Comments: The results of the 1986 Campbell Award raise the interesting question of "what is a novel". The Campbell Award is specifically intended to honor the best science fiction novel of the year, and in this year the honor went to David Brin's The Postman. But The Postman isn't really a novel in some ways, but is rather a set of three connected novellas that all happen to include the same protagonist. The "fix-up" novel - that is a novel that is stitched together out of pieces of shorter fiction - has a long pedigree in science fiction, and The Postman seems like a fairly well done example of this sort of novel, but it still doesn't feel like an actual novel, and it doesn't seem like the sort of book that should be regarded as the best novel in a year.
The Postman by David Brin
Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut
(tie) Blood Music Greg Bear(tie) Kiteworld by Keith Roberts
Go to previous year's nominees: 1985
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1987
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