Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 1997.
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.
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]
The Sparrow, an astonishing literary debut, takes you on a journey to a distant planet and to the center of the human soul. It is the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a twenty-first-century scientific mission to a newly discovered extraterrestrial culture. Sandoz and his companions are prepared to endure isolation, hardship and death, but nothing can prepare them for the civilization they encounter, or for the tragic misunderstanding that brings the mission to a catastrophic end. Once considered a living saint, Sandoz returns alone to Earth physically and spiritually maimed, the mission’s sole survivor—only to be accused of heinous crimes and blamed for the mission’s failure.