BSFA Best Novel Award Nominees

This year's nominees for the Best Novel category of the British Science Fiction Award, all available from Forbidden Planet.

The Awards will be held at Olympus 2012, Eastercon, at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow, London. And we'll be there!


[Cyber Circus]

Cyber Circus

Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, is desperate to escape the legacy of Soul Food, the miraculous plant food that leeched the soil, destroyed his family, and instigated a bloody civil war. For a man awaiting the inevitable madness brought on by his enforced biomorph implant, there's only one choice. Run away with the circus...

Drifting above a poisoned landscape, Cyber Circus and her exotic acrobats and bioengineered freaks bring a welcome splash of colour into folk's drab lives. None more so than escaped courtesan turned-dancer Desirous Nim. When Nim's freedom and her very life are threatened, Hellequin is forced to fight again. But, even united, will the weird troupe and their strange skills be enough to save Nim and keep their home aloft? That's assuming, of course, that Zan City's Blood Worms, mute stowaways, or the swarms don't manage to bring them down first...

Welcome to the greatest show on Sore Earth!

[Embassytown]

Embassytown

Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe.

Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts - who cannot lie. Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes. Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts.

And that is impossible.

[The Islanders (Hardcover)]

The Islanders (Hardcover)

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.

[By Light Alone (Hardcover)]

By Light Alone (Hardcover)

In a world where we have been genetically engineered so that we can photosynthesise sunlight with our hair, hunger is a thing of the past, food an indulgence.

The poor grow their hair, the rich affect baldness and flaunt their wealth by still eating. But other hungers remain ... The young daughter of an affluent New York family is kidnapped. The ransom demands are refused. Years later a young women arrives at the family home claiming to be their long lost daughter. She has changed so much, she has lived on light, can anyone be sure that she has come home? Adam Roberts' new novel is yet another amazing melding of startling ideas and beautiful prose.

Set in a New York of the future it nevertheless has echoes of a Fitzgeraldesque affluence and art-deco style. It charts his further progress as one of the most important writers of his generation.

[Osama (Hardcover)]

Osama (Hardcover)

Lavie Tidhar was in Dar-es-Salaam during the American embassy bombings in 1998, and stayed in the same hotel as the Al Qaeda operatives in Nairobi. Since then he and his now-wife have narrowly avoided both the 2005 King’s Cross and 2004 Sinai attacks - experiences that led first to his memorable short story “My Travels with Al-Qaeda” and later to the creation of Osama.

In Osama, he brilliantly delves into the post-9/11 global subconscious, mixing together elements of film noir, non-fiction, alternative history and international thriller to create an unsettling—yet utterly compelling—portrayal of our times.