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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.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
gareth_rees
Aug. 28th, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
I like Coney's focus on ordinary characters caught up in grand events, his gentleness and whimsicality, and his determination not to milk everything for drama. Perhaps these are all British traits! Despite its BSFA award, Brontomek! is by no means Coney's best novel: take a look at Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975) and The Celestial Steam Locomotive (1983).
yamamanama
Aug. 28th, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
I second this recommendation.
drasecretcampus
Aug. 28th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
Have you read the three novels it links to - Syzygy, Mirror Phase and Charisma?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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