Comments: In 1989, both the winning novel, Islands in the Net, and the runner up novel, The Gold Coast, seem to touch on much of the same themes, both featuring an alternate future that is dominated by inimical political forces. On the other hand, the third place finisher, Dragonsdawn, is a prehistory of the earlier published books in the Pern series. What this demonstrates, I think, is the eternal flux within the field of science fiction - even though the dystopian themes apparent in Sterling's and Robinson's books were responding to common concerns among the science fiction community at the time, there was still room for McCaffrey's book about planetary exploration and settlement to have a place at the table.
Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling
The Gold Coast by Kim Stanley Robinson
Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey
Go to previous year's nominees: 1988
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 1990
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