Honor roll: Hugo Award for Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for an Hugo Award for Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:The Diamond Age

The Diamond Age

Neal Stephenson

Decades into our future, a stone’s throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neoVictorians. He’s made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild, stolen for Hackworth’s own daughter, the Primer’s purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its function superbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands.

Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes—members of the poor, tribeless class. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian—John Percival Hackworth—in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer. …[more]

Book:The Time Ships

The Time Ships

Stephen Baxter

There is a secret passage through time…and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but he “present” in which we live.

A century after the publication of H. G. Wells’ immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today’s most acclaimed new “hard SF” author, and the acknowledged Clarke, returns to the distant conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks in a story that is at once an exciting expansion, and a radical departure based on the astonishing new understandings of quantum physics.

Book:Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book

Connie Willis

For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity’s history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin—barely of age herself—finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history’s darkest hours.

Five years in the writing by one of science fiction’s most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

Book:Forever Peace

Forever Peace

Joe Haldeman

In the year 2043, the Ngumi War rages. Limited nuclear strikes have been used on Atlanta and two enemy cities, but the war goes on, fought by “soldierboys”—indestructible war machines run by remote control by soldiers hundreds of miles away. Julian Class is one of these soldiers, and for him, war is indeed hell. The psychological strain of being jacked-in to his soldierboy —and the genocidal results—are becoming too much to bear. For Julian, it might be worth dying just to stop living. Now he and his lover, Dr. Amelia Harding, have made a terrifying scientific discovery that could literally put the universe back to square one. For Julian, however, the discovery isn’t terrifying. It’s tempting.

Book:Towing Jehovah

Towing Jehovah

James Morrow

The irreducible strangeness of the universe was first made manifest to Anthony Van Horne on his fiftieth birthday, when a despondent angel named Raphael, a being with luminous white wings and a halo that blinked on and off like a neon quoit, appeared and told him of the days to come.

What Raphael tells Van Horne is that God, for unknown reasons, has died. “Died and fell into the sea.” Soon Van Horne is charged with captaining the supertanker Carpco Valparaiso (flying the colors of the Vatican) as it tows the two-mile-long divine corpse through the Atlantic—northward, toward the Arctic, in order to preserve Him from sharks and decomposition. Van Horne must also contend with ecological guilt, a militant girlfriend, a father who won’t talk to him, sabotage both natural and spiritual, a crew on (and sometimes past) the brink of mutiny, and greedy hucksters of oil, condoms, and doubtful ideas.

Book:Stations of the Tide

Stations of the Tide

Michael Swanwick

The fiction of Michael Swanwick transports readers through thought and space; into dark, fantastic worlds teeming with awesome creations, characters and ideas. From the critically acclaimed author of Jack Faust comes an award-winning vision of cataclysm and transformation; an extraordinary excursion into questionable realms of morality and godhood.

The world of Miranda is dying—doomed to drown beneath the weight of its own oceans. In the final days before the unavoidable natural disaster, the race is on to locate Gregorian—a brilliant renegade scientist and wizard who, with his forbidden technology and charismatic magic, plans to remake the moribund planet in his own image. Gregorian must be found— and stopped—before the rising Jubilee Tides obliterate his trail and Miranda is inexorably hurtled toward a terrifying confrontation with death and transcendence.

Brilliantly realized, suspenseful and compelling, Stations of the Tide is speculative fiction at its provocative best.

Book:Brittle Innings

Brittle Innings

Michael Bishop

For seventeen-year-old Danny Boles, a 5’5” shortstop out of Tenkiller, Oklahoma, the summer of 1943 would be a season to remember. The country’s at war, and professional baseball needs able-bodied men. Danny’s headed for Highbridge, Georgia—home of the Goober Pride peanut butter factory and the Highbridge Hellbenders, a Class C farm club in the Chattahoochee Valley League. He’s a scrappy player with one minor quirk: a violent encounter on the train to Georgia has rendered him mute, his vocal cords tied up in knots.

Danny’s idiosyncrasy, however, is nothing compared to that of his new Hellbender roommate, an erudite seven-foot giant by the name of Jumbo Hank Clerval. With his yellow eyes, strangely scarred face, and sausage-sized fingers, Hank seems to have been put together in a meat-packing plant. But he plays a mean first base and can hit the ball a mile. With the Hellbenders in a pennant…[more]

Book:Beggars in Spain

Beggars in Spain: Book 1 of Beggars Trilogy

Nancy Kress

Born in 2008, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent . . . and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once she and “her kind” were considered interesting anomalies. Now they are outcasts—victims of blind hatred, political repression and shocking mob violence meant to drive the “Sleepless” from human society . . . and, ultimately, from the Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her “gift”—a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom . . . and revenge.

Book:Bone Dance

Bone Dance

Emma Bull

Sparrow’s my name. Trader. Deal-maker. Hustler, some call me. I work the Night Fair circuit, buying and selling pre-nuke videos from the world before. I know how to get a high price, especially on Big Bang collectibles. But the hottest ticket of all is information on the Horsemen—the mind-control weapons that tilted the balance in the war between the Americas. That’s the prize I’m after.

But it seems I’m having trouble controlling my own mind.

The Horsemen are coming.

Book:Blue Mars

Blue Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson

The red planet is no more. Now green and verdant, covered by seas and settlements, Mars has been dramatically terraformed from a desert world into one where humans can flourish. All that remains is to finish creating a breathable atmosphere and an ecosystem full of wondrous genetically engineered Martian creatures. But as Mars reaches its final transformation, Earth is in peril. The Great Flood threatens an already overpopulated and polluted planet, and Mars faces a population explosion or interplanetary war.

Now the First Hundred settlers of Mars, having attained near immortality through longevity drugs, are pulled into a fierce new struggle. Ann, the head of the Reds, a group devoted to preserving Mars in desert state, again takes on her old nemesis Sax Russell, who is an architect of the “green” terraformers—and the consequences of their bitter battle will be an ice age that…[more]

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