Annal: 2004 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 2004.

Book:Quicksilver

Quicksilver: Volume 1 of The Baroque Cycle

Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver is here. A monumental literary feat that follows the author’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Cryptonomicon, it is history, adventure, science, truth, invention, sex, absurdity, piracy, madness, death, and alchemy. It sweeps across continents and decades with the power of a roaring tornado, upending kings, armies, religious beliefs, and all expectations.

It is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight. It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe—London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds—risking…[more]

Book:Coalescent

Coalescent

Stephen Baxter

George Poole isn’t sure whether his life has reached a turning point or a dead end. At forty-five, he is divorced and childless, with a career that is going nowhere fast. Then, when his father dies suddenly, George stumbles onto a family secret: a sister he never knew existed. A twin named Rosa, raised in Rome by an enigmatic cult. Hoping to find the answers to the missing pieces of his life, George sets out for the ancient city.

Once in Rome, he learns from Rosa the enthralling story of their distant ancestor, Regina, an iron-willed genius determined to preserve her family as the empire disintegrates around her. It was Regina who founded the cult, which has mysteriously survived and prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia. The Order, says Rosa, is her real family– and, even if he doesn’t realize it yet, it is George’s family, too. When she takes him into the vast underground city that is the Order’s…[more]

Book:Darwin's Children

Darwin's Children

Greg Bear

Eleven years have passed since SHEVA, an ancient retrovirus, was discovered in human DNA—a retrovirus that caused mutations in the human genome and heralded the arrival of a new wave of genetically enhanced humans. Now these changed children have reached adolescence…and face a world that is outraged about their very existence. For these special youths, possessed of remarkable, advanced traits that mark a major turning point in human development, are also ticking time bombs harboring hosts of viruses that could exterminate the “old” human race.

Fear and hatred of the virus children have made them a persecuted underclass, quarantined by the government in special “schools,” targeted by federally sanctioned bounty hunters, and demonized by hysterical segments of the population. But pockets of resistance have sprung up among those opposed to treating the children like dangerous diseases—and who fear the worst if the…[more]

Book:Maul

Maul

Tricia Sullivan

The gun straps to the inside of my leg with Velcro. It’s not the absolute zenith of fashion to do this anymore, but girls who wear theirs with leather straps and buckles aren’t serious: with Velcro you can get at the thing when you need it. I also have a pink ammo belt. It’s heavy, but who said fashion was easy?

In a mall like any other, a gang of teenage girls are suddenly caught up in a maelstrom of shopping and violence. But—as the designer bullets fly— it is not only their own lives they are fighting for. Unknown to them they are battling for the life of a man trapped in another place, in a different world, and with very different enemies. He is a man they have never met, but who represents the future of the human race…or could destroy it.

Book:Midnight Lamp

Midnight Lamp

Gwyneth Jones

Rufus O'Niall is dead and the green nazi occupation has been defeated: but at a huge cost to the three extraordinary people who saved England from the dark. Shattered and deeply changed by the sacrifices each of them had to make, Fiorinda, Axe and Sage are in hiding from their friends and fans on the Pacific coast of Mexico when they're tracked down by an emissary of Fred Eiffrich, President of the United States. He's got an offer they can't refuse. It's about a movie, allegedly ...Sage finds himself drawn to an old flame. Ax has to fight dirty, for the future and against the might of a collapsing superpower. And Fiorinda, the magical daughter of the monster, whose memories of utter horror are threatening her sanity, struggles with a deadly addiction. The Bold As Love adventure continues, spinning a web of daring, dread and enchantment, in a world that could almost be ours.

Book:Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition

William Gibson

In a post-9/11 world, the present is as unpredictable as any future…

Paid to predict the hottest trends, Cayce Pollard is in London to evaluate the redesign of a famous corporate logo when she’s offered a different assignment: find the creator of the obscure, enigmatic video clips being uploaded to the Internet—footage that is generating massive underground buzz worldwide.

Still haunted by the memory of her missing father—a Cold War security guru who disappeared in downtown Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001—Cayce is soon traveling through parallel universes of marketing, globalization, and terror, heading always for the still point where the three converge. From London to Tokyo to Moscow, she follows the implications of a secret as disturbing—and compelling—as the twenty-first century promises to be.

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