Na Trilha de Möbius

Notícias e reflexões sobre ficção científica, fantástico e literaturas alternativas.

terça-feira, janeiro 06, 2004

Seis Livros para Janeiro

O prémio Philip K. Dick é atribuído anualmente ao melhor romance publicado em formato paperback nos Estados Unidos, no ano anterior, e é patrocinado pela Philadelfia Science Fiction Society. Tendo sido criado em 1983, um ano após o falecimento do autor que lhe empresta o nome, pelo colega de letras Thomas Disch, a lógica que subsiste a este prémio relaciona-se de muito perto com o raciocínio do mercado americano, no qual se investe em autores que têm livros publicados no formato «capa dura», enquanto que os autores que só publicam em formato de bolso acabam por cair no esquecimento, perdidos no meio das centenas ou milhares de livros idênticos nas grandes livrarias. Apesar de famoso, PKD publicou quase exclusivamente no formato de bolso, o que ajudou à sua fama de autor de culto.

Os livros nomeados para o prémio em 2004 são (citações retiradas da

Altered Carbon, Richard K. Morgan

From Publishers Weekly

This fast-paced, densely textured, impressive first novel is an intriguing hybrid of William Gibson's Neuromancer and Norman Spinrad's Deus X. In the 25th century, it's difficult to die a final death. Humans are issued a cortical stack, implanted into their bodies, into which consciousness is "digitized" and from which-unless the stack is hopelessly damaged-their consciousness can be downloaded ("resleeved") with its memory intact, into a new body. While the Vatican is trying to make resleeving (at least of Catholics) illegal, centuries-old aristocrat Laurens Bancroft brings Takeshi Kovacs (an Envoy, a specially trained soldier used to being resleeved and trained to soak up clues from new environments) to Earth, where Kovacs is resleeved into a cop's body to investigate Bancroft's first mysterious, stack-damaging death. To solve the case, Kovacs must destroy his former Envoy enemies; outwit Bancroft's seductive, wily wife; dabble in United Nations politics; trust an AI that projects itself in the form of Jimi Hendrix; and deal with his growing physical and emotional attachment to Kristin Ortega, the police lieutenant who used to love the body he's been given. Kovacs rockets from the seediest hellholes on Earth, through virtual reality torture, into several gory firefights, and on to some exotic sexual escapades. Morgan's 25th-century Earth is convincing, while the questions he poses about how much Self is tied to body chemistry and how the rich believe themselves above the law are especially timely.

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Clade, Mark Budz


In the San Jose of tomorrow, all of nature is gengineered—from the warm-blooded plants to the designer people. But even in a rigidly controlled biosystem, with its pheromone-induced social order, the American dream is still the American dream. Caught between these new-old worlds, Rigo is on his way up—he’s going to be part of tomorrow, even if it means he has to leave today behind.

Written off as a sellout on the streets of his old ’hood, Rigo’s got his own ap in an aplex, a 9-to-5er, and a girl. He’s got opportunity. If he works hard, his job with a heavyweight
politicorp could give him a chance to move up in the clades. But when he’s chosen as part of a team to construct a new colony on a nearby comet, Rigo smells a setup. And when disaster strikes, he learns that if there’s a way to bend the rules, there’s also a way to break them…
Dante's Equation, Jane Jensen

From Publishers Weekly
Science and sci-fi go hand in hand in this ambitious, if not entirely successful, thriller by Jensen (Millennium Rising), which incorporates elements of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) as well as theoretical physics. During WWII, physicist and mystic Rabbi Yosef Kobinski vanished from Auschwitz in a blinding flash of light. Kobinski left behind at the camp his Kabbalist masterpiece, The Book of Torment, to be buried for safekeeping. Half a century later, a Jerusalem rabbi and an American journalist are trying to find it. Kobinski had also discovered a mathematical theorem that accounts for good and evil in the universe. The theorem is astonishingly similar to work that Dr. Jill Talcott and her assistant Nate Andros have been doing at the University of Washington, studying the effects of energy waves on living creatures. Talcott and Andros are not yet aware of the full destructive potential of their experiments, but the government is, and its agents are soon on Talcott's trail as she takes up the search for Kobinski's manuscript. The principals ultimately find themselves gathered at the very site near Auschwitz where Kobinski disappeared, and they too are in for an otherworldly odyssey. Jensen is on surer ground describing Kabbalah and Holocaust history than she is plotting supernatural adventures, which unravel by the end. But she gets points for the innovative, multifaceted story.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Hyperthought, M. M. Buckner
From Booklist
In the late twenty-first century, Earth is wracked by brutal storms and toxins, and people have moved underground and poleward. The northern hemisphere is run by the .Coms, while the southern is free. Jolie runs Extreme Tours, taking the wealthiest commies to the surface, where the former tunnel rat somehow feels at home. When she introduces her friend Jin to Dr. Merida, she sets off quite a chain of events. First, Jin's father, head of Pacific.Com, arranges financing for Merida's experimentation--on Jin. Soon enough, Jin is to hear the underlying sound of the universe and understand his role in it. Rebellion breaks loose in the northern .Coms, and Jolie is caught up rescuing whom she can. In the midst of this, though, she goes to rescue Jin. Together they flee across the surface, playing one .Com against another, racing for survival as nanocytes in Jin's brain give him astonishing visions. This is one successful adventure story and a neatly packaged allegory on thought and the future. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Spin State, Chris Moriarty

From Publishers Weekly
Despite incorporating nearly every well-worn SF theme, Moriarty still manages fresh insights into humanity-and posthumanity-in this highly atmospheric debut, a hefty far-future exploration of AI, human cloning, class conflict and plain old-fashioned murder. Major Catherine Li and her fellow UN Peacekeepers battle hive-minded Syndicate genetic constructs for domination of planets settled through FTL (faster than light) migrations enabled by mysterious crystals, quantum-level anomalies of unimagined substance mined only on Compson's World. Resembling the Victorian British empire, the UN's vast interstellar commercial empire runs on the blood and sweat of a few thousand pitifully exploited miners like Li's father, who died so she could remake herself and escape the miners' fate. Now wired into "streamspace" with an AI lover who interacts with her through both male and female hosts, Li is tapped to investigate the murder of physicist Hannah Sharifi, her cloned twin who hoped to share the crystals' power. Based on the short, dangerous life of miners as well as the heady scientific stuff of quantum physics, the book can be heavy slogging for the uninitiated. Moriarty effectively postulates the Faustian price of enhancing humanity with silicon, of playing God through genetic manipulation. Beneath this complex tale ominously simmers Orwell's question: If all animals are to be equal, what can prevent some from making themselves more equal than the others?
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Steel Helix, Ann Tonsor Zeddies


Piers Rameau, a brilliant geneticist, was offered the chance to help design mankind?s replacement?Original Man, a smarter, stronger, swifter race based on manipulated human DNA. But Rameau refused, and chose to follow his own path.

Now Kuno Gunnarsson, creator of Original Man and Rameau's would-be employer, is dead?but his superior creation lives on. And one faction of Original Man is determined to wrest control of the galaxy from the inferior race. A brutal attack destroys both Rameau's home planet and the satellite that has become his world. One tragic casualty is Dakini, a fragile, genetically altered dancer who had become Rameau?s reason to live.

The sole survivor, he finds himself a prisoner of Gunnarsson Prime, a clone of the original creator, on board the Jumpship Langstaff. Against his will, Rameau is enlisted as the ship's wartime medical officer. As a doctor, he swore an oath to do no harm. As a man, he swears blood vengeance on the inhuman killers who destroyed everything he ever loved . . . .

O vencedor será anunciado no dia 9 de Abril, durante a convenção Norwescon 27, a celebrar este ano em Washington.