March Books 10) The Testament of Jessie Lamb, by Jane Rogers
Another of this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award nominees, languishing at the end of the GoodReads / LibraryThing stats with The Waters Rising; Jane Rogers is best known for her mainstream novel Mr. Wroe's Virgins, but I get the impression that her work has often teetered on the edge of the genre, and The Testament of Jessie Lamb is certainly sf. I was really impressed with it; it felt in some way to be a response to the Wyndham-esque cosy catastrophe, in that it is a story of an ordinary middle-class girl in Manchester and what happens to her when catastrophe strikes. In this case the catastrophe is that the entire of humanity becomes infected with a condition where pregnant women die; Jessie Lamb volunteers to be part of a scheme for ensuring that the human race survives despite the appalling consequences for herself. It's not a very cheerful book, but I found it pretty vivid, and at the moment it's my pick among the nominees I have read.