While I was in Seattle, the Philip K. Dick Award winner was announced at Norwescon, one of the country’s larger science fiction conventions. (I did not go to Seattle for nor did I attend Norwescon.) The award is for “distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States.” This year’s winner was Life by Gwyneth Jones. I am not familiar with her or the book, although she appears to have won prior awards and been short-listed for others.
The next day (the day I was at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame), the 2005 Hugo Award nominees were announced. The Hugos are probably the most respected and widely recognized awards in the field. Interestingly, it’s an all-British list for best novel.
I’ve read one of the five novels — China Mieville‘s Iron Council — and found it weaker that his previous works. Of course, when your second book is the extraordinary Perdido Street Station, you’ve set a high bar for yourself. I almost picked up Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross at Elliott Bay because it’s a sequel to an earlier book of his I read (Singularity Sky) but opted instead for Atrocity Archive. I’ve heard excellent reports about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. So far, though, its size (800 pages) and bent toward magic and fantasy have dissuaded me. The remaining two nominees (The Algebraist and River of Gods) are unknown to me.
Just what I need. Even more books for the “To Read” list.
You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.