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Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Philip K. Dick Awards

Annie, our new Sci Fi and Fantasy Section Head at Lake Forest Park has got the scoop on this year's Philip K. Dick Awards...

The 2014 Philip K. Dick Award winner was announced on Friday right here in SeaTac at Norwescon.  It's no surprise that Countdown City by Ben Winters won. It's his second book about a world-ending asteroid and a detective who refuses to stop solving murders. Genre-bending and full of chaos and mystery, Winters fully deserves this accolade and any others that come his way. Self-Reference Engine by Toh EnJoe also won a special citation during the ceremony.

Many of Dick's novels and short stories were fueled by his own addictions and paranormal experiences. His twin sister died at only six weeks old, but continued to influence his life and writing until Dick himself passed away from a stroke at the age of 53. Despite his struggles Dick is considered one of the greatest science fiction writers and left behind 44 novels and roughly 121 short stories that other authors, directors, and musicians still draw on today for inspiration. The PKD Award was first awarded in 1983, the year after Dick passed away. The first author to win was Rudy Rucker with his novel Software

The 2014 other hopefuls were:

A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock
The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Self-Reference Engine by Toh EnJoe, translated by Terry Gallagher
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Life on the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead
Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction edited by Ian Whates

These nominees proved to be stiff competition, the best the science fiction world has to offer. They explore everything from dystopia to madness to an asteroid on its way to smash into Earth. Full of rich language and fascinating characters, each of these wonderful books is absolutely worth reading.

Countdown City: The second book in the Detective Hank Palace series follows this intriguing character as he continues his work of tracking down criminals - while wading through chaos caused by an apocalyptic asteroid headed straight for Earth. With three months left before the world is torn to pieces, Palace is hired by a powerful business man to track down his errant son. The case gets murkier the deeper Palace digs. 

Self-Reference Engine: This is perhaps the most surreal book of the bunch. Written in vignettes, EnJoe instructs his readers to read each chapter in order - because it's not a novel, novella, or a collection of short stories. This is Self-Reference ENGINE. Cracking the cover is the only way to find out exactly what EnJoe means.

Ancillary Justice: Leckie takes the artificial intelligence trope and turns it upside
down and inside out with this lovely space opera. Breq, formerly a massive AI warship controlling thousands of corpse soldiers, is stuck on an ice planet trapped inside one remaining delicate human body. Determined to avenge the treachery that landed her in such a position, she single-handedly searches for the warship AI that betrayed her


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