Annal: 1998 World Fantasy Award for Novel

Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 1998.

Book:The Physiognomy

The Physiognomy

Jeffrey Ford

At once luxurious and disturbing, this stunning novel presents a major new fabulist whose richly textured prose brings to mind such works as Franz Kafka’s In the Penal Colony, George Orwell’s 1984, and other classics terrifying beauty.

He pries open the soul with each sweep of his calipers. For in the land of the Well-Built City, study of the body’s shape is a most exacting science. It can determine a person’s character, uncover his deepest secrets, even foretell the future. And in the hands of an expert like Physiognomist Cley, this solemn intelligence delivers perfect justice form which fortunes are claimed or lost, careers are shaped or shattered, lives are continued or cut away. A man who commands such titanic forces may ignore the dark pools of arrogance and corruption which lie closer at hand—but only for a time. Very soon, Cley will discover the truth about himself and his profession, as his world of privilege dissolves into a nightmarish odyssey, careening toward a fate not even the great physiognomist can predict.

Book:American Goliath

American Goliath

Harvey Jacobs

In 1868, George Hull heard a sermon proclaiming America to be the land of Genesis, home to the “Giants in the earth.” Scion of a wealthy New York family of cigar makers, Hull set out to prove that sermon right. And thus was born the Cardiff Giant. “Found” on Stubby Newell’s farm in Cardiff, New York, in 1869, Goliath soon created more of a stir than any of P. T. Barnum’s great exhibits—which, of course, piqued the interest of the Great Showman himself, who was never to be outdone when it came to separating suckers from their riches…

The tale of Goliath and his creator is a witty, raucous, and bawdy tale of American life at its finest.

Book:Dry Water

Dry Water

Eric S. Nylund

Lightning chased Larry Ngitis through the honey mesquite and creosote-covered hills of Seco County, New Mexico, to Dry Water, a reborn ghost town with a reputation for unusual occurrences and inexplicable phenomena.

A shy, sensitive author and reluctant psychic, Larry has the unsettling ability to see how other people will die. He believes he has come to this far removed place to escape old entanglements and write in peace. But there is no peace, and there never has been, in Dry Water. There are, however, rumors of a fabled springs of “water that cannot be drunk,” flowing through a netherealm where living and dead mingle, causing ripples in history and wrinkles in time. It is Larry’s destiny, unbeknownst to him, to locate the remarkable waterway.

His arrival has not gone unnoticed by two of the town’s more unconventional denizens: Raja, “Daughter of the Terror…[more]

Book:The Gift (Patrick O'Leary)

The Gift

Patrick O'Leary

A story within a story, The Gift is a story of innocence betrayed and magic rejected. Tim is robbed of his childhood, and Simon is tormented by hearing made too acute. Both are victims of The User of the Night, once a boy like them, now pathetically twisted by his own ambition and by Tomen, a malevolent creature of magic. Together Simon and Tim must rid their land of the magic that has been misused by Tomen and The User.

Book:Trader

Trader

Charles de Lint

A novel of loss, identity, and, in the strangest of places, hope.

Leonard Trader is a luthier, a maker of guitars. Johnny Devlin is chronically unemployed. Leonard is solitary, quiet, responsible. Johnny is a lady-killer, a drunk, a charming loser.

When they inexplicably wake up in each other’s bodies, Johnny gleefully moves into Leonard’s comfortable and stable existence, leaving Leonard to pick up the pieces of a life he had no part in breaking.

Penniless, friendless, homeless, Leonard begins a journey that will take him beyond the streets of the city to an otherworld of dreams and spirits, where he must confront both the unscrupulous Johnny Devlin and his own deepest fears.

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