Annal: 2004 World Fantasy Award for Novel

Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 2004.

Book:Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw

Jo Walton

Jo Walton returns with a very different kind of fantasy story: the tale of a family dealing with the death of their father, of a son who goes to law for his inheritance, a son who agonizes over his father’s deathbed confession, a daughter who falls in love, a daughter who becomes involved in the abolition movement, and a daughter sacrificing herself for her husband.

Except that everyone in the story is a dragon, red in tooth and claw.

Here is a world of politics and train stations, of churchmen and family retainers, of courtship and country houses…in which, on the death of an elder, family members gather to eat the body of the deceased. In which society’s high-and-mighty members avail themselves of the privilege of killing and eating the weaker children, which they do with ceremony and relish, growing stronger thereby.

Book:The Etched City

The Etched City

K.J. Bishop

“Have you seen a split cranium, growing flowers like a window box? I saw that, a mere hour ago…”

Fleeing the ghosts of their past, a healer and a killer escape from the ruined Copper Country to the city of Ashamoil. But as they salvage new lives from the debris of the old, they will discover that the ghosts of the past are also the ghosts of the future. As tragic and comic destinies play out in the city, art will infect life, dream and waking fuse, and splendid and frightening miracles will bloom.

Book:Fudoki

Fudoki

Kij Johnson

In her skillful debut novel, Kij Johnson took the classic Japanese myth of the fox who dared to become a woman to win true love and created The Fox Woman, a luminous, lyrical tale of love, desire, joy, and the nature of the soul.

Set in the same universe as The Fox Woman, this time Kij Johnson takes on another animal totem and enters the world of the creature who comes to be known as Kagaya-hime, a sometime woman warrior, occasional philosopher, and reluctant confidante to noblemen.

And who may or may not be the figment of the imagination of an aging empress who is embarking on the last journey of her life, setting aside the trappings of court life and reminiscing as she follows the paths that are leading her to the nunnery and death. …[more]

Book:The Light Ages

The Light Ages

Ian R. MacLeod

The northern town of Bracebridge is dominated by the never-ending sound of it’s aether mines. Toiling men work the earth, extracting the magical and dangerous substance—the source of all power—from the ground. Even at eight, Robert Borrows knows that this is what his future holds.

Meanwhile, in an isolated and dilapidated manor known as Redhouse, the precocious Annalise grows up under the care of her guardian. Brought to Redhouse on a mysterious trip by his distraught mother, Robert becomes fascinated with Annalise, for unlike him, she is rich in magic that she keeps carefully hidden, and not quite of this world.

But after that same magic claims his mother, Robert flees to London. It is here that he feels most keenly the difference between those hired by the guilds to extract the aether and those who profit from their labors. It is also in London that he runs…[more]

Book:Veniss Underground

Veniss Underground

Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer’s last book, City of Saints & Madmen, explored the limits of literary fantasy, garnering raves from critics, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Now, with Veniss Underground, VanderMeer explores the limits of love, memory, and obsession in a far future SF novel that combines the grotesque and the sublime in a rousing adventure-mystery.

On a far future Earth where vast deserts—ecological disaster areas—surround walled city-states slowly losing their grip on advanced technology, the mysterious Quin manipulates biological engineering to create sentient species as both toys and a growing source of manual labor. When Nicholas, a failed holo artist, decides to visit Quin, he, his programmer sister, Nicola, and her former lover, Shadrach, will all discover what it really means to know Quin, in the place known as Veniss Underground.

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