Adam Roberts’ Yellow Blue Tibia, and Why Fiction is Still Stranger Than Truth (Because it Comes First)


A couple of weeks back, my wife started telling me about a novel she was reading. I listened in surprise as she described the story. It was about Stalin consigning a group of sci-fi writers to create a fictional narrative about an ET invasion as a way to maintain Soviet supremacy by fabricating an enemy, and how the fiction starts coming true, much to the surviving authors’ bewilderment…

She hadn’t known what the novel was about when she picked it up. She’d just heard on Twitter that its author was “the guy to read” and picked it up at our local library. She had no idea that the subject matter overlapped so closely with  “The Prisoner of Infinity,” my latest piece of writing about Whitley Strieber and how (maybe) he authored his own experiences of alien contact into being, as part (unwittingly or not) of a grand, socio-religious engineering program (maybe) to create a fictional narrative of alien invasion as a way to keep the Capitalist system alive by fueling the drive towards space colonization.

I noticed the name on the book cover. “Hey, that’s the guy who wrote the only serious essay on Matrix Warrior. He’s quoted at my website!”

Small Universe.

While not having read the book (which is called Yellow Blue Tibia), I noticed some immediate correspondences from my wife’s description: Strieber’s childhood memory of being trained at a psychic school involved being told that Stalin was a hero. His Communion experiences began at the end of 1985, the novel begins in 1986. And one of the prophetic visions Strieber describes that came to him soon after (in 1986) was of the Chernobyl incident. In Roberts’ novel, this incident is one of two (the other being the exploding Challenger) that precisely enact the fiction written several decades before.

I contacted Adam and told him about the new article at RS. He linked it to his blog, here

5 thoughts on “Adam Roberts’ Yellow Blue Tibia, and Why Fiction is Still Stranger Than Truth (Because it Comes First)

  1. off the top of my head…..I was screwing around googling something and I had WAKING LIFE…playing on tv which I have seen a few times so my attention was split….googling and waking life……however my attention was grapped by a dialogue where one character is telling the other character about pk dick`s FLOW MY TEARS and THE BOOK OF ACTS….where the characters in his novel is somewhat the same as the book of acts…..I checked this out again and it does boggle the imagination as streibers stuff also does….in any case I then open my email and read your recent post and somewhere in this book by Adam I make a connection that it rings of what dick had been experiencing…… illusion of time FLOW MY TEARS…and the book of acts…….and your PRISONER OF INFINITY and Adam`s novel……..I might be stretching but I thought I`d post………interesting things happen derm

  2. ps hey jake I just found out dick`s main character in flow my tears was named Jason and the only character in the bible was also named Jason and it was in the book of acts… least according to dick… probably knew this but just in case derm

  3. Hi Derm; I remember this yeah – FMT is my personal favorite of PKD’s novels.

    Dick’s idea of unconsciously writing the future sort of mirrors my interpretation in POI that WS is rewriting his past and thereby forcing his present (and future) to conform to that – you got it – crucial fiction.

  4. Hey, wasn’t it a tibia that the apeman throws into the air in Kubrick’s 2001? Wasn’t the premise of that movie all about spaceflight to meet aliens?

    I posted a fun piece of art work at my blog relating the tibia to the space ship Discovery.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s