Annal: 2006 Nebula Award for Novel

Results of the Nebula Award in the year 2006.

Book:Seeker

Seeker

Jack McDevitt

Thousands of years after an entire colony mysteriously disappears, antiquities dealer Alex Benedict comes into possession of a cup that seems to be from the Seeker, one of the colony’s ships. Investigating the provenance of the cup, Alex and his assistant Chase follow a deadly trail to the Seeker-strangely adrift in a system barren of habitable worlds. But their discovery raises more questions than it answers, drawing Alex and Chase into the very heart of danger.

Book:To Crush the Moon

To Crush the Moon

Wil McCarthy

Once the Queendom of Sol was a glowing monument to humankind’s loftiest dreams. Ageless and immortal, its citizens lived in peaceful splendor. But as Sol buckled under the swell of an immorbid population, space itself literally ran out….

Conrad Mursk has returned to Sol on the crippled starship Newhope. His crew are the frozen refugees of a failed colony known as Barnard’s Star. A thousand years older, Mursk finds Sol on the brink of rebellion, while a fanatic necro cult is reviving death itself. Now Mursk and his lover, Captain Xiomara “Xmary” Li Weng, are sent on a final, desperate mission by King Bruno de Towaji-one of the greatest terraformers of the ages-to literally crush the moon. If they succeed, they’ll save billions of lost souls. If they fail, they’ll strand humanity between death-and something unimaginably worse….

Book:Farthing

Farthing

Jo Walton

One summer weekend in 1949—but not our 1949—the “Farthing set,” the well-connected group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Hitler, enjoys a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter of two politicians in the group; since her marriage to a London Jew, relations have been strained. So she’s surprised when she and husband David are invited for the weekend. When a member of the set is found murdered, it becomes clear to Lucy and David that they were invited in order to pin the murder on David.

More than an alternate-history story, more than a drawing-room mystery, Farthing is a compelling story of encroaching darkness and the people who ultimately decide to resist it.

Book:From the Files of the Time Rangers

From the Files of the Time Rangers

Richard Bowes

Greek gods are posing as humans and pulling humanity’s strings in this mosaic novel about time travel, alternate worlds, and the making of a president. The Time Rangers, Apollo’s chosen servants, are in charge of preserving the peace and harmony along the Time Stream, the pathway between various worlds and times, but Apollo has given them a new task—to protect Timothy Macauley, the chosen one who must become the president of the United States or else witness the destruction of humankind. Standing in the Rangers' way are other gods: Mercury, who’s working his wiles in the world of public relations; Diana, cruising New York city in the guise of an HYPD detective; Pluto, who is in the process of grooming his successor; and Dionysus, who has caused the annihilation of an alternate world. Non-stop action keeps the story rolling from the 1950s to the present day, through this world and others.

The author shares his insights into, and the history of, the mosaic novel in the Afterword.

Book:The Girl in the Glass

The Girl in the Glass: A Novel

Jeffrey Ford

The Great Depression has bound a nation in despair—and only a privileged few have risen above it: the exorbitantly wealthy…and the hucksters who feed upon them. Diego, a seventeen-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant, owes his salvation to master grifter Thomas Schell. Together with Schell’s gruff and powerful partner, they sail comfortably through hard times, scamming New York’s grieving rich with elaborate, ingeniously staged séances—until an impossible occurrence changes everything.

While “communing with spirits,” Schell sees an image of a young girl in a pane of glass, silently entreating the con man for help. Though well aware that his otherworldly “powers” are a sham, Schell inexplicably offers his services to help find the lost child—drawing Diego along with him into a tangled maze of deadly secrets and terrible experimentation.

At once a hypnotically compelling mystery and a stunningly evocative portrait of Depression-era New York, The Girl in the Glass is a masterly literary adventure from a writer of exemplary vision and skill.

Book:The Privilege of the Sword

The Privilege of the Sword

Ellen Kushner

Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city’s ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine’s host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it’s up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.

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