Jack Glass : A Golden Age Story, Paperback
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)



We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged. Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, JACK GLASS is another bravura performance from Roberts.

Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain and JACK GLASS has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits and comes with liberal doses of sly humour. Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challanges notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom.

It is an extraordinary novel.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9780575127647



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

After two lacklustre near future novels this far future novel, which plays with the toys of the murder mystery genre, is a cracking return to form for this author.A few centuries hence, the solar system has become a large slum, in which trillions live in bubble homes floating in space, subsisting on basic food grown from hydroponics and recycled water. Above the masses are the police/gangsters and above them are the Clan Families. And pre-emminent among the Clan Families are the Ulanovs, the source of all power. Not surprisingly, there are those in the 'Sump', the bubble-dwellers, who want to change this despotic system.The story focuses on the two scions of the Argent Family, Diana and Eva, the former gene-engineered for intuition, the latter for logical reasoning. Eva is working on her seventh PhD, which is on "champagne supernovas", a very rare type of supernova which appear for no discernable reason. And there is a rumuour that someone has invented an FTL drive. If this is true it then it could either free mankind to roam the stars or give the stars to the Ulanovs, or another of the Families...I think I have said enough as I do not want to give away anything that might ruin the impact of the three crime/whodununit-puzzles herein. I have not said anything about the title character but he is declared a murderer right at start so this snippet is giving nothing away. I found this novel hard to put down, as it fires on all cylinders in its rich blend of genre fictions. If you have not read anything yet by this author yet, try this novel.

Review by

I thoroughly enjoyed this book with its well crafted sentences and the puzzle of figuring out how the murders were committed. You know from the beginning who the murderer is but that does not keep one from reading to learn the hows and whys of the murders.

Review by

Wow. A delicious trifecta of science fiction, murder, and mystery. Tonally one of the weirdest books I've read in awhile. Oppressive political structures. Social critique. Crime and punishment. Quantum physics. FTL travel. Dreamscapes as problem solving tools. Sociopaths, assassins. And yet lots of lightness and wry humor that worked. I love how all the back cover blurbs make note of it as a scifi book that would rival any so-called literary work. Bold but maybe not that far off. The prose is startling and beautiful at times. Will have to let this one soak in my brain before a detailed review.

Also by Adam C. Roberts