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The Red Men

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Sumptuously written, with prose that glitters with a dark lustre like a Damien Hirst fly collage. Intricately plotted, and a satirical point as sharp and accurate as the scalpel of a brain surgeon: De Abaitua operates on the smiling face of the present to reveal the grimacing skull of the future.' Will Self

A police helicopter hovers above Hackney. Snipers surround a house
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published June 13th 2013 by Gollancz (first published October 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Tim Pendry
Mar 23, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: horror
A superior gnostic sci-fi horror which weaves the anomie of modern corporate man and a satire on the world of business gurudom with chaos magick and a dark seam of esoteric horror.

There are shades of J. G Ballard here and, if you can get past the knowing comic writing that is now de rigueur in any post-modern science fiction that deals with inner rather than outer space, there is something important being said about the way our minds and perceptions are being changed by the new technologies.

This is the book we optioned. Excellent read and a smart book. SciFi mixed with a mid-life crisis. I've read it so many times I know it like the back of my hand now. And it's really funny to boot.

..but I would say that wouldn't I - we bought it.
Aug 08, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Yesterday we discussed how I am an artificial intelligence sent from the future who has unconsciously created a terrible enemy to evolve against. Today, we discuss my relationship with your laundry. Your company is a cavalcade of surprises, Nelson.”

I don't know why my review-writing brain has deserted me. I've been trying all day to come up with something profound to say about this excellent, hilarious book & nothing is clicking for me. Hurry back, words of mine! In the meantime, just read
Shawn Davies
Aug 10, 2011 Shawn Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Near future Sci-Fi offers us the ability to reflect our own times and Matthew De Abaitua does that brilliantly with The Red Men. What better devices for metaphor than the avatars displayed in this tale of corporate greed, runaway technology and human frailty. He uses Technology as a mirror of our worse selves and our ultimate master, much to our own detriment.

What De Abaituna does really well though is delineate the domestic and the personal with the corporate and technological. Some of his pith
Janos Honkonen
Jan 03, 2014 Janos Honkonen rated it it was amazing
Red Men was an awesome read, both as a sci-fi and as a literary experience. The story is a fascinating mix of corporate culture, pop-occult, themes of artificial consciousness and virtual worlds, Philip K. Dickian reality bending and interesting milieus and characterizations. The Kindle version of the book has some 13 000 words trimmed out, and apparently the more elaborate literary flourishes got the boot, which makes the text flow while feeling still rich and evocative. I picked up Red Men wit ...more
Andy Theyers
Jan 07, 2014 Andy Theyers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Wonderfully inventive speculative fiction. More grounded than Jeff Noon, but in that same near future where the advancement of science is as much about the inside of our heads as it is about the outside world.
Vuk Trifkovic
Jul 03, 2013 Vuk Trifkovic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent piece. The characters are great, the observations really sharp. Plot can be a bit rough in places, a bit rushed and confused. The SF bits are meh, but overall impression is still very good. I'm surprised it has not been more popular...
James Stewart
Jan 02, 2013 James Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasing, quick read written by someone who clearly knows my Hackney neighbourhood very well. I enjoyed the way the author played with gnostic concepts and the fact that it never quite resolved.
Aug 13, 2016 Jerico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would be a solid 3.5 with a more granular review system.

The Red Men is an interesting fusion of Literary fiction and science fiction tropes, playing in the space that Gibson pioneered but with a great deal of fascinating original flourishes. The basic narrative follows a former editor for an underground magazine after he's sold out and works for a tech company that creates partial emulations of its clients to improve their work performance. Things get screwy from there, and there's an incr
Jun 21, 2011 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting near-future satirical cyber-thriller that doesn't quite manage to come off. It starts well, with the development of the Red Men, who are essentially AI copies of human personalities. These are ostensibly done to enable certain individuals to establish a sort of ersatz immortality. However, the personalities, once in AI form, do not behave and respond as would be expected based on the people they are recorded from. The physicality of the brain having a significant effect on that.
Susie Munro
I think there are at least three novels crammed in to the Red Men - a near future dystopia with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek satirisng corporate culture via mid-life crisis man angst-ridden view point, an oddly half-formed weird novel involving possession by transplanted pig organs with lashings of occult and an completely out of place earnest sci-fi novel about AI, ethics and the role of storytelling in shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world. The look-how-clever I am sat ...more
The Sample Reader
May 04, 2014 The Sample Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy-list
In a very general way, The Red Men puts me in mind of William Gibson. This is literary scifi with a strong sense of place–London, again–and a clear reflection of the contemporary. This really appeals to me, but not quite enough to force my hand–for now. It’s right at the top of my shopping list though.

Read the full ebook Sample Reader review here.
Oct 08, 2013 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a dystopia for the modern era with a fair bit of added humour. The author has used the original Karel Capek concept of robots and brought it up to date. The book could have perhaps done with a bit of polishing from a sympathetic editor, but it is still worth reading. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Jun 09, 2012 Kars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
Starts out very strong with a scathing critique of contemporary tech mega corps. The red men concept is well conceived. The second section jarred me a bit by the introduction of Leto and his followers. It appears the author tried to do some high PKD style weirdness but it never really gels with the rest of the novel, at least for me. I was captivated though, a highly enjoyable read.
James Murphy
Mar 17, 2016 James Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the more intriguing science fiction novels I have read. It certainly gives one food for thought about artificial intelligence and its potential applications. Worth checking out if you're in the mood for dystopian near-future science fiction.
Mar 28, 2016 Mathew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel about artificial intelligence, what we might use it for, and how it is likely to be literally inhuman in its motivations. Reminded me of the work of Jeff Noon, with a dash of Michael Marshall Smith.

(Sadly not available in the US.)
Jun 01, 2016 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminded me of Seventies era science fiction, where new modes of consciousness were accessible through drugs, but now it's on a corporate scale
Lilla Smee
Another book that has to be officially and formally abandoned. I got a fair way through it - in fact I'm nearly at the end. But ultimately, I just don't care what happens to anyone.
Udayan Chakrabarti
Bewildering, disturbing and thought provoking, all at the same time.
Alice De
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“Selling out had never been a problem before because no one had wanted to buy. Why are we kneecapping ourselves with artistic principles when we are yet to produce any art?” 1 likes
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