SF Masterwork of the Week: Ammonite

Our latest SF Masterwork of the Week is Nicola Griffith‘s James Tiptree Jr Award-winning debut, Ammonite.


Change or die. These are the only options available on the planet Jeep. Centuries earlier, a deadly virus shattered the original colony, killing the men and forever altering the few surviving women. Now, generations after the colony has lost touch with the rest of humanity, a company arrives to exploit Jeep – and its forces find themselves fighting for their lives.

Terrified of spreading the virus, the company abandons its employees, leaving them afraid and isolated from the natives. In the face of this crisis, anthropologist Marghe Taishan arrives to test a new vaccine. As she risks death to uncover the women’s biological secret, she finds that she, too, is changing – and realizes that not only has she found a home on Jeep, but that she alone carries the seeds of its destruction. . . .


In addition to the James Tiptree Jr AwardAmmonite also won the Lambda Award and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke and BSFA Awards. Her second novel, Slow River, won the NebulaLambda and Gaylactic Spectrum Awards. Both are available as SF Gateway eBooks and SF Masterworks paperbacks.

In addition to her decorations as an author, Nicola Griffith has also won the World Fantasy Award, two Lambdas and two Gaylactic Spectrum Awards for her work as an editor, for the three Bending the Landscape anthologies – SF, Fantasy & Horror – edited with Stephen Pagel.

Don’t just take our word for it though; there’s a review at Ian Sales’ SF Mistressworks site. And, as ever, you can read more about Nicola Griffith in her entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.