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2021 Philip K. Dick Award - Finalists


The judges of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, have announced the six nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

  • Failed State by Christopher Brown (Harper Voyager)
  • The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
  • Dance on Saturday by Elwin Cotman (Small Beer Press)
  • Bone Silence by Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
  • Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine (Mira)
  • The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 2, 2021 at Norwescon 43 which is being held virtually this year. 

The link to the ceremony will be posted at https://www.norwescon.org when it is available.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society.

The 2021 judges are Thomas A. Easton, Karen Heuler, Mur Lafferty, Patricia MacEwen (chair), and James Sallis.






Failed State
Dystopian Lawyer
Harper Voyager, August 11, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
"The novel is as tense and thrilling as any of Brown's work, and as full of rage and hope. It's a novel that truly reckons with the enormity of both our climate emergency and the system that produced it - a tale of human imperfection and redemption." -- Cory Doctorow, bestselling author of Walkaway

In this second dystopian legal thriller from the author of the acclaimed Rule of Capture and Tropic of Kansas, lawyer Donny Kimoe juggles two intertwined cases whose outcomes will determine the course of America’s future—and his own.

In the aftermath of a second American revolution, peace rests on a fragile truce. The old regime has been deposed, but the ex-president has vanished, escaping justice for his crimes. Some believe he is dead. Others fear he is in hiding, gathering forces. As the factions in Washington work to restore order, Donny Kimoe is in court to settle old scores—and pay his own debts come due.

Meanwhile, the rebels Donny once defended are exacting their own kind of justice. In the ruins of New Orleans, they are building a green utopia—and kidnapping their defeated adversaries to pay for it. The newest hostage is the young heiress to a fortune made from plundering the country—and the daughter of one of Donny’s oldest friends. In a desperate gambit to save his own skin, Donny switches sides to defend her before the show trial. If he fails, so will the truce, dragging the country back into violence. But by taking the case, he risks his last chance to expose the atrocities of the dictatorship—and being tried for his own crimes against the revolution.

To save the future, Donny has to gamble his own. The only way out is to find the evidence that will get both sides back to the table, and secure a more lasting peace. To do that, Donny must betray his clients’ secrets. Including one explosive secret hidden in the ruins, the discovery of which could extinguish the last hope for a better tomorrow—or, if Donny plays it right, keep it burning.





The Book of Koli
The Rampart Trilogy 1
Orbit, April 14, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
"This is a beautiful book. Gripping, engaging, and absolutely worth the time it takes to burrow yourself into its reality. I can't recommend it highly enough." —Seanan McGuire

The first in a masterful new trilogy from acclaimed author M. R. Carey, The Book of Koli begins the story of a young boy on a journey through a strange and deadly world of our making.

Everything that lives hates us…

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don't get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don't venture too far beyond the walls.

He's wrong.

"A captivating start to what promises to be an epic post-apocalyptic fable."Kirkus

"Enthralling…Koli embarks upon a journey as perilous as it is enlightening."Guardian

"The best thing I've read in a long time. I loved it." —Joanne Harris

"Carey hefts astonishing storytelling power with plainspoken language, heartbreaking choices, and sincerity like an arrow to the heart."Locus

Look out for the next novels in the trilogy: The Trials of Koli and The Fall of Koli





Dance on Saturday
Small Beer Press, September 15, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
Planted deeply in the dark, musical fantastic heart of American storytelling, Cotman’s half dozen tales are ripe for the picking.

In the title novella, Cotman imagines a group of near-immortals living in Pittsburgh in an uneasy truce with Lord Decay. Their truce is threatened when one of them takes pity on a young woman who knows their secret. In “Among the Zoologists,” a game writer on their way to a convention falls in with a group of rogue Darwinists whose baggage contains a great mystery. A volleyball tournament devolves into nightmare and chaos in “Mine.” In Cotman’s hands, the conventions of genres from fairytales to Victorian literature to epic fantasy and horror give shape to marvelously new stories.





Bone Silence
The Revenger Trilogy 3
Orbit, April 14, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook 640 pages
The thrilling finale to the Revenger Trilogy tells a desperate tale of greed, piracy, shadow governments, and ancient secrets that could unravel all of civilization

The Ness sisters ran away from home to become the most fearsome pirates in the twenty thousand worlds of the Congregation. They’ve plundered treasures untold, taken command of their own ship, and made plenty of enemies. But now they’re being hunted for crimes they didn’t commit by a fleet whose crimes are worse than their own. To stay one step ahead of their pursuers and answer the questions that have plagued them, they’ll have to employ every dirty, piratical trick in the book….

Read more by Alastair Reynolds!

The Revenger Trilogy:
Revenger
Shadow Captain
Bone Silence





Road Out of Winter
MIRA, September 1, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
2021 Philip K. Dick Award Finalist
A 2020 The Rumpus Book Club Selection

“Blends a rural thriller and speculative realism into what could be called dystopian noir…. Profoundly moving.”—Library Journal, starred review

In an endless winter, she carries seeds of hope

Wylodine comes from a world of paranoia and poverty—her family grows marijuana illegally, and life has always been a battle. Now she’s been left behind to tend the crop alone. Then spring doesn’t return for the second year in a row, bringing unprecedented, extreme winter.

With grow lights stashed in her truck and a pouch of precious seeds, she begins a journey, determined to start over away from Appalachian Ohio. But the icy roads and strangers hidden in the hills are treacherous. After a harrowing encounter with a violent cult, Wil and her small group of exiles become a target for the cult’s volatile leader. Because she has the most valuable skill in the climate chaos: she can make things grow.

Urgent and poignant, Road Out of Winter is a glimpse of an all-too-possible near future, with a chosen family forged in the face of dystopian collapse. With the gripping suspense of The Road and the lyricism of Station Eleven, Stine’s vision is of a changing world where an unexpected hero searches for where hope might take root.

“Richly imagined, deeply moving and unthinkably offers hope in a world that uncannily resembles ours currently in the thick of COVID-19…. Gloriously well-written.” —Ms. Magazine





The Doors of Eden
Orbit, Sebtember 22, 2020
Trade Paperback and eBook, 640 pages
From the Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Adrian Tchaikovsky, The Doors of Eden is an extraordinary feat of the imagination and a page-turning adventure about parallel universes and the monsters that they hide.

They thought we were safe. They were wrong.

Four years ago, two girls went looking for monsters on Bodmin Moor. Only one came back.

Lee thought she’d lost Mal, but now she’s miraculously returned. But what happened that day on the moors? And where has she been all this time? Mal’s reappearance hasn’t gone unnoticed by MI5 officers either, and Lee isn’t the only one with questions.

Julian Sabreur is investigating an attack on top physicist Kay Amal Khan. This leads Julian to clash with agents of an unknown power – and they may or may not be human. His only clue is grainy footage, showing a woman who supposedly died on Bodmin Moor.

Dr Khan’s research was theoretical; then she found cracks between our world and parallel Earths. Now these cracks are widening, revealing extraordinary creatures. And as the doors crash open, anything could come through.

“Tchaikovsky weaves a masterful tale… a suspenseful joyride through the multiverse.” (Booklist)

Melanie's Week in Review - November 23, 2014



Melanie's Week in Review - November 23, 2014


Welcome to winter! I feel for those of you who have had been suffering from all the snow. It has finally started to feel like winter here in the UK (well apart from Saturday). It has been a murky week to have as annual leave and consequently I didn't manage to read very much. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - November 23, 2014
I only managed to finish one book this week (hangs head in shame) but it was a 'goody'. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is not your typical zombie fiction. Normally, I don't like horror  - either watching it or reading it but I make some exceptions...mainly for zombies. I love Walking Dead, The Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant and Carey's one off tale of a young girl in the midst of a Z-poc. The story starts with a young girl named Melanie (not the reason why I liked it so much either!) who is held prisoner in a military institution along with a dozen other children. She is held in a prison cell, strapped to a chair everyday by soldiers who hold a gun to her head and only looks forward to the few short hours she attends 'school' and taught by the beloved Miss Justineau. In between lessons on the Greek gods and mythology Miss Justineau also teaches her about the world before the 'hungries', before mankind got decimated not just by zombies but by each other. Everything changes when the installation is over-run by junkers and she is on the run with 2 of the soldiers who kept her chained to a chair, a scientist who was about to dissect her alive and her beloved teacher.  On the run, with no where to hide and nothing to eat, pursued by the junkers and zombies alike Melanie learns who she really is and what she is capable of.

This is a gripping book from page 1. You are immediately drawn into Melanie's life not just from her POV chapters but through the other characters in the main story including Miss Justineau. I couldn't really put it down and I thought that Carey pitched the horror at the right level so that you weren't always being 'grossed out'. I like how Carey interwove the Greek myths both through Melanie's schooling but also from how they started to play out in the story. If you like a good story and don't mind the occasional zombie kid munching someone's entrails then this is an excellent book.

Melanie's Week in Review - November 23, 2014I am super excited that Dragon Age Inquisition was out on Friday. I am a very bad gamer but love role playing games and the Dragon Age series is my favourite. There is also a set of books to accompany the games and I started The Calling by David Gaider, who also writes for the games. This is the second book in the prequel series to the games. So far it is pretty good and written very much like the games. If you are a fan of the Dragon Age games then I urge you to check out the books.

That is it for me this week. I am back to work next week and then I have jury service for 2 weeks. I have been informed that it is highly likely that I will have lots of time to read during jury service.  Wish me luck! Until next week Happy Reading.

2021 Philip K. Dick Award - FinalistsMelanie's Week in Review - November 23, 2014

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