Annal: 1996 Nebula Award for Novel

Results of the Nebula Award in the year 1996.

Book:Slow River

Slow River

Nicola Griffith

She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van Oesterling had been the daughter of one of the world’s most powerful families…and now she was nobody, and she had to hide.

Then out of the rain walked Spanner, predator and thief, who took her in, cared for her wound, and taught her how to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore now: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped…but the cost of her newfound freedom was crime and deception, and she paid it over and over again, until she had become someone she loathed.

Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner…and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave…[more]

Book:The Diamond Age

The Diamond Age

Neal Stephenson

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]

Book:Expiration Date (Tim Powers)

Expiration Date

Tim Powers

Powers has created a strange and wonderful Los Angeles in which to set this novel: a city full of ghosts—and full, too, of unpleasant characters who extend their lives and enhance their power by catching and absorbing the ghosts of the recently dead.

Young Koot Parganas is growing up in Los Angeles in the 1990’s, but his parents won’t let him do anything normal. His weirdo parents venerate the spirits of dead Mahatmas. At the age of eleven, Koot has disobeyed his parents, broken into a plaster bust of Dante, stolen the small glass vial concealed inside it, and set in motion events that will change his own life, and everyone else’s. For trapped in the vial was the preserved ghost of Thomas Alva Edison, and there is no telling what power the possession of that ghost could confer.

The exposure of Edison’s ghost lights up a beacon for those who can see such things. Koot is pursued through the dark…[more]

Book:The Silent Strength of Stones

The Silent Strength of Stones

Nina Kiriki Hoffman

It is a season of many wonders, with many secrets ripe for discovering …and some best left in shadow, unexplored. Summer has come to Sauterelle Lake. And inquisitive young Nick is discovering many things he doesn’t want to know: About a pretty girl with hypnotic eyes who talks to his soul… About a wild creature—a wolf—whose features shine with an intelligent, un-lupine knowing… About a strange, inhospitable family occupying a cabin that is meant to be empty. This summer, nature’s magic is not the only sorcery traveling on the wind. And the real trick will be surviving until the autumn.

Book:Starplex

Starplex

Robert J. Sawyer

For nearly twenty years Earth’s space exploration had exploded outward, thanks to a series of mysterious, artificial wormholes. No one knows who created these interstellar passages, yet they have brought the far reaches of space immediately close. For Starplex Director Keith Lansing, too close.

Discovery is superseding understanding. And when an unknown vessel — with no windows, no seams, and no visible means of propulsion — arrives through a new wormhole, an already battle-scarred Starplex could be the staring point of a new interstellar war…

Book:Winter Rose

Winter Rose

Patricia A. McKillip

Sorrow and trouble and bitterness will hound you and yours and the children of yours…

Some said the dying words of Nial Lynn, murdered by his own son, were a wicked curse. To others, it was a winter’s tale spun by firelight on cold, dark nights. But when Corbet Lynn came to rebuild his family estate, memories of his grandfather’s curse were rekindled by young and old—and rumors filled the heavy air of summer.

In the woods that border Lynn Hall, free-spirited Rois Melior roams wild and barefooted in search of healing herbs. She is as hopelessly unbridled—and unsuited for marriage—as her betrothed sister Laurel is domestic. In Corbet’s pale green eyes, Rois senses a desperate longing. In her restless dreams, mixed with the heady warmth of harvest wine, she hears him beckon. And as autumn gold fades, Rois is consumed with Corbet Lynn, obsessed with his secret past—until, across the frozen countryside and in flight from her own imagination, truth and dreams become inseparable…

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