2008 Hugo Award Recommendations
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by Ian McDonald
McDonald takes on frenetic, vast, fascinating Brazil in this epic interweaving three time strands: the contemporary world of TV producer Marcelina, whose proposal for a series based on a mock trial of an ex-soccer star gets her entangled with the strange truth about our world; the 18th century of a Jesuit whose "task most difficult" of returning a fellow Jesuit to the teachings of the church takes him to the Amazon, where the task becomes more difficult and bizarre; and the nearish future, in which Edson, risen from poverty and crime almost to his dream of wealth and a house by the sea, gets mired in the affairs of Fia, a quantumiera (she operates a quantum computer in an always-moving vehicle) who disables the quantum security chip his brother nearly died for stealing.
by Charles Stross
In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But she soon realizes that the virtual world may have a devastating effect in the real one -- and that someone is about to launch an attack upon both . . .
The Last Colony
by John Scalzi
Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game -- as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
by Michael Chabon
In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addicted chess prodigy.