Annal: 2004 Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel

Results of the Gaylactic Spectrum Award in the year 2004.

Book:The Salt Roads

The Salt Roads

Nalo Hopkinson

Jeanne Duval, the ginger-colored entertainer, is descended from African slaves and white sailors. It is twilight, and she argues with her lover Charles Baudelaire in his Paris apartment. Ginger is hot in its roots with a beautiful, lush red flower above. And ginger has a bite as she does…

Mer, plantation slave and doctor, has healing hands though her spirit is sickened. She both hungers for and dreads liberation, and longs for the gods to take her home. My wishes can’t fly freely. They’re rooted to the ground like me, who eats salt.

Thais, a beauty from Alexandria, was sold into slavery and prostitution as a girl. Impelled to seek a glorious revelation, she will travel the long hot roads to Jerusalem. She is dark-skinned, this beauty, and ruddy like copper. No salt-pucker of bitterness in her. …[more]

Book:Hidden Warrior

Hidden Warrior: Book 2 of Tamir Trilogy

Lynn Flewelling

As the orphaned nephew of the king, trusted companion to his cousin, and second heir to the throne of Skala, Prince Tobin’s future is clear. But not as clear as the spring in which a hill witch shows him his true face—and his secret destiny….

Now Tobin carries a burden he cannot share with even his closest friend, Ki, his squire. He is to rule—not as he is but as he was born: a woman. Given the shape of a boy by dark magic, Tobin is the last hope of the people of Illior—those who desperately seek a return to the old ways, when Skala was ruled by a line of warrior queens. They still believe that only a woman can lift the war, famine, and pestilence that have run rampant through the land since the king usurped his half sister’s throne. It is these outlaw wizards and witches who protect Tobin—and it is for them that Tobin must accept his fate.

With the unsuspecting yet fiercely loyal Ki at his side, Tobin must turn traitor against the only blood ties he has left. He must lift the masks of Skala’s rulers to show their true colors—before he can reveal the power of the woman within himself.

Book:Hybrids

Hybrids: Book 3 of The Neanderthal Parallax

Robert J. Sawyer

Neanderthal Ponter Boddit and his Homo sapien lover, geneticist Mary Vaughan, are torn between two worlds, struggling to find a way to make their star-crossed relationship work. Aided by banned Neanderthal technology, they plan to conceive the first hybrid child, a symbol of hope for the joining of their two versions of reality.

But after an experiment shows that Mary’s religious faith—something completely absent in Neanderthals—is a quirk of the neurological wiring of Homo sapiens’ brains, Ponter and Mary must decide whether their child should be predisposed to atheism or belief. Meanwhile, as Mary’s Earth is dealing with a collapse of its planetary magnetic field, her boss, the enigmatic Jock Krieger, has turned envious eyes on the unspoiled Eden that is the Neanderthal world…

Hybrids is filled to bursting with Sawyer’s signature speculations about alternative ways of being human, exploding…[more]

Book:Lust

Lust: Four Letters. Infinite Possibilities.

Geoff Ryman

What if you could have sex with anyone in the world?

The ultimate fantasy? Or a nightmare of self-discovery? Michael Blasco, a young scientist investigating what happens to the brain during the process of learning, suddenly finds himself on the other end of experimentation. On the way home from his lab one night he runs into Tony, a fitness instructor from his gym who he harbors a crush for, on the same platform waiting for the subway. When Michael imagines Tony naked, a pleasant fantasy to spice up a dull journey home, an extraordinary thing happens: Tony strips then and there on the platform and offers himself to Michael in front of all onlookers. Horrified, Michael flees. But back at his apartment, Tony reappears, as if by magic. And disappears again, when Michael wishes him away. Being a scientist, Michael recognizes an experiment when he sees one, and sets out to test the parameters of his newfound gift. In quick succession he conjures…[more]

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:Storyteller

Storyteller

Amy Thomson

From the national bestselling author of Through Alien Eyes… A thoughtful new novel about the love between parents and their children-both human and not.

On the planet of Thalassa, history is passed on from generation to generation by Storytellers. For one woman who calls herself Teller, storytelling is her life. At her side are her harsel, the great sea-beast to whom she is telepathically bonded, and Samad, a young street boy whom she reluctantly took in as an apprentice. But eventually, Samad will discover the secret at the heart of Teller’s life-a discovery that will change him profoundly…

Book:Trickster

Trickster

Steven Harper

The third novel in Steven Harper’s critically-acclaimed science fiction saga continues… The telepathic communications net, known as “The Dream,” has been shattered. And the majority of the Silent who used it are unable to reenter. But Kendi Weaver has more pressing concerns: finding the family that slavers tore from him more than a decade before…

Book:Troll

Troll: A Love Story

Johanna Sinisalo

Everyone has their rough nights, but things have clearly taken a turn for the surreal when Angel, a young photographer, finds a group of drunken teenagers in the courtyard of his apartment building, taunting a young troll. Trolls are known in Scandinavian mythology as wild beasts like the werewolf, but this troll is just a small, wounded creature. Angel decides to offer it a safe haven for the night. In the morning Angel thinks he dreamed it all. But he finds the troll alive, well, and drinking from his toilet.

What does one do with a troll in the city? Angel begins researching frantically. Angel searches the Internet, folklore, nature journals, and newspaper clippings, but his research doesn’t tell him that trolls exude pheromones that have a profound aphrodisiac effect on all those around him. As Angel’s life changes beyond recognition, it becomes clear that the troll is familiar…[more]

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