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: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: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: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: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: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]

Book:Distraction

Distraction

Bruce Sterling

It’s November 2044, an election year, and the state of the Union is a farce. The federal government is broke, cities are privately owned, the military is shaking down citizens in the streets, and Wyoming is on fire. The last place anyone expects to find an answer is the nation’s capital.

Washington has become a circus and no one knows that better than Oscar Valparaiso. A master political spin doctor, Oscar has been in the background for years, doing his best to put the proper spin on anything that comes up. Now he wants to do something quite unusual in politics. He wants to make a difference. But Oscar has a skeleton in his closet: a grotesque and unspeakable scandal that haunts his personal life.

He has one unexpected ally: Dr. Greta Penninger. She is a gifted neurologist at the bleeding edge of the neural revolution.…[more]

Book:Moving Mars

Moving Mars

Greg Bear

The young may not remember Mars of old, under the yellow Sun, its cloud-streaked skies dusted pink, its soil rusty and fine, its inhabitants living in pressurized burrows and venturing Up only as rite of passage or to do maintenance or tend the ropy crops spread like nests of intensely green snakes over the wind-scoured farms. That Mars, an old and tired Mars filled with young lives, is gone forever. Now I am old and tired, and Mars is young again. Our lives are not our own, but by God, we must behave as if they are. When I was young, what I did seemed too small to be of any consequence; but the shiver of dust, we are told, expands in time to the planet-sweeping storm…

Casseia Majumdar was a daughter of one of Mars’ oldest, most conservative Binding Multiples - the extended family syndicates that had colonized the red planet. But her life was changed forever by the student protest of 2171. Those brief days of idealism…[more]

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