Annal: 2008 Prometheus Award for Best Novel

Results of the Prometheus Award in the year 2008.

Book:The Gladiator

The Gladiator: A Novel of Crosstime Traffic

Harry Turtledove

The Soviet Union won the Cold War. The Russians were a little smarter than they were in our own world, and the United States was a little dumber and a lot less resolute. Now, more than a century later, the world’s gone Communist, and capitalism is a bad word.

For Gianfranco and his friend Annarita, a couple of teenagers growing up in Milan, life in a heavily regimented, surveillance-rich command economy is just plain dreary. The eventual withering-away of the state doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Annarita’s a hard-working student and a member of the Young Socialists’ League. Gianfranco is a lot less motivated—but on the other hand, his father’s a Party apparatchik. The biggest excitement in their lives is a wargame shop called The Gladiator,…[more]

Book:Ha'Penny

Ha'Penny

Jo Walton

In 1949, eight years after the “Peace with Honor” was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dictatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.

The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King-and-Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain’s Prime Minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.

Against a background of increasing domestic espionage and the suppression of Jews and homosexuals, an ad-hoc band of idealists and conservatives blackmail the one person they need to complete their plot, an actress who lives for her art and holds the key to the Fuhrer’s death. From the ha’penny seats in the theatre to the ha’pennys that cover dead men’s eyes, the conspiracy…[more]

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:Fleet of Worlds

Fleet of Worlds

Larry Niven, Edward M. Lerner

Fleet of Worlds marks Larry Niven’s first full novel-length collaboration within his Known Space universe, the playground he created for his bestselling Ringworld series. Teaming up with fellow SF writer Edward M. Lerner, Fleet of Worlds takes a closer look at the Human-Puppeteer (Citizens) relations and the events leading up to Niven’s first Ringworld novel. 

Kirsten Quinn-Kovacs is among the best and brightest of her people. She gratefully serves the gentle race that rescued her ancestors from a dying starship, gave them a world, and nurtures them still. If only the Citizens knew where Kirsten’s people came from….  

A chain reaction of supernovae at the galaxy’s core has unleashed a wave of lethal radiation that will sterilize the galaxy. The Citizens flee, taking their planets, the Fleet of Worlds, with them. …[more]

Book:Ragamuffin

Ragamuffin

Tobias S. Buckell

The Benevolent Satrapy rule an empire of forty-eight worlds, linked by thousands of wormholes strung throughout the galaxy. Human beings, while technically “free,” mostly skulk around the fringes of the Satrapy, struggling to get by. The secretive alien Satraps tightly restrict the technological development of the species under their control. Entire worlds have been placed under interdiction, cut off from the rest of the universe. Descended from the islanders of lost Earth, the Ragamuffins are pirates and smugglers, plying the lonely spaceways around a dead wormhole. For years, the Satraps have tolerated the Raga, but no longer. Now they have embarked on a campaign of extermination, determined to wipe out the unruly humans once and for all. But one runaway woman may complicate their plans. Combat enabled, Nashara is more machine than flesh, and she carries inside her a doomsday weapon that could reduce the entire galaxy to chaos. A hunted fugitive, she just wants to get home before she’s forced to destroy civilization—and herself.

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