exciting second installment lives up expectations with the six parallel worlds of humans, elves, demons, faeries, elementals and undead further developed with tantalizing hints of a seventh world dropped in for good measure. Lila’s strong character is nicely balanced by enough self-doubt and concerns about her autonomy to be interesting without being overplayed. A lot more background is provided for the other key protagonists giving this a well rounded feel while setting up the next book with a couple of potential showdowns. Fans of Joel Shephero’s Cassandra Kresnov series, think Sandy with six realms worth of creatures, politics and villains to run afoul of.’  —  MonstersAndCritics

      ‘… deserves the readers attention. Selling out? Definitely not.’  —  SFFWorld

      ‘… an excellent read that’ll challenge imaginations and hook its talons deep.’  —  Wistful Writings

    • Quantum Gravity -GOING UNDER
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      ‘… sparkles in this final section, suddenly sprouting a cleverly nuanced plot…’  —  Publishers Weekly

      ‘Fast paced, humorous and a bit convoluted, Robson continues building action packed interdimensional worlds… another exciting addition to the series.’  —  MonstersAndCritics

      ‘… tackles the elusive world of Faerie, a place far from the stereotypes of legends. Robson’s mercurial style suits her quick-witted heroine in a fantasy/sf adventure that is a good addition to most fantasy or sf collections.’  —  Library Journal

      ‘The work of a smart and sexy novelist having smart and sexy fun.’  —  Locus

    • Quantum Gravity -CHASING THE DRAGON
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      ‘This fast-paced techno-fantasy will delight fans of manga-influenced action and violence.’  —  Publishers Weekly

    • Quantum Gravity -DOWN TO THE BONE
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      ‘Robson wraps up her highly inventive, often convoluted Quantum Gravity series with this complex tale that brings all the different elements of the story together in a satisfactory conclusion… The way this stellar urban fantasy unfolds is much like following a mobius strip as it twists and folds back upon itself while never failing to deliver plenty of surprises. The relationship between Lila, Zal and Teazle has been a fascinating centerpiece of the overall story and plays a large role in this last book of the series.’  —  MonstersAndCritics

    • SILVER SCREEN
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      ‘A cerebral and absorbing novel that explores the nature of consciousness and artificial intelligence… Robson’s prose is lean and dynamic, and the speculative concepts are cutting edge and ultra cool. A startlingly innovative take on the tried-and-true theme of artificial intelligence.’  —  Kirkus (Starred Review)

      ‘… a fascinating peek into the development of one of SF’s brightest new stars.’  —  Publishers Weekly

    • MAPPA MUNDI
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      ‘… maintains throat-tightening suspense from its teasingly enigmatic introduction of its major characters to its painful conclusion that evil will succeed if well-meaning people try to achieve good at any cost… Shortlisted for the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award, this near-future SF thriller presents convincing characters caught in profound moral dilemmas brought home through exquisite attention to plot details and setting.’  —  Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

    • NATURAL HISTORY
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      ‘Another entry in what amounts to a (not exclusively) British-accented new New Wave of breathtaking space operas… Quirky, highly intelligent, uneven, sometimes exposition-clogged, often utterly remarkable: alert, agile readers will find it thoroughly rewarding.’  —  Kirkus

      ‘… a thought-provoking SF stand-alone… revisits the disquieting territory of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End… Fans of the sweeping, politically and psychologically aware space opera of Iain M. Banks and Ken MacLeod will be intrigued by Robson’s setting and the new slant she takes on universal questions.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      ‘… we occasionally get a glimpse of the process so sadly familiar from the twentieth century: the gradual transformation of noble idealists into violent revolutionaries, and finally into vicious tyrants. Robson subtly exploits this political theme: contrary to what might be expected, she does not offer instant moral support for the self-proclaimed victims of oppression among the Forged… as human history amply demonstrates, it sometimes takes no more than a strongly organized and unsatisfied minority to unleash a civil war, followed by tyranny, destruction, and long-term sufferings. As the events of NATURAL HISTORY unfold, we are left with the pessimistic sense that a true deus ex machina is required. Vicious civil war may be averted by a near-miraculous brush with the Transcendence, and a protagonist can be saved from consequences of her own extreme views by inadvertently Transcending, but Robson makes the general note of warning quite clear. This is another reason why even readers not keen on transcendence theme should drink from the spring of this delightful book… Robson’s book is a worthy addition to the small library of novels that give serious and careful consideration to the ramifications of a Stapledonian vision of humanity’s cosmic evolution. NATURAL HISTORY… provides an enjoyable and colorful journey. If you are interested in the fate of humankind and what Georges Lemaitre called the “searching of souls as well as of spectra”, you’ll feel welcome on this lyrical voyage.’  —  Journal of Evolution and Technology

      NATURAL HISTORY has been nominated for both the Arthur C. Clarke and the Philip K. Dick Awards — and rightfully so. Robson builds upon the themes and qualities of her previous two novels: we get future technologies with a radical impact on society, some serious philosophical questions and a touch of political thriller, all carried by characters that feel psychologically complex and real… Despite NATURAL HISTORY being about human evolution and transcendental insights, Robson refuses to employ the apolitical sense of the sublime that characterizes many SF novels with similar topics. This novel is no glorified evolutionary fable. Even when it addresses the idea of reaching a whole new level of existence, it remains embedded in the social and political landscape of human affairs… a true challenge to the conventions of “evolutionary” Science Fiction.’  —  Infinity Plus

      ‘… gets a lot of work done in short amount of time. Robson’s succinct narrative covers ground that if dealt with in more detail could seem ponderous. In her hands it all seems firmly in the gee-whiz territory that we all hope for when first encounter science fiction. It’s fresh, it’s funny, it’s entertainingly thought provoking. NATURAL HISTORY is the kind of fun that brings new fans to science fiction – and keeps the old ones coming back for more.’  — Trashotron

      ‘Robson’s gift for prose and humour… is backed up by some great characters and, even more so, a fantastic set of concepts at the centre of the novel… present[s] an intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic anthropological viewpoint… which is combined with a nice sense of humour… This sort of style also shows through in all the less central characters, who are still pretty well fleshed out; NATURAL HISTORY is peopled with very much real and immediate characters. The plot is equally brilliant… to sum up, well-written, peopled with very human and empathetic, understandable characters, and with some absolutely fascinating aesthetics and plot points; Justina Robson… is, perhaps, the only author today who could handle all these things so well and with such a light authorial touch. Utterly riveting.’  —  GrimSqueaker

      ‘Her imagination and knowledge of various sciences are rare. She delved deeply into subjects that other writers tend to do no more than a glancing blow.’  —  Jacob Foxx

    • LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE
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      ‘If William Gibson and Norman Spinrad had dropped acid together, this fourth SF novel by British author Robson is the book they might have written.’  —  Publishers Weekly

      ‘… the first thing a reader notices about her work is the exquisite precision and thoughtfulness of her writing. There is simply no moment too small, no interaction too seemingly insignificant for her to resist putting her distinctive signature on it, whether she is giving voice to the fatigue of a character who feels as if “the week finished me as effortlessly as a finger knocking over a domino,” or the way a welcomingly unfamiliar face can shine through a crowd “like a ray of sunlight coming through heavy curtains” … What Robson has constructed with LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE is nothing short of a modern-day fairy tale, except she doesn’t need to hide behind predatory wolves and little girls in blood-red garments to convey what’s truly at stake. Her story could not be told without technology, but it is not a story about technology. It is a story about people, whose behavior cannot be so easily predicted, whose defects cannot be so easily repaired and whose functions and purposes in the universe have yet to be determined. “When you’re faced with that,” says a character whose every word and deed is designed to be irresistibly appealing, “the universe can go to hell.” ‘  —  New York Times

      ‘Robson’s supreme strength as a writer of science fiction has always been her ability to create characters whose point of view offers a new perspective on the world in which they exist and act. In LIVING NEXT DOOR TO THE GOD OF LOVE, she handles her characters’ voices with confidence and wit, weaving together multiple stories to produce an elaborate whole that’s somehow, finally, compacted into a simple seed, a timeless myth of death and resurrection.’  —  Strange Horizons

      ‘Robson’s idiosyncratic, vivid descriptions, her spot-on characterisation, her witty humour are all in place, along with the occasional well-informed genre- and pop-culture references. There are even a few laugh-out-loud moments… on the other hand, there’s some pretty heavy stuff, including several rape scenes that might turn a weak stomach. It’s not too graphic, but on an emotional level much of it is quite brutal… convey[s] a sense of the intolerable beauty of death and desire, while simultaneously refusing to fall for the easy answers of romanticism.’  —  Infinity Plus

      ‘This is one of those stories that unfolds slowly and, like any good fiction, is about much more than a storyline or the technology that backs it… set in a rich and captivating context that partakes of legends, fairy tales, comics, and the future. Quite a heady mix… It’s a multi-faceted, almost kaleidoscopic story told by the people it portrays in a constant series of shifting viewpoints graced by prose with its own momentum and a rare kind of tensile strength… This is a book graced by a magnetic narrative, the examinations are dispassionate and precise, the illuminations subtle and profound, characters captivating if not always so easy to get along with, and it unfolds with a wealth of beautifully written details and digressions.’  —  Green Man Reviews

      ‘This is science fiction for everyone: science geeks, post-singularity heads, technofetishists, anthropologists, even fairy-tale fans get a look in late in the book when Jalaeka’s long history is explored.’  —  Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

      ‘rich and varied and at times exhilarating’  —  Daughters of Prometheus