2016 Phillip K Dick Award Nominees
Writing the blog Science Book a Day, it’s a lot of work to feature books, organise reviews and do other things that make up my life. So when I heard that the Phillip K Dick awards have been GIVEN (March 26, 2016) I realised I had missed the boat. SO here are the nominees that were announced in January and I will feature the winner later on today. Look up the winner if you can’t wait three hours until I feature the book 🙂
(Ed: The winner was Apex by Ramez Naam)
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Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper
What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living. And yet, that life thrived? It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun. What if it didn’t share your moral compass in any way? The Glittering Edge duology describes the clash of forces when an advanced society that has filled a solar system with flesh and blood life meets the near-AI’s that it banished long ago. This is a story of love for the wild and natural life on a colony planet, complex adventure set in powerful space stations, and the desire to live completely whether you are made of flesh and bone or silicon and carbon fiber. In Edge of Dark, meet ranger Charlie Windar and his adopted wild predator, and explore their home on a planet that has been raped and restored more than once. Meet Nona Hall, child of power and privilege from the greatest station in the system, the Diamond Deep. Meet Nona’s best friend, a young woman named Chrystal who awakens in a robotic body….
After the Saucers Landed by Douglas Lain
“When the alien gets around to unzipping her jumpsuit it’ll be impossible to see what’s underneath.” UFOlogist Harold Flint is heartbroken and depressed that the aliens that have landed on the White House lawn appear to be straight out of an old B movie. They wave to the television cameras in their sequined jumpsuits, form a nonprofit organization offering new age enlightenment, and hover their saucers over the streets of New York looking for converts. Harold wants no part of this kitschy invasion until one of the aliens, a beautiful blonde named Asket, begs him to investigate the saucers again and write another UFO book. The aliens and their mission are not as they seem. Asket isn’t who she seems either. Tracking down her true personality leads Harold and his cowriter through a maze of identity and body-swapping madness, descending into paranoia as Harold realizes that reality, or at least humanity’s perception of it, may be more flexible than anyone will admit. After the Saucers Landed is a deeply unsettling experimental satire, placing author Douglas Lain alongside contemporaries like Jeff VanderMeer and Charles Yu as one of his generation’s most exciting and challenging speculative fiction voices.
(R)evolution by PJ Manney
Scientist Peter Bernhardt has dedicated his life to nanotechnology, the science of manipulating matter on the atomic scale. As the founder of Biogineers, he is on the cusp of revolutionizing brain therapies with microscopic nanorobots that will make certain degenerative diseases become a thing of the past. But after his research is stolen by an unknown enemy, seventy thousand people die in Las Vegas in one abominable moment. No one is more horrified than Peter, as this catastrophe sets in motion events that will forever change not only his life but also the course of human evolution. Peter’s company is torn from his grasp as the public clamors for his blood. Desperate, he turns to an old friend, who introduces him to the Phoenix Club, a cabal of the most powerful people in the world. To make himself more valuable to his new colleagues, Peter infuses his brain with experimental technology, exponentially upgrading his mental prowess and transforming him irrevocably. As he’s exposed to unimaginable wealth and influence, Peter’s sense of reality begins to unravel. Do the club members want to help him, or do they just want to claim his technology? What will they do to him once they have their prize? And while he’s already evolved beyond mere humanity, is he advanced enough to take on such formidable enemies and win?
Apex by Ramez Naam
Global unrest spreads through the US, China, and beyond. Secrets and lies set off shockwaves of anger, rippling from mind to mind. Riot police battle neurally-linked protestors. Armies are mobilized. Political orders fall. Nexus-driven revolution is in here. Against this backdrop, a new breed of post-human children are growing into their powers. And a once-dead scientist, driven mad by her torture, is closing in on her plans to seize planet’s electronic systems, and re-forge everything in her image. A new Apex species is here. The world will never be the same.
Windswept by Adam Rakunas
Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she’s supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She’s only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out — against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies. As Padma should know by now, there are no easy shortcuts on her planet. And suddenly retirement seems farther away than ever: she’s just stumbled into a secret corporate mission to stop a plant disease that could wipe out all the industrial sugarcane in Occupied Space. If she ever wants to have another drink of her favorite rum, she’s going to have to fight her way through the city’s warehouses, sewage plants, and up the elevator itself to stop this new plague.
Archangel by Marguerite Reed
The Earth is dying, and our hopes are pinned on Ubastis, an untamed paradise at the edge of colonized space. But such an influx of people threatens the planet’s unstudied ecosystem — a tenuous research colony must complete its analysis, lest humanity abandon one planet only to die on another. The Ubasti colonists barely get by on their own. To acquire the tools they need, they are relegated to selling whatever they can to outside investors. For xenobiologist Vashti Loren, this means bringing Offworlders on safari to hunt the specimens she and her fellow biologists so desperately need to study. Haunted by the violent death of her husband, the heroic and celebrated Lasse Undset, Vashti must balance the needs of Ubastis against the swelling crush of settlers. Vashti struggles in her role as one of the few colonists licensed to carry deadly weapons, just as she struggles with her history of using them. And when she discovers a genetically engineered soldier smuggled onto the surface, Vashti must face the nightmare of her husband’s murder all over again. Standing at the threshold of humanity’s greatest hope, she alone understands the darkness of guarding paradise.