Annal: 1987 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 1987.

Book:The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel

Margaret Atwood

In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Book:Eon

Eon

Greg Bear

Perhaps it wasn’t from our time, perhaps it wasn’t even from our universe, but perhaps the arrival of the 300 km long stone was the answer to humanity’s desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war.

Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge.

Deeper still within the stone is the Way. For some the Way means salvation from death, for others it is a parallel world where loved ones live again. But, unlike Thistledown, the Way is not entirely dead, and the inhabitants hold the knowledge of a present war, over a million miles away, using weapons far more deadly than any that mankind has ever conceived.

Book:Green Eyes

Green Eyes

Lucius Shepard

Life the second time around is short, strange and terrifying to the awakened. One “zombie”, victim of a bizarre scientific obsession, breaks away, leaving a trail of muder and miracle as he flees the Project and the horror his “life” hasbecome.

Book:The Memory of Whiteness

The Memory of Whiteness

Kim Stanley Robinson

In 3229 A.D., human civilization is scattered among the planets, moons, and asteroids of the solar system. Billions of lives depend on the technology derived from the breakthroughs of the greatest physicist of the age, Arthur Holywelkin. But in the last years of his life, Holywelkin devoted himself to building a strange, beautiful, and complex musical instrument that he called The Orchestra.

Johannes Wright has earned the honor of becoming the Ninth Master of Holywelkin’s Orchestra. Follow him on his Grand Tour of the Solar System, as he journeys down the gravity well toward the sun, impelled by a destiny he can scarcely understand, and is pursued by mysterious foes who will tell him anything except the reason for their enmity.

Book:Queen of the States

Queen of the States

Josephine Saxton

Magdalen is a woman who is on her own planet, out to lunch and on her own trip. She moves through time and space, from a private mental hospital to an alien spaceship where she is interrogated about human behaviour and the function of sex. Is Magdalen mad, or have the aliens really landed? She weaves her way through the fantasies of those around her—husband Clive, psychiatrist Dr. Murgatroyd, lovers, friends and friends’ lovers—until, finally, she can reclaim her own existence.

Book:The Ragged Astronauts

The Ragged Astronauts

Bob Shaw

Land and Overland—twin worlds a few thousand miles apart. On Land, humanity faces a threat to its very survival—an airborne species, the ptertha, has declared war on humankind, and is actively hunting for victims. The only hope lies in migration. Through space to Overland. By balloon.

The Ragged Astronauts—first volume in an epic adventure filled with memorable characters, intense action, engaging notions, exotic locales.

Book:Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Samuel R. Delany

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is a science fiction masterpiece about the inexplicability of sexual attractiveness, and a story that foresaw the World Wide Web. Originally published in 1984, its central issues—technology, globalization, gender, sexuality, and multiculturalism—have only become more pressing with the passage of time.

The novel’s topic is information itself. What are the repercussions of the discovery, once it has been made public, that two individuals have been found to be each other’s perfect erotic object out to “point nine-nine-nine and several nines percent more”? What will it do to the individuals involved, to the city they inhabit, to their geosector, and to their entire world society, especially when one is an illiterate worker, the sole survivor of a world destroyed by “cultural fatigue,” and the other is—you!

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