Monday, October 12, 2015

The Games by Ted Kosmatka

This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think. That's from the blurb of the book. Unless I'm reading it differently from other people, I took it to mean that the novel itself was a Nebula Award finalist. For those of you who have no idea what the Nebula Award is, it's a very prestigious award for American science fiction writers. It's a very big thing. To be even a finalist for the Nebula Awards is a very big thing. Oh, and did I mention that it's a very big thing? Which was why after I finished The Games, I hunted down the Nebula Awards nominee list, perturbed that this book had managed to be nominated and thinking that perhaps there was a drought of science fiction books in that year. Which was when I realised that this novel had not been nominated for a Nebula Award. Ted Kosmatka did get nominated for the Nebula Awards for Best Novelette for his story, Divining Light, in 2010. I have no idea if that sentence in the blurb was written to be deliberately misleading or if it was unintended. Why did I think this book didn't deserve a Nebula nomination? *Sighes* The book had promise. The premise is nice. Nations genetically modify monsters and send them to compete in arenas every 4 years. But nothing much really happens in the book. The actual "games" referred to in the title of the book is covered in a few pages near the second half of the book. The rest of the book consists mainly of subplots that don't really mesh well.