Annal: 2003 Philip K. Dick Award

Results of the Philip K. Dick Award in the year 2003.

Book:Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon

Richard K. Morgan

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning…

Book:Dante's Equation

Dante's Equation

Jane Jensen

“Powerful…A combustible mixture of science and mysticism, a high-altitude thriller fizzing with intrigue.” –John Case, Author of The Eighth Day

In a breathless thriller that explores the relationship between science and the divine, good and evil, space and time, Jane Jensen takes us from the world we know into a reality we could only scarcely imagine. Until now.

Rabbi Aharon Handalman’s expertise with Torah code–rearranging words and letters in the Bible–has uncovered a man’s name. Who is Yosef Kobinski, and why did God hide his name in His sacred text? To find the answers, Aharon begins an investigation, and discovers that Kobinski, a Polish rabbi, was not only a mystic but also a brilliant physicist who authored what may be the most important lost work in human history. …[more]

Book:Clade

Clade

Mark Budz

It’s a post-ecocaust world. Welcome to it.

In the San Jose of tomorrow, all of nature is gengineered—from the warm-blooded plants to the designer people. But even in a rigidly controlled biosystem, with its pheromone-induced social order, the American dream is still the American dream. Caught between these new-old worlds, Rigo is on his way up—he’s going to be part of tomorrow, even if it means he has to leave today behind.

Written off as a sellout on the streets of his old ’hood, Rigo’s got his own ap in an aplex, a 9-to-5er, and a girl. He’s got opportunity. If he works hard, his job with a heavyweight

politicorp could give him a chance to move up in the clades. But when he’s chosen as part of a team to construct a new colony on a nearby comet, Rigo smells a setup. And when disaster strikes, he learns that if there’s a way to bend the rules, there’s also a way to break them…

Book:Hyperthought

Hyperthought

M.M. Buckner

Warning: The world of 2125 is extremely toxic. It is ruled by huge corporations called Coms. The workers, or Protes, are enslaved. Humanity’s only hope is a neurosurgical technique that could unlock the mind’s power to alter reality-or destroy it.

Book:Spin State

Spin State

Chris Moriarty

From a stunning new voice in hard science fiction comes the thrilling story of one woman’s quest to wrest truth from chaos, love from violence, and reality from illusion in a post-human universe of emergent AIs, genetic constructs, and illegal wetware…

SPIN STATE

UN Peacekeeper Major Catherine Li has made thirty-seven faster-than-light jumps in her lifetime—and has probably forgotten more than most people remember. But that’s what backup hard drives are for. And Li should know; she’s been hacking her memory for fifteen years in order to pass as human. But no memory upgrade can prepare Li for what she finds on Compson’s World: a mining colony she once called home and to which she is sent after a botched raid puts her on the bad side of the powers that be.…[more]

Book:Steel Helix

Steel Helix

Ann Tonsor Zeddies

Original Sin

Piers Rameau, a brilliant geneticist, was offered the chance to help design mankind’s replacement—Original Man, a smarter, stronger, swifter race based on manipulated human DNA. But Rameau refused, and chose to follow his own path.

Now Kuno Gunnarsson, creator of Original Man and Rameau’s would-be employer, is dead—but his superior creation lives on. And one faction of Original Man is determined to wrest control of the galaxy from the inferior race. A brutal attack destroys both Rameau’s home planet and the satellite that has become his world. One tragic casualty is Dakini, a fragile, genetically altered dancer who had become Rameau’s reason to live.

The sole survivor, he finds himself a prisoner of Gunnarsson Prime, a clone of the original creator, on board the Jumpship Langstaff. Against his will, Rameau is enlisted as the ship’s wartime medical officer. As a doctor, he swore an oath to do no harm. As a man, he swears blood vengeance on the inhuman killers who destroyed everything he ever loved …

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