Here Are The Nominees For The 2016 Philip K. Dick Awards

Illustration for article titled Here Are The Nominees For The 2016 Philip K. Dick Awards

Every year, the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust present the Philip K. Dick Award to a science fiction novel first published as a paperback, and they’ve just announced this year’s nominees!

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Here’s the nominees:

  • Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper (Pyr)
  • After the Saucers Landed by Douglas Lain (Night Shade Books)
  • (R)evolution by PJ Manney (47North)
  • Apex by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot Books)
  • Windswept by Adam Rakunas (Angry Robot Books)
  • Archangel by Marguerite Reed (Arche Press)

The award will be presented at Norwescon 39 at on Friday, March 25, 2016. The award went to The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison with a special citation to Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett.

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DISCUSSION

Ramez Naam’s “Nexus” series on human augmentation and AI is excellent, though it does get a bit repetitive. It’s the best science-rooted sci-fi series I’ve read in a while. The first book in the series is probably strongest, as is often the case, but “Apex” is still a worthy book. And, as is appropriate for a book up for a PK Dick award, the nature of consciousness is a major concern.

Adam Rakunas’s “Windswept” is fun, funny, and unusual — the main character is a union recruiter, which is something we don’t see much in sci-fi. As a first novel, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but it’s still quite good. Furthermore, the protagonist has a reality-bending case of PTSD coming off a spaceflight where she was kept semi-conscious for years in a cocoon, an experience reminiscent of Dick’s short story “I Hope We Shall Arrive Soon.”

Of these two books, I’d say that “Nexus” is more worthy of recognition, but I can’t say anything about the competing books, not having read them.