Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

August Books 5) Brontomek!, by Michael Coney

Won the BSFA award for Best Novel for 1976; I confess I knew nothing else about either book or author before picking it up, and it probably qualifies as one of the most forgotten winners. It's an interestingly British novel; if the cover and all details of the author had been removed, I might have identified it as by Brian Aldiss on a slightly off day, perhaps in the early rather than mid-1970s. It's a story of the little guy against the corporation which is corroding the traditional company town culture of the human settlers; the setting is oddly reminiscent of Leo's Aldebaran series, lots of beach and seafaring and port city scenes. There is a bizarre attempt to prove manliness by sailing around the planet single-handed, while at the same time the issue of manliness and humanity is confused by the artificial people who adapt to take on the characteristics desired by their human owners. It's a bit unfortunate in places and doesn't quite gel, but an interesting insight into the neuroses of the time. The Hugo winner that year was Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang, and the Nebula went to Man Plus.
Tags: bookblog 2014, sf: bsfa award
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