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The Aids Memorial

Critics, Games, When Martin Amis was a player

Par Simon Parkin - 5 mn

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The cover Invasion of the Space Invaders by Martin Amis, first published in 1982.

Long since out of print, the novelist’s 1982 guide to the nascent gaming scene is a vivid snapshot of a long-lost world – and is about to be republished

For decades, Martin Amis’s Invasion of the Space Invaders: An Addict’s Guide to Battle Tactics, Big Scores and the Best Machines – part anthropological survey of New York’s arcade scene in the early 80s, part video game tips book – has remained one of the great literary curios of the 20th century. First published in 1982 , it has long been out of print; even frayed and spent copies command stratospheric prices on the second-hand market.

Despite accusations to the contrary, Amis maintains that he has never disowned the book, which stands awkwardly apart from his novels, screenplays, memoirs and other non-fiction. Still, while preparing this week’s unexpected reissue , the publishers Jonathan Cape discovered that the original files of Invasion of the...