Tag Archive: John W. Campbell Memorial Award

Dec 24

Book Review: The Bees by Laline Paul

I finish a book about talking animals (Bete by Adam Roberts) and replace it with a novel about talking bees. Well, I say talking bees but the drones, foragers and sages that form the world of Laline Paull’s debut novel, the imaginatively titled The Bees, don’t speak in any language that would be recognisable to …

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Dec 15

Book Review: Bete by Adam Roberts

Adam Roberts’ 15th novel, Bete, begins with a cow talking to a farmer just as the farmer is about to pull the trigger on a bolt gun. What seems like the beginning of a joke, or a fantasy novel involving talking animals, becomes a heated conversation about the Turing Test and a plea from the …

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Dec 06

Book Review: Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

I vaguely recall reading and enjoying Daryl Gregory’s first novel, Pandemonium, back when it was published in 2008. The critics were also impressed by Gregory’s debut as it featured on at least four award shortlists including the World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Awards. And yet for whatever reason I bought but never read Gregory’s second …

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Nov 20

Book Review: Echopraxia by Peter Watts

Weaponised tornadoes, posthuman monks, sentient mould and the subtle conditioning of the human brain are only some of the concepts you’ll find in Echopraxia, the second novel in Peter Watt’s “Firefall” series. (The first book, Blindsight, garnered multiple award nominations including a Hugo). This is hard science fiction that’s having a grand old-time exploring difficult, …

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Nov 17

Book Review: Defenders by Will McIntosh

About a quarter of the way through Defenders, Oliver Bowen – a CIA operative – is transported in a submarine to a secret base on Easter Island. There he’s introduced to the Defenders, genetically engineered super soldiers, seventeen foot tall with three legs and a mastery of tactics who have been born and bred to …

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Aug 20

Book Review: Lock In by John Scalzi

What’s It About Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. Representative …

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Aug 12

Book Review: Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer

What’s It About It’s the third and final book in the Southern Reach series.  Do I need to say more? Representative Paragraph The majesty of the natural world – the known and the unknown… Once, from this vantage, [Saul Evan’s had] seen something vast rippling through the water beyond the sandbars, a kind of shadow, …

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Aug 08

Book Review: Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

What’s It About This is second novel in the Southern Reach trilogy and follows directly on from the events of Annihilation.  All you need to know is that a new head has been appointed to lead the Southern Reach (the pseudo government entity that keeps a check on Area X).  His name is John Rodriguez …

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Jun 16

And the Winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award is…

… Claire North for the excellent, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (link to my review). While not my favourite book on the shortlist, it’s still a novel I greatly enjoyed and so I’m pleased to see North take home the award. More on the Campbell when I finished reading the shortlist sometime in late August.

May 25

Book Review: The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Translated by Ken Liu)

What’s It About It’s an alien invasion novel that features the Cultural Revolution, a computer game that incorporates the entirety of Western and Eastern scientific thought and a series of jaw dropping set pieces. Representative Paragraph Qin Shi Huang, Newton, Von Neumann, and Wang all stood on the platform at the apex of the pyramid. This …

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