Below you'll find an overview of the winners, with cover/title links to the SF Site reviews (where applicable) along with synopses of those titles yet to be reviewed (cover images are linked to larger images, when available).
|World Fantasy Award (Novel)|
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reviewed by Rich Horton
Beszel and Ul Qoma are two cities that occupy the same geographical space. They are intricately interwoven, such that some areas are "total" -- all one city or the other -- but some are "crosshatched," so that one building might be in Beszel and its neighbor in Ul Qoma. The residents have been trained to "see" and "unsee" their surroundings. Tyador Borlú is an Inspector for Beszel's Extreme Crime Squad. His new case is the murder of a young woman who turns out to be an American graduate student in archaeology with an interest in the theory, generally regarded as crackpot, that there is a third, invisible, city occupying the same area as Beszel and Ul Qoma.
reviewed by Matthew Hughes
In this episode, we reconnect with the centurion Lucius (or Latro, as he was known in the first two books, Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete), some years after he made it home from Greece after the Hellenes had fought off the last invasion by Persia. Lucius had served on the losing side, a mercenary in King Xerxes's army that was slaughtered by Spartan and Athenian hoplites at the Battle of Plataea. There he suffered a catastrophic head wound that left him with a great scar on his scalp and a brain that can only remember the last twelve hours.
"A teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister. An aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction, is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle -- yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered."
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
Mr Norrell emerges out of decades of seclusion in his isolated library to prove that English magic has not completely been lost and that he is the sole remaining practical (rather than theoretical) magician. He sets about, in his own pedantic way, to restore English magic and make himself useful to the government in the wars against the French, and so on. It soon becomes evident, however, that he is not the only magician in England. There is another: Jonathan Strange. Norrell takes on Strange as his pupil but refuses, in his paranoid way, to teach him even half of what he knows. Nevertheless, Strange is obviously more naturally talented than Norrell.
reviewed by Sherwood Smith
The ritual of eating a dead dragon, Bon Agornin, is what launches the story. Bon's powerful and demanding son-in-law, the Illustrious Daverak, takes more than his share for his own family, despite the wishes of Bon and the claims of Bon's other children, the Blessed Penn, Avan, the brother who works in the city, and the two younger maiden sisters, Selendra and Haner. Avan decides the next day to institute a lawsuit against Daverak.
reviewed by Margo MacDonald
The plot leads you on a swift-moving journey through a maze of truth, loss, secrets, bravery, temptation, obsession, magic, and, ultimately, love. The king dies, his mistress is cast out, the prince is just a boy and at the mercy of an evil woman and sorceries of all kinds. Those who love him seek to save him, while those whose purposes are woven through with much greater ambition, care not who is destroyed as they move towards their goals.
The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce
The Facts Of Life by Graham Joyce
The Facts Of Life by Graham Joyce
Galveston by Sean Stewart
reviewed by David Soyka
Thanks to the administrative abilities of Jane Gardner and the supernatural talents of Odessa Gibbons, the inhabitants of Galveston, Texas, have managed to co-exist with the magic that swept over them 20 years earlier -- and to which the rest of civilization succumbed. Occult forces have been confined in an eternal Mardi Gras carnival celebration segregated from the "real" city, which has contrived to maintain a sense of "normalcy" using jury-rigged technology and an oligarchic government. But now Jane Gardner is slowly dying...
"In Turai, the only people more corrupt than the politicians are the royal family, and murder and mayhem and ruthless criminal brotherhoods reign. With the civic guards incapable of keeping order, it's left to men like Thraxas to do what they can. The city needs men of steel, men of virtue and honesty and clean living. Unfortunately, Thraxas is none of the above. Running his business from lodgings above an inn in one of the seedier parts of town, Thraxas makes a living as a private investigator. When he is employed by the third in line to the throne, Thraxas believes that his luck is about to change. A few hours later, he's in a cell, accused of murder."
"Past and present combine in a contemporary tale of love and betrayal influenced by Chippewa tradition, myth and legend. Rozin and Richard, living in Minneapolis with their two young daughters, seem a long way from the traditions of their Native American ancestors. But when one of their acquaintances kidnaps a strange and silent young woman from a Native American camp and brings her back to live with him as his wife, the connections they all hold to the past rear up to confront them. Soon the patterns of their ancestors begin to repeat themselves with truly tragic consequences."
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
A World Fantasy Award nominee, this slim novel takes us to a world where insanity seems the most common condition and where faith is placed in the most tenuous of beliefs. It displays the evil that men do and the chances they have for redemption.
"Set in an alternate world, this modern fairy tale tells the story of two lovers, Laurie and Jaqe, who are separated by Mother Night, a small elderly lady, who is death. Along with her gang of riotous bikers, she cruises through their lives, leaving a trail of heartbreak and joy."
reviewed by Lisa DuMond
Lisa discovered that it isn't that every character in this novel is obsessed, only the ones we get to know by name. One hundred years separate them, but, it is the secrets of yesterday that join them.
"When God Himself drops dead, leaving His two-mile-long corpse floating face up in the Atlantic, former sea captain Anthony Van Horne is recruited by the grieving archangel Raphael to haul the Corpus Dei to an icy tomb at the North Pole. Wanting to redeem himself for indirectly causing the century's worst oil spill, Van Horne resumes command of his newly repaired supertanker and speeds north with God in tow. Already faced with protecting the corpse against marauding predators from the air and the sea, Van Horne confronts a series of setbacks such as a plot by a rescued feminist castaway to bomb and sink the patriarchal corpse for the good of womankind."
"Ray Shackleford is a veteran of failed bands who dreams of the 1960s and the music that never was. But when he finds his dream-music recorded onto his tapedeck he is drawn into the past, revisiting Hendrix, Morrison and the Beatles -- and the music of Ray Shackleford."
Scott Crane quit playing poker professionally a decade ago, but now he's having nightmares about a strange game on Lake Mead in '69... the game where he won a fortune. The money he won was in exchange for his life, and perhaps his soul. And there's one hand left to be played...
"This tale of an 11-year-old's struggle between innocence and evil begins with the discovery of a gruesome murder and ends with the revelation that, even in Zephyr, Alabama, life is not safe and simple -- and most things and people are not what they seem to be."
reviewed by Martin Lewis
Every month Murray Katz supplements his income by donating to the local sperm bank. However, one month in 1974 something unusual happens. Murray's donation spontaneously becomes a cell cluster, a potential human. This can mean only one thing: immaculate conception. Murray's cell cluster is the daughter of God. He steals her and the ectogenesis machine that supports her and takes her back to his lighthouse on the Atlantic where he christens her Julie.
Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner