Annal: 1996 World Fantasy Award for Novel

Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 1996.

Book:The Prestige

The Prestige: A Novel

Christopher Priest

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.

Book:All the Bells on Earth

All the Bells on Earth

James P. Blaylock

In the dead of night, a man climbs the tower of St. Anthony’s Church, driven by a compulsive urge to silence the bells. In a deserted alley, a seemingly random victim is consumed by a torrent of flames. And in the deceptive light of day, a mail-order businessman named Walt Stebbins receives a bizarre artifact—a glass jar containing the preserved body of a bluebird.

Things like this don’t usually happen in a town like Orange, California. Ordinary people do not expect to face evil—real evil—in their own backyards. But as Walt Stebbins unravels the mystery of the bird in the jar, he learns that every man’s life can sometimes resemble a horror movie. That the battle between good and evil is taking place every day, where you least expect it. And that, in the end, the ordinary qualities of simple human compassion, forgiveness, and love will be our only salvation…

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:Red Earth and Pouring Rain

Red Earth and Pouring Rain: A Novel

Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra’s Red Earth and Pouring Rain is an unforgettable reading experience, a contemporary Thousand and One Nights—with an eighteenth-century warrior-poet (now reincarnated as a typewriting monkey) and an Indian student home from college in America switching off as our Scheherazades. Ranging from bloody battles in colonial India to college anomie in California, from Hindu gods to MTV, Chandra’s novel is engrossing, enthralling, impossible to put down—a remarkable meditation on quests and homecomings, good and evil, storytelling and redemption.

Book:Requiem

Requiem

Graham Joyce

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Webster travels to Jerusalem in search of a friend from his college days. The haunted city, divided by warring religious factions, offers him no refuge from his guilt and grief. As he is wandering through the streets and the archaeological sites, a mysterious old woman appears to Tom and delivers messages that seem beyond his comprehension. But a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls that had been kept hidden by an old Jewish innkeeper appears to offer the key to understanding the apparition. Driven to the edge of insanity, Tom believes the spirit of Mary Magdalene is trying to reveal the hidden history of the Resurrection, and he struggles to reconcile the distant past with his own future before the threads of his identity unravel.

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.

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