Annal: 2006 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 2006.

Book:Air

Air: A Novel

Geoff Ryman

Chung Mae is the only connection her small farming village has to culture of a wider world beyond the fields and simple houses of her village. A new communications technology is sweeping the world and promises to connect everyone, everywhere without power lines, computers, or machines. This technology is Air. An initial testing of Air goes disastrously wrong and people are killed from the shock. Not to be stopped Air is arriving with or without the blessing of Mae’s village. Mae is the only one who knows how to harness Air and ready her people for it’s arrival, but will they listen before it’s too late?

Book:Accelerando

Accelerando

Charles Stross

The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect. Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct. Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant, replicating and reprogramming at will. Contact with extraterrestrial life grows more imminent with each new day.

Struggling to survive and thrive in this accelerated world are three generations of the Macx clan: Manfred, an entrepreneur dealing in intelligence amplification technology whose mind is divided between his physical environment and the Internet; his daughter, Amber, on the run from her domineering mother; seeking her fortune in the outer system as an indentured astronaut; and Sirhan, Amber’s son, who finds his destiny linked to the fate of all of humanity.

For something is systemically dismantling the nine planets of the solar system. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that has no use for biological life in any form.

Book:Banner of Souls

Banner of Souls

Liz Williams

One of Spectra’s most imaginative and talented authors now takes us on a phantasmagoric journey into a strange future fueled by haunt-tech: a technology which works by harnessing energy from of the realm of the dead. But who are the mysterious race known as the Kami who brought haunt-tech to earth? Saviors from another world, or something else entirely? And how does the child named Lunae who can manipulate time with a thought fit into the puzzle? It is up to the Martian warrior Dreams-of-War to answer these questions before life as she knows it comes to an end.

Book:Learning the World

Learning the World: A Scientific Romance

Ken MacLeod

Humanity has spread to every star within 500 light-years of its half-forgotten origin, coloring the sky with a haze of habitats. Societies rise and fall. Incautious experiments burn fast and fade. On the fringes, less modified humans get on with the job of settling a universe that has, so far, been empty of intelligent life.

The ancient starship But the Sky, My Lady! The Sky! is entering orbit around a promising new system after a four hundred year journey. For its long-lived inhabitants, the centuries have been busy. Now a younger generation is eager to settle the system. The ship is a seed-pod ready to burst.

Then they detect curious electromagnetic emissions from the system’s Earth-like world. As the nature of the signals becomes clear, the choices facing the humans become stark. …[more]

Book:Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go: A Novel

Kazuo Ishiguro

As a child, Kathy–now thirty-one years old–lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed–even comforted–by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled…[more]

Book:Pushing Ice

Pushing Ice

Alastair Reynolds

2057. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclearpowered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. But when Janus, one of Saturn’s ice moons, inexplicably leaves its natural orbit and heads out of the solar system at high speed, Bella is ordered to shadow it for the few vital days before it falls forever out of reach.

In accepting this mission she sets her ship and her crew on a collision course with destiny-for Janus has many surprises in store, and not all of them are welcome…

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