Honor roll: Science Fiction books

Each of these Science Fiction books has received at least one award nomination. 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: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:Man Plus

Man Plus

Frederik Pohl

Ill luck made Roger Torraway the subject of the Man Plus Programe, but it was deliberate biological engineering which turned him into a monster—a machine perfectly adapted to survive on Mars. For according to computer predictions, Mars is humankind’s only alternative to extinction. But beneath his monstrous exterior, Torraway still carries a man’s capacity for suffering.

Book:Jem

Jem

Frederik Pohl

There were too many people and too few resources on Earth. The old alliances had crumbled, and three global alignments now coexisted uneasily. Then, in a nearby star system, the Earthlike planet Jem was discovered. Its untapped resources might bring a renaissance to Earth—or bring on the final apocalypse.

Book:On Wings of Song

On Wings of Song

Thomas M. Disch

Named one of science fiction’s 100 best books by noted genre editor David Pringle, Thomas M. Disch’s On Wings of Song is at once allegory, social satire, political fable, and brilliantly written science fiction of the ultimate out-of-body experience. In Disch’s dazzlingly imagined future America, Daniel Weinraub dreams of escaping the repressive midwest of the mid-twenty-first century through an electronic device with which the user takes flight into cyberspace when activated with a quasi-musical code called “The Symphonette.” Daniel’s adventures take him from Iowa’s God-fearing police state and its “correctional” labor camps for the sinful to Manhattan’s mean streets and “cyberspatial flight paths.”

Book:Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang

Kate Wilhelm

Before becoming one of today’s most intriguing and innovative mystery writers, Kate Wilhelm was a leading writer of science fiction, acclaimed for classics like The Infinity Box and The Clewiston Test.

Now one of her most famous novels returns to print, the spellbinding story of an isolated post-holocaust community determined to preserve itself, through a perilous experiment in cloning. Sweeping, dramatic, rich with humanity, and rigorous in its science, Where Later the Sweet Birds Sang is widely regarded as a high point of both humanistic and “hard” SF, and won SF’s Hugo Award and Locus Award on its first publication. It is as compelling today as it was then.

Book:The Year of the Quiet Sun

The Year of the Quiet Sun

Wilson Tucker

It was a top secret government project, its funds coming quietly from the Bureau of Standards, its orders directly from the President. The project’s goal was to survey the future.

The survey would be made in person, by use of the newly-developed Time Displacement Vehicle. Three specially trained men would be sent to the year 2000, and they would return with invaluable data about the problems to be faced by the government in decades to come.

It seemed almost routine at first. But when the survey team reached their target they found a savage land…an awesome world they may have made, and they had to wonder if any would return to tell about it.

Book:Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Philip K. Dick

On October 11 the television star Jason Taverner is so famous that 30 million viewers eagerly watch his prime-time show. On October 12 Jason Taverner is not a has-been but a never-was—a man who has lost not only his audience but all proof of his existence. And in the claustrophobic betrayal state of Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, loss of proof is synonyms with loss of life.

Taverner races to solve the riddle of his disappearance”, immerses us in a horribly plausible Philip K. Dick United States in which everyone—from a waiflike forger of identity cards to a surgically altered pleasure—informs on everyone else, a world in which omniscient police have something to hide. His bleakly beautiful novel bores into the deepest bedrock self and plants a stick of dynamite at its center.

Book:A Midsummer Tempest

A Midsummer Tempest

Poul Anderson

Somewhere, spinning through another universe is an Earth where a twist of fate, a revolution and a few early inventions have made a world quite unlike our own. It is a world where Cavaliers and Puritans battle with the aid of observation balloons and steam trains; where Oberon and Titania join forces with King Arthur to resist the Industrial Revolution; and where the future meshes with the past in the shape of Valeria, time traveller from New York.

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