Each year the Philip K. Dick award is given to “the best science fiction paperback novel published in the United States in the previous calendar year” at Norwescon. This year, the award ceremony will take place in Seattle, WA, on April 10th.
Between now and then, I will be working to read and review all of the nominees. Hopefully, I’ll have time to circle back before the ceremony and update this list with my bet (and my vote), but if the past is any indication I’ll be reading down to the wire.
For now, read on for a little about each book as a nominee. One by one I’ll add review links to this page, so if you’re following along (or reading along), be sure to bookmark this page and check back for the latest updates.
This space opera by Ada Hoffmann, lauded as “intense” and “brilliant”, features tons of scifi favorites: cutting edge energy drives, godlike artificial intelligences, space stations, and humanity’s fate hanging in a delicate balance. In addition, Hoffmann’s young protagonist in The Outside is an autistic lesbian physicist, whose research endangers humans, angers the godlike AI ruling the universe, and sets before her a deadly choice.
Megan E. O’Keefe’s Velocity Weapon is another absolute classic example of the best-loved scifi go-tos. Between epic space battles and intergalactic politics, O’Keefe focuses on individual lives and their effects on a scale larger than global, and uses that vast difference in scale to epic effect. Velocity Weapon sets in motion a new scifi trilogy.
You can read my review of Velocity Weapon here.
All Worlds Are Real
This collection from multi-award winner Susan Palwick presents previously published stories in a carefully-curated package which shifts between fantasy and science fiction, surreal and real, delight and horror with every turn of the page. All Worlds Are Real is a can’t-miss collection.
Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea
Sarah Pinsker’s stories, collected in this new book, have little in common save that they are undeniably human stories. Whether you come to science fiction for the time travel, generation ships, fantastic faraway lands or dangerous and daring futures, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea has something for you.
The Little Animals
Sarah Tolmie has mastered the art of the not-quite-real historical fiction, with magic and mystery lurking darkly at the edges of her story as her protagonist, a quiet if determined draper, investigates a miracle: tiny animals that can only be seen through the lenses of his homemade microscopes. It’s a good bet you’ve never read anything quite like The Little Animals.
You can read my review of Sarah Tolmie’s The Little Animals here.
The Rosewater Redemption
Completing the award-winning Wormwood trilogy, the Rosewater Redemption concludes this gripping story of a city integrated with alien visitors whose intentions are far from honorable. Who can stop them but a small group of elite hackers and master criminals?