Annal: 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 2001.

Book:Perdido Street Station

Perdido Street Station

China Miéville

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda’s request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

While Isaac’s experiments for the Garuda turn into an obsession, one of his lab specimens demands attention: a brilliantly…[more]

Book:Cosmonaut Keep

Cosmonaut Keep: Book 1 of Engines of Light

Ken MacLeod

Matt Cairns is a 21st-century outlaw Programmer who takes on the shady jobs no one else will touch. Against his better judgment, he accepts an assignment to crack the Marshall Titov, a top-secret orbital station operated by the European Space Agency. But what Matt will discover there will propel him on an extraordinary and quite unexpected journey.

Gregor Cairns is an exobiology student and descendant of one of Terra Nova’s first families. Hopelessly infatuated with a lovely young trader’s daughter, he is unaware that his research partner, Elizabeth, has fallen in love with him. Together, Gregor and Elizabeth confront the great work his family began three centuries earlier-to rediscover the secret of interstellar travel.

Ranging from a gritty near-future Earth to a distant alien world, Cosmonaut Keep is contemporary science fiction at its highest level, a visionary epic filled with daring individuals seeking a place for themselves in a vast, complex, and enigmatic universe.

Book:Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Talents: Book 2 of Earthseed

Octavia E. Butler

In her longest and arguably greatest novel, the long-awaited Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler revisits her familiar themes of alienation and transcendence, violence and spirituality, separation and community in the shockingly familiar, broken world of 2032.

Parable of the Talents continues the story which began in Parable of the Sower. That novel’s heroine, Lauren, now has a daughter, and Parable of the Talents is told from the daughter’s point of view. A new government is in power, led by a far-right religious crusader as president, and wars are fought throughout the North American continent.

This is a book about a society whose very fabric has been torn and where the basic physical and emotional needs of people seem almost impossible to meet. And yet human life oddly thrives as the young Lauren of Parable of the Sower here blossoms into a complex and credible woman.

Book:Revelation Space

Revelation Space

Alastair Reynolds

This highly-acclaimed first novel is destined to establish Alastair Reynolds as one of science fiction’s most intelligent and revolutionary new voices. Revelation Space is a sprawling operatic novel that ranges across vast gulfs of time and space to arrive at a terrifying conclusion.

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just when it was on the verge of discovering space flight. For the human colonists now settling the Amarantin homeworld, what caused the species’ destruction is of little more than academic interest. Even after colonists discover an almost perfectly preserved city on the planet, only the archaeological community seems interested. But one scientist, Dan Sylveste, is convinced that solving the Amarantin riddle is vital to the survival of humanity. …[more]

Book:Salt (Adam Roberts)

Salt

Adam Roberts

After 37 years on a brutal and dangerous journey through space, a federation of settlers finally arrives on the planet Salt. Thus begins the colonization of this brave new world—a process that inevitably slips into a tragedy of biblical proportions. The two communities who undertook the voyage originally united in peace and a shared vision of a fresh beginning. Once isolated in a landscape of cruel majesty and minimal resources, however, ancient enmities begin to tear them apart. Related alternately by Petja, from the Alsist people, and Barlei (a Senaarian), their different voices, perspectives, and experiences come together to make an unusually rich and complex story about the fragility of life.

Book:A Secret History

A Secret History: The Book Of Ash,

Mary Gentle

There is more than one history of the world…

In the mid-fifteenth century there was Burgundy, the jewel of Europe-opulent and powerful, the undisputed center of an uncivilized world.

In an epoch of war and madness there was Ash. A girl born in mud and dung, she slew her first men while only eight. Scarred and ravaged, but still beautiful, she rose up to lead a great mercenary army before the age of twenty—and followed a sacred voice wise in the bloody ways of battle to a pinnacle unattainable to even the most potent of legends.

In a time when empires and alliances shifted like sand—when Mithras the bull was worshipped freely alongside the Christ—a great cloud arose out of Africa to darken the sun. The Visigoths came with their terrible machines-powered by magic or a science…[more]

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