BSFA Award Winners (Novel)

View all Award Winning Books for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 7/30/2013
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The BSFA awards are presented annually since 1970 to  to honour works in the genre of science fiction by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) members.  They are fan awards that not only seek to honour the most worthy examples in each category, but to promote the genre of science fiction, and get people reading, talking about and enjoying all that contemporary science fiction has to offer.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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Jack Glass

Golden Age SF meets Golden Age Crime in this British Science Fiction Award winner for best novel, from the author of Swiftly, New Model Army, and Yellow Blue Tibia

 

Jack Glass is the murderer—we know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel unfolds, readers will be astonished to discover how he committed the murders and by the end of the book, their sympathies for the killer will be fully engaged. Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, this is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain. Filled with wonderfully gruesome moments and liberal doses of sly humor, this novel is built around three gripping HowDunnits that challenge notions of crime, punishment, power, and freedom.

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The Islanders
A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you.

The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters.

THE ISLANDERS serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator.

It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates why he has remained one of the country's most prized novelists.
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The Dervish House
It begins with an explosion. Another day, another bus bomb. Everyone it seems is after a piece of Turkey. But the shockwaves from this random act of 21st century pandemic terrorism will ripple further and resonate louder than just Enginsoy Square.

Welcome to the world of The Dervish House—the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey. The year is 2027 and Turkey is about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its accession to the European Union.

This is the age of carbon consciousness: every individual in the EU has a card stipulating individual carbon allowance that must be produced at every CO2 generating transaction. For those who can master the game, who can make the trades between gas price and carbon trading permits, who can play the power factions against each other, there are fortunes to be made. The old Byzantine politics are back. They never went away.

The ancient power struggled between Sunni and Shia threatens like a storm: Ankara has watched the Middle East emerge from twenty-five years of sectarian conflict. So far it has stayed aloof. A populist Prime Minister has called a referendum on EU membership. Tensions run high. The army watches, hand on holster. And a Galatasary Champions' League football game against Arsenal stokes passions even higher.

The Dervish House is seven days, six characters, three interconnected story strands, one central common core –the eponymous dervish house, a character in itself—that pins all these players together in a weave of intrigue, conflict, drama and a ticking clock of a thriller.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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The City & The City (Random House Reader's Circle)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE SEATTLE TIMES, AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
 
When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma. But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them more than their lives. What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.
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Brasyl
Think Bladerunner in the tropics...

Be seduced, amazed, and shocked by one of the world's greatest and strangest nations. Past, present, and future Brazil, with all its color, passion, and shifting realities, come together in a novel that is part SF, part history, part mystery, and entirely enthralling.

Three separate stories follow three main characters:

Edson is a self-made talent impresario one step up from the slums in a near future São Paulo of astonishing riches and poverty. A chance encounter draws Edson into the dangerous world of illegal quantum computing, but where can you run in a total surveillance society where every move, face, and centavo is constantly tracked?

Marcelina is an ambitious Rio TV producer looking for that big reality TV hit to make her name. When her hot idea leads her on the track of a disgraced World Cup soccer goalkeeper, she becomes enmeshed in an ancient conspiracy that threatens not just her life, but her very soul.

Father Luis is a Jesuit missionary sent into the maelstrom of 18th-century Brazil to locate and punish a rogue priest who has strayed beyond the articles of his faith and set up a vast empire in the hinterland. In the company of a French geographer and spy, what he finds in the backwaters of the Amazon tries both his faith and the nature of reality itself to the breaking point.

Three characters, three stories, three Brazils, all linked together across time, space, and reality in a hugely ambitious story that will challenge the way you think about everything.
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End of the World Blues
From Jon Courtenay Grimwood, author of the celebrated Arabesk series, comes a stunningly inventive novel of futuristic noir set in a world of shifting realities. Here a man is drawn into a gritty postmodern subculture and a secret kingdom of otherworldly beings to find what he lost long ago: a reason to live.

Kit Nouveau figured he'd already come to the end of the world. An Iraqi war veteran, expatriate, and part owner of Pirate Mary's, the best Irish bar in Tokyo, Kit had settled down to await the inevitable with barely a whimper. It wasn't exactly how Kit thought he'd end up, and he was right.

It's going to end up a lot worse.

A teenage runaway with fifteen million dollars in stolen cash and a taste for cosplay is about to save Kit's life in a lethal swirl of scarlet and bridal lace. Lady Neku, a.k.a. Countess of High Strange, has her own dangerous destiny to fulfill and it's mysteriously connected to Kit's ravaged past. Now Kit's only hope for redemption is to save an ex-girlfriend he tragically failed once before. But everyone says it's already too late. And she's left behind only one ominous clue: her suicide note.
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Air
This remarkable novel is about the effects of a new communications technology, Air, that works without power lines or machines. As pervasive technology ensures the rapid spread of pop culture and information access, few corners of the planet remain untouched. One of those few is Kizuldah, Karzistan, a tiny rice-farming village, predominantly Chinese Buddhist but with a strong Muslim presence, among whom sharply intelligent though illiterate Mae Chung, a self-styled fashion expert guiding the village women in dress, make-up and hairstyling, is an informal leader. When the UN decides to test the radical new technology Air, Mae is boiling laundry and chatting with elderly Mrs Tung. The massive surge of Air energy swamps them, and when the test is finished, Mrs Tung is dead, and Mae has absorbed her 90 years of memories. Rocked by the unexpected deaths and disorientation, the UN delays fully implementing Air, but Mae sees at once that her way of life is ending. Half-mad, struggling with information overload, the resentment of much of the village, and a complex family situation, she works fiercely to learn what she needs to ride the tiger of change.
release date: Sep 30, 2007
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River of Gods
As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business — a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj — the waif, the mind-reader, the prophet — when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and cultures — one and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.
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Felaheen
In a world where secrets kill, an ex-cop discovers he's got the biggest secret of all.…

Set in a 21st-century Ottoman Empire, Jon Courtenay Grimwood's acclaimed Arabesk series is a noir action-thriller with an exotic twist. Here an ex-cop with nothing to lose finds himself on the trail of a man he doesn't believe in: his father.

Ashraf Bey has been a lot of things–and most of them illegal. Now, having resigned as El Iskandryia's Chief of Detectives, he's taking stock of his life and there's not much: a mistress he's never made love to, a niece everyone thinks is mentally incompetent, and a credit card bill rising towards infinity. With a revolt breaking out across North Africa, the world seems to be racing Raf straight to hell. The last thing he needs is a father he's never known. But when the old Emir's security chief requests that Raf come out of retirement to investigate an assassination attempt on His Excellency, that's exactly what Raf gets. Now, disguised as an itinerant laborer, Raf goes underground to discover a man–and a past–he never knew…and won't survive again.

“Fast, furious, fun and elegant, the Arabesk trilogy is one of the best things to hit the bookstores in a while.” –SF Revu

“Felaheen is SF at its most inventive.” –Guardian

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The Separation
THE SEPARATION is the story of twin brothers. Rowers in the 1936 Olympics, they meet Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy; one joins the RAF, and captains a Wellington; he is shot down after a bombing raid on Hamburg and become's Churchill's aide-de-camp; his twin brother, a pacifist, works with the Red Cross, rescuing bombing victims in London. But this is not a straightforward story of the Second World War: this is an alternate history: the two brothers - both called J.L. Sawyer - live their lives in alternate versions of reality. In one, the Second World War ends as we imagine it did; in the other, thanks to efforts of an eminent team of negotiators headed by Hess, the war ends in 1941. THE SEPARATION is an emotionally riveting story of how ordinary people can make a difference; it's a savage critique of Winston Churchill, the man credited as the saviour of Britain and the Western World, and it's a story of how one perceives and shapes the past. THE SEPARATION was originally published by Simon & Schuster as a trade paperback, with a very small print run; it went out of print almost immediately and was never reprinted. Gollancz will publish initially as a price-promoted hardcover, as a platform for reviews and national newspaper coverage, prior to lead title paperback publication in 2004.
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Chasm City
In a city overrun by a virus that attacks both man and machine, an agent pursues a lowlife postmortal-and uncovers a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget...
release date: Feb 01, 2001
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Ash
For the beautiful young woman Ash, life has always been arquebuses and artillery, swords and armour and the true horrors of hand-to-hand combat. War is her job. She has fought her way to the command of a mercenary company, and on her unlikely shoulders lies the destiny of a Europe threatened by the depredations of an Infidel army more terrible than any nightmare.
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The Sky Road
Centuries after the catastrophic Deliverance, humanity is again reaching into space. And Clovis, a young scholar working in the spaceship-construction yard, could make the difference between success and failure. For his mysterious new lover, Merrial, has seduced him into the idea of extrapolating the ship's future from the dark archives of the past.

A past in which, centuries before, Myra Godwin faced the end of a different space age--her rockets redundant, her people rebellious, and her borders defenseless against the Sino-Soviet Union. As Myra appealed to the crumbling West for help, she found history turning on her own strange past--and on the terrible decisions she faces now.

The Sky Road is a fireworks display, a bravura performance, and the most amazing novel yet by one of the powerful new voices in science fiction.
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The Extremes
FBI Agent Teresa Simons specializes in investigating mass murder and serial killings. Part of her training requires her to participate in extremely lifelike virtual reality scenarios that are almost indistinguishable from real life. When her husband, also an agent, is apparently killed in Texas on the same day as a similar mass murder in a small English town, she realizes that the eerie coincidence may mean that virtual reality is impinging on her own. Now she must find a way to distinguish what is really happening from what is not -- before it's too late.
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The Sparrow
"A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense."
--USA Today

"AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That's who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel."
--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, 'a soul . . . looking for God.' We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"SMOOTH STORYTELLING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them."
--Entertainment Weekly
release date: Feb 02, 1998
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Excession
Iain M. Banks is a true original, an author whose brilliant speculative fiction has transported us into worlds of unbounded imagination and inimitable revelatory power. Now he takes us on the ultimate trip: to the edge of possibility and to the heart of a cosmic puzzle....

Diplomat Byr Genar-Hofoen has been selected by the Culture to undertake a delicate and dangerous mission. The Department of Special Circumstances--the Culture's espionage and dirty tricks section--has sent him off to investigate a 2,500-year-old mystery: the sudden disappearance of a star fifty times older than the universe itself. But in seeking the secret of the lost sun, Byr risks losing himself.

There is only one way to break the silence of millennia: steal the soul of the long-dead starship captain who first encountered the star, and convince her to be reborn. And in accepting this mission, Byr will be swept into a vast conspiracy that could lead the universe into an age of peace...or to the brink of annihilation.
release date: Nov 27, 1995
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The Time Ships
There is a secret passage through time

...and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but he "present" in which we live.

A century after the publication of H. G. Wells' immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today's most acclaimed new "hard SF" author, and the acknowledged Clarke, returns to the distant conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks in a story that is at once an exciting expansion, and a radical departure based on the astonishing new understandings of quantum physics.

release date: Jun 01, 1995
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Feersum Endjinn
Count Alandre Sessine VII has already died seven times. He has only one life left - one last chance to catch his killer. His only clues point to a conspiracy beyond his own murder. For a catastrophe is fast approaching the earth from which there is no escape - until a loophole through apocalypse is discovered. And a chosen few will do anything to keep it a secret. Someone has betrayed Sessine, killed him before he could uncover the truth. Now he has three days before his funeral to live the way men used to live: restricted to one life where one mistake could be his last. Suddenly he finds himself an outlaw, a fugitive, a desperado. And his only hope of survival is finding others like himself. Others who hold a piece of the puzzle to an enigmatic weapon of salvation and chaos...
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Aztec Century
The Aztec Empire has been growing ever since Cortez changed sides in the 16th century. They already control great areas of the world and now it's 20th-century Britain's turn to submit to Aztec rule. This story of war, politics, intrigue and romance is narrated by a daughter of the British monarch.
release date: Oct 01, 1993
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Aurora
In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.
release date: Jan 01, 1990
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The Fall of Hyperion
In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention.  On
the world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening.  And the secrets they contain mean that nothing--nothing anywhere in the universe--will ever be the same.
release date: Jan 01, 1992
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Take Back Plenty
A fast-moving space adventure featuring mysterious aliens, a journey to a de-populated planet, a mad run from space cops, a ship captain in trouble, and her AI (Artificially Intelligent) companion/ship's computer. Winner of both the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year and the British Science Fiction Association Award for best novel of the year--the only book ever to win both prestigious British awards. Original.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Pyramids

Pyramids is the seventh book in the award-winning comic fantasy Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.

In Pyramids, you'll discover the tale of Teppic, a student at the Assassin's Guild of Ankh-Morpok and prince of the tiny kingdom of Djelibeybi, thrust into the role of pharaoh after his father's sudden death. It's bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn't a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. First, there's the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad -- a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal—not to mention a headstrong handmaiden—at the heart of his realm.

Sometimes being a god is no fun at all...

release date: Jul 01, 2004
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Lavondyss

A haunting entry in the World Fantasy Award-winning Mythago Cycle

In Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock gave us an intricate world spun from the stories of Irish and English mythology, a great forest steeped in mystery and legend, whose heart contains secrets that will change all who behold them.

Young Tallis is one such seeker. When she was just an infant, she lost her brother Harry to Ryhope Wood. Her adolescent fancies now cause her to suspect that he is still alive---and in grave danger. Tallis follows Harry into the primal Otherworld armed only with magic, masks, and clues left by her grandfather. Eventually the primitive forest gives way to Lavondyss itself, a fascinating and terrible realm where she is forced to confront the mythagos, physical manifestations of the legends of humanity's collective unconscious.

Join Tallis on her quest into the ultimate unknown, and be invited into one of the finest and most compelling mythologies you will ever encounter.

"A stunningly good book . . . conveys the haunting power of old heroes and lost gods."
--Locus

"Magical . . . It is rare to find a sequel which measures up to its original; but Lavondyss surpasses it."
--Times Literary Supplement

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Ragged Astronauts
One planet faces a threat to its survival and so the only hope for its people is to migrate through space by balloon to a sister planet, Overland. The sequel is "The Wooden Spaceships".
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Helliconia Winter
This is the final volume of the Helliconia Trilogy -- a monumental saga that goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today's imaginative writers. The centuries-long winter of the Great Year on Helliconia is upon us, and the Oligarch is taking harsh measures to ensure the survival of the people of the bleak Northern continent of Sibornal. Behind the battle with which the novel opens lies an act of unparalleled treachery. But the plague is coming on the wings of winter and the Oligarch's will is set against it -- and against the phagors, humanity's ancient enemies, who carry the plague with them.
release date: Sep 01, 2003
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Mythago Wood

Myth and Terror in the Forest Deeps

The mystery of Ryhope Wood, Britain's last fragment of primeval forest, consumed George Huxley's entire long life. Now, after his death, his sons have taken up his work. But what they discover is numinous and perilous beyond all expectation.

For the Wood, larger inside than out, is a labyrinth full of myths come to life, "mythagos" that can change you forever. A labyrinth where love and beauty haunt your dreams. . .and may drive you insane.

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Tik-Tok
Something has gone very seriously wrong with Tik-Tok's "asimov circuits." They should keep him on the straight and narrow, following Asimov's first law of robotics: A robot shall not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. But, that's not what's happening. Although every thing looks fine from the surface, and Tik-Tok maintains the outward appearance of a mild-mannered robot, his agenda is murderously different. And, it's not just because of his artistic tendencies and sympathy for the robot rights movement, either. This witty chronicle of one abnormal machine-man, and his dealings with an assortment of deranged and maniacal humans, truly showcases the satirical genius of John Sladek.
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