Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 1996.
Before he met the brilliant, hypnotic child Milena, Alex Sharkey had never played with “dolls”—blue-skinned, gengineered lifeforms designed for work, amusement, or destruction. But the underground gene-hacker is seduced by a megalomaniacal little girl’s dream of providing the soulless genetic constructs with free thought and a future-and he unwittingly unleashes a plague of madness on the world. Now there’s a void in his life and memory that must be refilled, but it means pursuing the dangerous sentient species he helped sire from the ruins of a Magic Kingdom through a wasted Europe. It is Alex Sharkey’s last chance and the last hope remaining for a once-dominant human race.
Decades into our future, a stone’s throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians. He’s made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild, stolen for Hackworth’s own daughter, the Primer’s purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its function superbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands.
Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes—members of the poor, tribeless class. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian—John Percival Hackworth—in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer. …[more]
In the small Texas town of Coomey, the Torku deliver VCRs. Clothes. Gasoline. Even Twinkies and Diet Dr Pepper.
It began six years ago, on Bomb Day, when the aliens put up the Line to block out the rest of the world. On all the radio bands there is nothing now but static, and beyond the glowing paisley barrier there may be only a radioactive waste. Yet in Coomey life goes on quietly. Until Loretta Harper, the pudgy Mary Kay rep and perennial Homemaker of the Month, is found dead in the woods. It’s the first murder in six years, and police chief DeWitt Dawson, with a curse, starts his investigation. Did the Torku kill her? Or was it Foster, the town banker turned flower child? Janet—yes, even Janet, the police chief’s own wife—may be involved.
Both lyrical and humorous, Happy Policeman is a story of everyday people trapped in an existential test tube. A story of duty and rebellion. And adultery. While aliens watch—and wait—to see if DeWitt will learn the truth about time, responsibility, and universes that leak.
In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one another.
Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences. In the course of pursuing each other’s ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magicians’ craft can command—the highest misdirection and the darkest science.
Blood will be spilled, but it will not be enough. In the end, their legacy will pass on for generations…to descendants who must, for their sanity’s sake, untangle the puzzle left to them.
Moh Kohn is a security mercenary, his smart gun and killer reflexes for hire. Janis Taine is a scientist working on memory-enhancing drugs, fleeing the US/UN’s technology cops. Jordan Brown is a teenager in the Christian enclave of Beulah City, dealing in theologically-correct software for the world’s fundamentalists-and wants out.
In a balkanized twenty-first century, where the “peace process” is deadlier than war, the US/UN’s spy satellites have everyone in their sights. But the Watchmaker has other plans, and the lives of Moh, Janis, and Jordan are part of the program. A specter is haunting the fight for space and freedom, the specter of the betrayed revolution that happened before…
There is a secret passage through time…and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but he “present” in which we live.
A century after the publication of H. G. Wells’ immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today’s most acclaimed new “hard SF” author, and the acknowledged Clarke, returns to the distant conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks in a story that is at once an exciting expansion, and a radical departure based on the astonishing new understandings of quantum physics.