Honor roll: John W. Campbell Award

Each of these books has been nominated for a John W. Campbell Award. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Gateway

Gateway

Frederik Pohl

Wealth…or death. Those were the choices Gateway offered. Humans had discovered this artificial spaceport, full of working interstellar ships left behind by the mysterious, vanished Heechee. Their destinations are preprogrammed. They are easy to operate, but impossible to control. Some came back with discoveries which made their intrepid pilots rich; others returned with their remains barely identifiable. It was the ultimate game of Russian roulette, but in this resource-starved future there was no shortage of desperate volunteers.

Book:Rendezvous with Rama

Rendezvous with Rama

Arthur C. Clarke

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredible, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind’s first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams…and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits—just behind a Raman airlock door.

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:Only Begotten Daughter

Only Begotten Daughter

James Morrow

Morrow explores the difficulties facing God’s twentieth-century offspring, complete with virgin birth. Julie Katz is a New Jersey girl—the miracle child of a celibate Jewish recluse whose sperm sample, donated to an Atlantic City baby bank, spontaneously gestates.

Book:The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed

Ursula K. Le Guin

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. he will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

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:Speaker For The Dead

Speaker For The Dead: Book 2 of the Ender Quartet

Orson Scott Card

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens’ ways are strange and frightening…again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery…and the truth.

Book:Embassytown

Embassytown

China Miéville

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak.

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language.

When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties—to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak yet speaks through her.

With Embassytown, Miéville has crafted an extraordinary novel that is not only a moving personal drama but a gripping adventure of alien contact and war.

Book:Darwin's Radio

Darwin's Radio

Greg Bear

A mass grave in Russia that conceals the mummified remains of two women, both with child—and the conspiracy to keep it secret . . . a major discovery high in the Alps: the preserved bodies of a prehistoric family—the newborn infant possessing disturbing characteristics . . . a mysterious disease that strikes only pregnant women, resulting in miscarriage. Three disparate facts that will converge into one science-shattering truth.

Molecular biologist Kaye Lang, a specialist in retroviruses, believes that ancient diseases encoded in the DNA of humans can again come to life. But her theory soon becomes chilling reality. For Christopher Dicken—a “virus hunter” at the Epidemic Intelligence Service—has pursued an elusive flu-like disease that strikes down expectant mothers and their offspring. The shocking link: something that has slept in our genes for millions of years is waking up. …[more]

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