Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 1973.
A two-man mission to Venus fails and is aborted; when it returns, the Captain is missing and the other astronaut, Harry M. Evans, is unable to explain what has happened. Or, conversely, he has too many explications; his journal of the expedition—compiled in the mental institution to which NASA has embarrassedly committed him—offers contradictory stories: he murdered the Captain, mad Venusian invaders murdered the Captain, the Captain vanished, no one was murdered and the Captain has returned in Evans’ guise…as the explanations pyramid and as the supervising psychiatrist’s increasingly desperate efforts to get a straight story fail, it becomes apparent that Evans’s madness and his inability to explain what happened are expressions of humanity’s incompetence at the enormity of space exploration.
The novel, published by Random House as its inaugural work in a proposed new science fiction program, was controversial…[more]
After fifty-one long years of patient waiting, the message has finally arrived. They have dedicated their lives to trying to decipher the eerie silence that resounds from space and now there is finally a sound after decades of quiet. In the beginning there is a hail of celebration, the Project has finally produced results, but then the questions begin. What does the message mean? Could it be ‘we come in peace’ or ‘get ready for world domination’? The message baffles Earth.
Only one man has the power to make the decision and it could mean intergalactic warfare if he makes the wrong choice. Director MacDonald holds in his hands the fate of Earth, the universe and the Project, which is dedicated to answering questions that have plagued humanity for centuries. Will he make the correct choice?
Survivors of a terrible African war flee their blighted continent, and look for refuge in the countries of the West. But Britain is falling into civil war and anarchy. One of Christopher Priest’s earliest novels, Fugue for a Darkening Island is a powerful work whose subject matter has become increasingly relevant in recent years.