Annal: 2008 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 2008.

Book:Black Man (Thirteen)

Black Man: (Thirteen)

Richard K. Morgan

One hundred years from now, and against all the odds, Earth has found a new stability; the political order has reached some sort of balance, and the new colony on Mars is growing. But the fraught years of the 21st century have left an uneasy legacy…

Genetically engineered alpha males, designed to fight the century’s wars have no wars to fight and are surplus to requirements. And a man bred and designed to fight is a dangerous man to have around in peacetime. Many of them have left for Mars but now one has come back and killed everyone else on the shuttle he returned in.

Only one man, a genengineered ex-soldier himself, can hunt him down and so begins a frenetic man-hunt and a battle survival. And a search for the truth about what was really done with the world’s last soldiers.

Black Man is an unstoppable SF thriller but it is also a novel about predjudice, about the ramifications of playing with our genetic blue-print. It is about our capacity for violence but more worrying, our capacity for deceit and corruption.

This is another landmark of modern SF from one of its most exciting and commercial authors.

Book:The Carhullan Army

The Carhullan Army

Sarah Hall

The state of the nation has changed. With much of the country now underwater, assets and weapons seized by the government—itself run by the sinister Authority—and war raging in South America and China, life in Britain is unrecognisable. Most appallingly, in this world of scant resources and hard industrial labour, the Authority insist all women should be fitted with contraceptive devices.

In The Carhullan Army, Sister, as she is known, delivers her story from the confines of a prison cell. She tells of her attempts to escape this repressive world and her journey to join the commune of women at Carhullan, a group living as ‘unofficials’ in a fortified farm beyond the most remote Cumbrian fells. The journey is a challenge, but arrival is only the beginning of her struggle.

A testament to the triumph of the individual in dire circumstances, and a novel of extraordinary imagination, range and emotional complexity, The Carhullan Army has the visionary intensity and quality of great dystopian fiction.

Book:The Execution Channel

The Execution Channel

Ken MacLeod

It’s after 9/11. After the bombing. After the Iraq war. After 7/7. After the Iran war. After the nukes. After the flu. After the Straits. After Rosyth. In a world just down the road from our own, on-line bloggers vie with old-line political operatives and new-style police to determine just where reality lies.

James Travis is a British patriot and a French spy. On the day the Big One hits, Travis and his daughter must strive to make sense of the nuclear bombing of Scotland and the political repercussions of a series of terrorist attacks. With the information war in full swing, the only truth they have is what they’re able to see with their own eyes. They know that everything else is—or may be—a lie.

Book:The H-Bomb Girl

The H-Bomb Girl

Stephen Baxter

Liverpool 1962. A place and time of danger and passion.

A thrilling new music is bursting on to the grey streets of the post-war city: a music that electrifies, a music that promises to change everything.

But in Cuba, on the other side of the earth, nuclear tensions are at breaking point. The end of the whole world could be just days away.

At the heart of it all is fourteen-year-old Laura Mann. She’s on the run, hunted by strange forces fighting over the future of humanity. Laura is the H-Bomb Girl.

And Laura is about to discover that her own life is at stake—in ways she could never have imagined…

Book:The Raw Shark Texts

The Raw Shark Texts

Steven Hall

Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house one day with no idea who or where he is. Instructed by a mysterious note to visit a Dr. Randle, Eric learns that the agony of losing the love of his life in a scuba-diving accident three years before has destroyed his memory. But there may be more to the story, or it may be a different story altogether. As Eric begins to examine letters and papers left in the house by “the first Eric Sanderson,” a staggeringly different explanation for what is happening to Eric emerges, and he and the reader embark on a quest to recover the truth and escape the remorseless predatory forces that threatens to devour him.

The Raw Shark Texts is a kaleidoscopic novel about the magnitude of love and the devastating effect of losing that love.

Book:The Red Men

The Red Men

Matthew De Abaitua

Nelson used to be a radical journalist, but now he works for Monad, one of the world’s leading corporations. Monad make the Dr Easys, the androids which patrol London’s streets: assisting police, easing tensions, calming the populace. But Monad also makes the Red Men—tireless, intelligent, creative and entirely virtual corporate workers—and it’s looking to expand the programme. So Nelson is put in charge of Redtown: a virtual city, inhabited by copies of real people going about their daily business, in which new policies, diseases and disasters can be studied in perfect simulation.

Nelson finds himself at the helm of a grand project whose goals appear increasingly authoritarian and potentially catastrophic. As the boundaries between Redtown and the real world become ever more brittle, and revolutionary factions begin to align themselves against the Red Men, Nelson finds himself forced to choose sides: Monad or his family, the corporation or the community,…[more]

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