Reviews of Hugo Nominees

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Hugo Nominees 1999

NOVEL
  • Children of God, Mary Doria Russell (Fawcett Books trade; 044900483X, Feb 99, $12.95)
  • Factoring Humanity, Robert J. Sawyer (Tor Books pb; 0812571290, May 99, $5.99, 352 p)
    An utterly forgettable title reveals yet another fast-paced, chock-full-of-ideas, can't-put-it-down story from Sawyer, his fourth Hugo nomination in four years. This is the third one I've read, and certain patterns are starting to emerge in his novels: the two parallel storylines, one of which is the plot and the other of which is something tangentially related which really isn't necessary but provides lots of extra extrapolation; the secondary storyline involves near-future science that is wildly speculative but fun anyway; the male protagonist is exactly the same character as the one from the book before; etc., etc. This book borders on formulaic, but the formula is Sawyer's own, and since it doesn't make the story any less compelling it's hardly a fault. This book is a cross between "Contact" and "Childhood's End", although with neither story's sense of wonder.
  • Distraction, Bruce Sterling (Bantam Spectra hc; 0553104845, Dec 98, $23.95, 432 p)
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis (Bantam Books pb; 0553575384 , Dec 98, $6.50, 493 p)
  • Darwinia, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor pb, 0812566629, Jul 99, $6.99, 384 p)
  • NOVELLA
  • 'Aurora in Four Voices,' by Catherine Asaro (Analog, Dec 1998)
  • 'Get Me to the Church on Time,' by Terry Bisson (Asimov's, May 1998)
  • 'Story of Your Life,' by Ted Chiang (Starlight 2)
  • 'Oceanic,' by Greg Egan (Asimov's, Aug 1998)
  • 'The Summer Isles,' by Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov's, Oct.-Nov. 1998)
  • NOVELETTE
  • 'The Planck Drive,' by Greg Egan (Asimov's, Feb 1998)
  • 'Time Gypsy,' by Ellen Klages (Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction)
  • 'Steamship Soldier on the Information Front,' by Nancy Kress, (Asimov's, April 1998)
  • 'Echea' by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov's, July 1998)
  • 'Zwarte Piet's Tale,' by Allen Steele (Analog, Dec 1998)
  • 'Taklamakan,' by Bruce Sterling (Asimov's, Oct-Nov 1998)
  • 'Divided by Infinity,' by Robert Charles Wilson (Starlight 2)
  • SHORT STORY
  • 'Cosmic Corkscrew,' by Michael A. Burstein (Analog, June 1998)
  • 'Whiptail,' by Robert Reed (Asimov's, Oct-Nov 1998)
  • 'Maneki Neko,' by Bruce Sterling (F&SF, May 1998)
  • 'Radiant Doors,' by Michael Swanwick (Asimov's, Sept 1998)
  • 'The Very Pulse of the Machine,' by Michael Swanwick (Asimov's, Feb 1998)
  • 'Wild Minds,' by Michael Swanwick (Asimov's, May 1998)

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