As I’ve done for the past few years, I’ve read all of the nominated works for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award. Following is my ranking, from least favorite to my favorite and pick for the award (which, if history is any guide, means that it won’t be the winner, so my apologies in advance…), along with my brief comments.
- THE BODY LIBRARY by Jeff Noon (Angry Robot)
Much like the first in this series, there are a lot of interesting ideas, in this case about stories, narratives, and our relationships with them…yet it simply didn’t resonate with me at all.
- ALIEN VIRUS LOVE DISASTER: STORIES by Abbey Mei Otis (Small Beer Press)
Some of these are funny, many of them are disquieting and leave the reader a little uneasy. I didn’t dislike it, though I’m not sure I can really say that I liked it, either.
- 84K by Claire North (Orbit)
Set in a distressingly plausible near-future dystopic Britain, the unrelenting dreariness was difficult for me. As with post-apocalyptic fiction, I’m not a big fan; I prefer more hope in my futurism.
- THEORY OF BASTARDS by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions)
Neat near-future exploration of interpersonal connections and intimacy, through the lens of research into the sexual habits of bonobo apes.
- TIME WAS by Ian McDonald (Tor.com)
A short, sweet tale of soldiers in love, time travel, the unraveling of their story, and the love of books. I very much enjoyed this one.
- AMBIGUITY MACHINES AND OTHER STORIES by Vandana Singh (Small Beer Press)
One of the best collections I’ve read in a long time. Fascinating, sometimes haunting stories, not a dud in the bunch, and a definite pleasure throughout.
Good luck to all the authors! I look forward to seeing as many as can attend at the award ceremony at Norwescon 42 in just a couple months!