Annal: 1994 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 1994.

Book:Vurt

Vurt

Jeff Noon

Vurt is a feather—a drug, a dimension, a dream state, a virtual reality. It comes in many colors: legal Blues for lullaby dreams. Blacks, filled with tenderness and pain, just beyond the law. Pink Pornovurts, doorways to bliss. Silver feathers for techies who know how to remix colors and open new dimensions. And Yellows—the feathers from which there is no escape. The beautiful young Desdemona is trapped in Curious Yellow, the ultimate Metavurt, a feather few have ever seen and fewer still have dared ingest. Her brother Scribble will risk everything to rescue his beloved sister. Helped by his gang, the Stash Riders, hindered by shadowcops, robos, rock and roll dogmen, and his own dread, Scribble searches along the edges of civilization for a feather that, if it exists at all, must be bought with the one thing no sane person would willingly give.

Book:Ammonite

Ammonite

Nicola Griffith

Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep—and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives. Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives.

In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing—and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction…

Ammonite is an unforgettable novel that questions the very meanings of gender and humanity. As readers share in Marghe’s journey through an alien world, they too embark on a parallel journey of fascinating self-exploration.

Book:The Broken God

The Broken God

David Zindell

The God Program Is Up And Running

Into its maze of colour-coded streets of ice a wild boy stumbles, starving, frostbitten and grieving, a spear in his hand: Danlo the Wild, a messenger from the deep past of man. Brought up far from Neverness by the Alaloi people, neanderthal cave-dwellers, Danlo alone of his tribe has survived a plague - because he Is not, as he thought, a misshapen neanderthal, but human, with immunity engineered Into his genes. He learns that the disease was created by the sinister Architects of the Universal Cybernetic Church. The Architects possess a cure which can save other Alaloi tribes. But the Architects have migrated to the region of space known as the Vild, and there they are killing stars.

All of civilization has converged on Neverness through the manifold of space travel. Beyond science, beyond decadence, sects and disciplines multiply there. Danlo, his mind shaped by primitive man, brings to Neverness a single long-lost memory that will challenge them all.

Book:The Iron Dragon's Daughter

The Iron Dragon's Daughter

Michael Swanwick

The changeling’s decision to steal a dragon and escape was born, though she did not know it then, the night the children met to plot the death of their supervisor…

With these words, author Michael Swanwick ushers us into a remarkable realm of darkest fantasy, erotic dreams and industrial magicks—equaling the undiluted power and uniqueness of vision of his Nebula award-winning masterwork Stations of the Tide.

Jane is a human changeling child coming of age in a world of violence and monsters. An abused outcast, she toils unceasingly alongside trolls, dwarves, shifters and feys in the dank, stygian bowels of a steam dragon plant helping to construct the massive, black iron flying machines the elvan rulers use for waging war. Young Jane’s days are bleak and her future seems hopeless—until…[more]

Book:A Million Open Doors

A Million Open Doors

John Barnes

Nou Occitan is a place where duels are fought with equal passion over insults and artistic views alike. Giraut—swordsman, troubador, lover—is a creature of this swashbuckling world, the most isolated of humanity’s Thousand Cultures.

But the winds of change have come to Nou Occitan. As the invention of the “springer”—instantaneous interstellar travel, at a price—spreads throughout the human galaxy, the stability and purity of no world, no matter how isolated, is safe. Nor can Giraut’s life remain untouched. To his wonder, his is about to find himself made an ambassador to a different human world, a place strange beyond his wildest imaginings.

Book:Snow Crash

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

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