Annal: 1997 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 1997.

Book:The Calcutta Chromosome

The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery

Amitav Ghosh

It begins in a near future New York City, when Antar, a low-level programmer and data analyst for a large bureaucratic concern, comes upon the lost and battered I.D. card of a man he once knew—a man who vanished without a trace some where in the teeming excess of Calcutta, India, several years before. Strangely compelled, Antar initiates a search into the facts behind the disappearance of the enigmatic L. Murugan, and is unwittingly drawn into a bizarre alternate history of medical science.

Leaping backward in time, we join Murugan in Calcutta in 1995, as he follows the twisted threads of science, counter-science and ritual back a hundred years further to the laboratory of Ronald Ross, the British scientist who discovered how malaria is transmitted to humans. Obsessed with the weird, fortuitous coincidences that led to Ross’ groundbreaking discovery, Murugan has stumbled upon evidence of an impossible ongoing experiment in controlled destiny, protected by a powerful unseen society that moves…[more]

Book:Blue Mars

Blue Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson

The red planet is no more. Now green and verdant, covered by seas and settlements, Mars has been dramatically terraformed from a desert world into one where humans can flourish. All that remains is to finish creating a breathable atmosphere and an ecosystem full of wondrous genetically engineered Martian creatures. But as Mars reaches its final transformation, Earth is in peril. The Great Flood threatens an already overpopulated and polluted planet, and Mars faces a population explosion or interplanetary war.

Now the First Hundred settlers of Mars, having attained near immortality through longevity drugs, are pulled into a fierce new struggle. Ann, the head of the Reds, a group devoted to preserving Mars in desert state, again takes on her old nemesis Sax Russell, who is an architect of the “green” terraformers—and the consequences of their bitter battle will be an ice age that…[more]

Book:The Engines of God

The Engines of God

Jack McDevitt

Two hundred years ago, humans made a stunning discovery in the far reaches of the solar system: a huge statue of an alien creature, with an inscription that defied all efforts at translation. Now, as faster-than-light drive opens the stars to exploration, humans are finding other relics of the race they call the Monument-Makers—each different, and each heartbreakingly beautiful. But except for a set of footprints on Jupiter’s moon Iapetus, there is no trace of the enigmatic race that has left them behind. Then a team of scientists working on a dead world discover an ominous new image of the Monument-Makers.

Somehow it all fits with other lost civilizations, and possibly with Earth’s own future. And distant past. But Earth itself is on the brink of ecological disaster—there is no time to search for answers. Even to a question that may hold the key to survival for the entire human race…

Book:Gibbon's Decline and Fall

Gibbon's Decline and Fall

Sheri S. Tepper

A wave of fundamentalism is sweeping across the globe as the millennium approaches, and a power-hungry presidential candidate sees his ticket to success in making an example out of a teenage girl who abandoned her infant in a Dumpster. Taking the girl’s case is Carolyn Crespin, a former attorney, who left her job for a quiet family life. Now she must call upon five friends from college, who took a vow to always stand together. But their success might depend on the assistance of Sophy, the enigmatic sixth friend, whom they all believed dead.

Book:Looking for the Mahdi

Looking for the Mahdi

N. Lee Wood

N. Lee Wood portrays an all-too-possible near-future where the face of global politics appears ominously familiar. Where a microchip holds the secret of angels. And where technology meets its match in human nature… Halton was a humanoid fabricant, created to serve as a bodyguard in the Middle East. Kay was an all-too-human correspondent, assigned to deliver him to a country from which she had barely escaped with her sanity. She didn’t know it was a setup…until it was too late. And the only one she could trust—the only one who hadn’t betrayed her—was the android himself.

Book:Voyage

Voyage

Stephen Baxter

An epic saga of America’s might-have-been, Voyage is a powerful, sweeping novel of how, if President Kennedy had lived, we could have sent a manned mission to Mars in the 1980s. Imaginatively created from the true lives and real events, Voyage returns to the geniuses of NASA and the excitement of the Saturn rocket, and includes historical figures from Neil Armstrong to Ronald Reagan who are interwoven with unforgettable characters whose dreams mirror the promise of a young space program that held the world in thrall. There is: Dana, the Nazi camp survivor who achieves the dream of his hated masters; Gershon, the Vietnam fighter jock determined to be the first African-American to land on another planet; and Natalie York, the brilliant geologist/astronaut who risks a career and love for the chance to run her fingers through the soil of another world.

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