Annal: 1998 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 1998.

Book:The Sparrow

The Sparrow: A Novel

Mary Doria Russell

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.

Book:Days

Days

James Lovegrove

Book:The Family Tree

The Family Tree

Sheri S. Tepper

Police officer Dora Henry is investigating the bizarre murders of three geneticists. Meanwhile, strange things are happening everywhere she turns. Weeds are becoming trees; trees are becoming forests. Overnight, a city is being transformed into a wild and verdant place.

And, strangest of all, Dora can somehow communicate with the rampaging flora.

A potential civilization-ending catastrophe is in the making. The bearer Dora gets to a murderer—and to the truth—the more seemingly disparate events begin to entwine. And the answers she seeks today to the salvation of humankind may lie in afar distant future…one which is suddenly much closer than anyone imagines.

An exhilarating and enchanting novel that deftly combines fantastic invention with insight and a social conscience, from one of the most lyrical and important voices in contemporary speculative fiction.

Book:Glimmering

Glimmering

Elizabeth Hand

It is 1999. The Last Days some say; the First, say others. The climate has altered irrevocably, the cities have imploded into vicious shards and the stars haven’t been seen for months. The sky is a glimmering wash of reds and greens and golds, the result of global warming…it is thought.

A breathtaking novel that weaves into one faultless tapestry the shimmering strands of science fiction and fantasy, Glimmering explores the violent margins and the soft decadent center of a world giving birth to a new millennium. Hand has captured in one powerful narrative both the unspoken dreams and the unspeakable nightmares of a generation. Glimmering will open more than eyes. It will open hearts to the wonder and terror of the world to come.

Book:Nymphomation

Nymphomation

Jeff Noon

The air of Manchester is alive with blurbvurts, automated advertisements chanting their slogans. But the loudest of all is for Domino Bones, the new lottery game. Every Friday night the winning numbers are illuminated on the body of Lady Luck, the voluptuous figurehead of the game. For the winner, it is unimaginable riches, for the losers another week to wait for the bones to fall again. But there is only one real winner, The Company, which plays the city’s fragile expectations with callous ease.

A group of mathematics students are looking at the mind-numbing probabilities involved and searching for the hidden mysteries behind the game. They watch the city at work and at dangerous play and slowly uncover the sinister realities behind the mania. The Company is devouring Manchester—it has the nymphomation, an evolutionary process which has the power to take over the city’s dreams…

Book:Titan (Stephen Baxter)

Titan

Stephen Baxter

Possible signs of organic life have been found on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, A group of visionaries led by NASA’s Paula Benecerraf plan a daring one-way mission that will cost them everything. Taking nearly a decade, the billion-mile voyage includes a “slingshot” transit of Venus, a catastrophic solar storm, and a constant struggle to keep the ship and crew functioning. But it is on the icy surface of Titan itself that the true adventure begins. In the orange methane slush the astronauts will discover the secret of life’s origins and reach for a human destiny beyond their wildest dreams.

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