Results of the Nebula Award in the year 2001.
A New Adventure in the Saga of the Skolian Empire.
Kamoj Argali is the young ruler of an impoverished province on a backward planet. To keep her people from starving, she has agreed to marry Jax Ironbridge, the boorish and brutal ruler of a prosperous province. But before Argali and Ironbridge are wed, a mysterious stranger from a distant planet sweeps in and forces Kamoj into marriage, throwing her world into utter chaos.
In the eighth decade of the glorious reign of Her Majesty Tamra Lutui, the Queendom of Sol enjoys a peace and prosperity even gods might envy. In fact, two awesome technologies have given human beings all the powers—and caprices—of the gods they once worshiped. The first is wellstone, a form of programmable matter capable of emulating almost any substance: natural, artificial, even hypothetical. The second is collapsium, a deadly crystal, composed of miniature black holes, that allows the virtually instantaneous transmission of information and matter—including humans—throughout the solar system.
Bruno de Towaji, royal consort and the inventor of collapsium, dreams of building the arc de fin, an almost mythical device capable of probing the farthest reaches of spacetime. Marlon Sykes, de Towaji’s rival in both love and science, is meanwhile hard at work on a vast telecommunications project whose first step consists of constructing a ring of collapsium around…[more]
After a ten-year hiatus, British academic Andrew Hale is abruptly called back into the Great Game by a terse, cryptic telephone message. Born to “the trade” and recruited at the age of seven by a most secret Secret Service, Hale, in 1963, is forced to confront again the nightmare that has haunted his adult life: a lethal unfinished operation code-named Declare.
Two decades earlier, as a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Hale first encountered the incomprehensible rhythms of an invisible world. And from that moment on nothing was ever safe and knowable again. There also, his life became eternally linked with two others’ lives that would recurrently intersect his at its most dangerous junctures: his “comrade operative,” the fiery and beautiful Communist agent Elena Teresa Ceniza-Bendiga, the object of Hale’s undying love, and Kim Philby, the mysterious traitor to the British cause…and perhaps to all humanity. Together they form an unlikely…[more]
In the century since the devastating War of a Thousand Suns, humanity has stagnated, staying in the cocoon of the Centrist Worlds while the rapacious pirates of Golen Space prey on ships that venture too far into the interstellar Flux. And starship Impris, lost in the war years, has become the stuff of legend—used by the pirates as bait, even as the Centrist authorities deny her existence.
Renwald Legroeder, escaped prisoner and star rigger pilot, has seen what the government doesn’t want anyone to see. Framed for treason, he flees—to save himself, and vows to clear his name. He returns to the realm of the pirates to find the truth behind Impris . . . to unmask the conspiracy that cost him his freedom . . . to tear off the blinders that have kept humanity from fulfilling its destiny among the stars. …[more]
By the middle of the 21st century, humanity has finally landed men on Mars-only to watch helplessly as the first two missions end in catastrophe and death.
With resources running out, a third-and perhaps final-mission to Mars is hastily mounted, with a crew of four men and two women. But from the moment of their arrival on Mars, everything begins to go wrong. The fuel tanks that were to have supplied their return trip are found corroded and empty. Their supplies are running out and their life support systems are beginning to fail. And any rescue mission won’t reach them for months, or even years-if at all.
The crew’s only hope for survival lies in a desperate plan: an agonizing trek halfway across the surface of Mars to a ship designed to carry only half their number. Torn by conflict and dissent, and troubled by secrets that endanger them all, they must embark on an ordeal that will test them to the limits of endurance.
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world…
But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…
During the wedding festivities of his king, Cyan Dag, a knight of Gloinmere, is sought out by a mysterious bard and told a terrifying tale: that the king has married a false queen-a lie cloaked in ancient and powerful sorcery. Spurred on by his steadfast honor and loyalty, Cyan departs on a dangerous quest to rescue the real queen from her tower prison, to prevent war, and to awaken magic in a land that has lost its way.