Honor roll: Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Michael Chabon

It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn’s own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.

Book:Hominids

Hominids: Book 1 of The Neanderthal Parallax

Robert J. Sawyer

Hominids is a strong, stand-alone SF novel, but it’s also the first book of The Neanderthal Parallax, a trilogy that will examine two unique species of people: Humans and Neanderthals.

During a risky experiment deep in a mine in Canada, Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe, where in the same mine another experiment is taking place. Hurt, but alive, he is almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist. He is captured and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended-by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence and boundless enthusiasm for the world’s strangeness, and especially by geneticist Mary Vaughan, a lonely woman with whom he develops a special rapport. …[more]

Book:Spin State

Spin State

Chris Moriarty

From a stunning new voice in hard science fiction comes the thrilling story of one woman’s quest to wrest truth from chaos, love from violence, and reality from illusion in a post-human universe of emergent AIs, genetic constructs, and illegal wetware…

SPIN STATE

UN Peacekeeper Major Catherine Li has made thirty-seven faster-than-light jumps in her lifetime—and has probably forgotten more than most people remember. But that’s what backup hard drives are for. And Li should know; she’s been hacking her memory for fifteen years in order to pass as human. But no memory upgrade can prepare Li for what she finds on Compson’s World: a mining colony she once called home and to which she is sent after a botched raid puts her on the bad side of the powers that be.…[more]

Book:The Salt Roads

The Salt Roads

Nalo Hopkinson

Jeanne Duval, the ginger-colored entertainer, is descended from African slaves and white sailors. It is twilight, and she argues with her lover Charles Baudelaire in his Paris apartment. Ginger is hot in its roots with a beautiful, lush red flower above. And ginger has a bite as she does…

Mer, plantation slave and doctor, has healing hands though her spirit is sickened. She both hungers for and dreads liberation, and longs for the gods to take her home. My wishes can’t fly freely. They’re rooted to the ground like me, who eats salt.

Thais, a beauty from Alexandria, was sold into slavery and prostitution as a girl. Impelled to seek a glorious revelation, she will travel the long hot roads to Jerusalem. She is dark-skinned, this beauty, and ruddy like copper. No salt-pucker of bitterness in her. …[more]

Book:The Wild Swans

The Wild Swans

Peg Kerr

Two different interweaving stories that mirror each other in theme and character study. The first story starts in 1689 England, where 15-year-old Eliza finds her 11 brothers turned into enchanted swans. Rejected by her father, Eliza is flown to America by her brothers. There, Eliza has a chance of saving her brothers, until she is accused of witchcraft-and now must fight for her own life. In the second story, Elias, a young man living with AIDS in the 1980s, is also rejected by his family and must learn to live life on the streets. With his new companion Sean, Elias finally finds personal acceptance amid the ostracism of a scorning public. Like Eliza before him, Elias struggles to understand the needless suffering he must endure.

Book:The Fall of the Kings

The Fall of the Kings

Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman

This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner’s cult-classic novel, Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society’s smug view of itself–and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it…

Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men, Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge–and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil is not convinced–nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king…

Book:Solitaire

Solitaire

Kelley Eskridge

Since the moment she came into the world, Ren “Jackal” Segura has been treated differently. As a hope, she is a symbol of the highest principles of human society and is guaranteed a position of influence in the global government once she comes of age. But two months before she is to assume the role she has been preparing for her entire life—when she will leave her home to represent the massive corporate entity that houses, feeds, and employs her and everyone around her—Jackal discovers that everything she believes, everything she is, is a lie.

Saddled with a crushing burden she dares not share with anyone—not even Snow, her closest web mate, her dearest heart—she must live as if nothing has changed. But on a recreational outing with the others in her web, she inadvertently finds herself at the center of a maelstrom of terror and catastrophe … and in a single instant, Jackal Segura is a Hope no longer. In the…[more]

Book:The Ghost Sister

The Ghost Sister

Liz Williams

The fate of a planet lies with an outcast woman and a mysterious visitor….

In this richly imagined and thought-provoking novel, Liz Williams tells the story of a world engineered to preserve the precarious balance between animal and human. To this world comes an emissary from a distant planet who will walk the razor-thin line between consciousness and instinct, freedom and conformity, life and death.

On Monde D’Isle a rugged people live in union with their world. They migrate with the tides of the moon, sense the meridians of the planet, and slip into a Dreamtime that grants them access to—and escape from—the darker urges of their animal nature.

Mevennen ai Mordha is out of tune with her people’s “bloodmind.” She is protected by her devoted brother Eleres,…[more]

Book:Earth Logic

Earth Logic: Book 2 of Elemental Logic saga

Laurie J. Marks

With Earth Logic, Laurie J. Marks continues the epic of her stunningly imagined world of Shaftal, which she first introduced in Fire Logic.

Shaftal has a ruler again, a woman with enough power to heal the war-torn land and expel the invading Sainnites from Shaftal. Or it would have a ruler if the earth witch Karis G’deon consented to rule. Instead, she lives in obscurity with the fractious family of elemental talents who gathered around her in Fire Logic. She is waiting for some sign, but no one, least of all Karis herself, knows what it is.

Then the Sainnite garrison at Watford is attacked by a troop of zealots claiming to speak for the Lost G’deon, and a mysterious and deadly plague attacks the land, killing both Sainnites and Shaftali. Karis must act or watch her beloved country fall into famine and chaos. And when Karis acts, the very stones of the earth sit up and take notice.

Book:Fire Logic

Fire Logic: Book 1 of Elemental Logic saga

Laurie J. Marks

Earth. Air. Water. Fire.

These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of healing, truth, joy, and intuition.

But now Shaftal is dying.

The earth witch who ruled Shaftal is dead, leaving no heir. Shaftal’s ruling house has been scattered and destroyed by the invading Sainnites. The Shaftali have mobilized a guerrilla army against these marauders, but every year the cost of resistance grows, leaving Shaftal’s fate in the hands of three people:

Emil the Shaftali paladin: an officer and a scholar whose elemental powers make him an excellent judge of character; …[more]

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