Annal: 2006 John W. Campbell Award

Results of the John W. Campbell Award in the year 2006.

Book:Mindscan

Mindscan

Robert J. Sawyer

Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he’s discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she’s no longer constrained by a worn-out body either.

But suddenly Karen’s son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.

Mindscan is vintage Sawyer—a feast for the mind and the heart.

Book:Spin

Spin

Robert Charles Wilson

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk—a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world’s artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they’d been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside—more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty…[more]

Book:The Summer Isles

The Summer Isles

Ian R. MacLeod

In this fine work of fiction by award-winning author Ian R. MacLeod, a chilling alternate history unfolds…An elderly English historian sways between memories of his life’s true love and his efforts to change his nation’s course. Britain has lost the first world war and turned to fascism, and as a homosexual the narrator suffers both fear and the loss of his lover to the government, while the ordinary populace enjoys shiny modernity and with it the envy of other nations. MacLeod’s tale shows convincingly that no individual or nation is immune from totalitarianism, and the identity of his British dictator forms a twist that, both beguilingly and deceptively, never stops turning.

This is theoriginal novel version of the novella also entitled The Summer Isles. The novella went on to be nominated for the 1999 Hugo Award and won both the 1999 World Fantasy Award and 1999 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, but until now the novel has not been published in its original form. In the introduction, the author writes, “It is, I still think, my most rounded and complete work, and deals with an important, if not vital, subject.”

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