Annal: 1986 John W. Campbell Award

Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 1986.

Book:The Postman: A Novel

The Postman: A Novel

David Brin

This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth.  A timeless novel as urgently compelling as War Day or Alas, Babylon, David Brin’s The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction.

He was a survivor—a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war.  Fate touches him one chill winter’s day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold.  The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.

Book:Galapagos (Kurt Vonnegut)

Galapagos

Kurt Vonnegut

Galapagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galapagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave new, and totally different human race. Here, America’s master satirist looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry—and all that is worth saving.

Book:Blood Music

Blood Music

Greg Bear

Vergil Ulam’s breakthrough in genetic engineering is considered too dangerous for further research. Rather than destroy his work, he injects himself with his creation and walks out of his lab, unaware of just quite how his actions will change the world.

Bear’s treatment of the traditional tale of scientific hubris is suspenseful and a compelling portrait of a new intelligence emerging amongst us and changing our world irrevocably.

Book:Kiteworld

Kiteworld

Keith Roberts

The Realm of Kiteworld has survived nuclear catastrophe and is governed by a feudal and militant religious oligarchy—the Church Variant. In the outer Badlands, real or imagined Demons are kept at bay by flying defensive structures of giant interlocking Cody kites piloted by an elite and brave Corps of Observers. Through a series of Kite stories we are drawn compellingly into a strange but recognizable world where loyalty to the Corps is everything and non-conformity is a sin. Keith Roberts depicts the fortunes, passions and failings of his characters against this background of a fragile and superstitious society. As the fanatical Ultras embark on a religious campaign of destruction, the Realm starts to disintegrate fast.

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