29th Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist Announced

Hot on the heels of the BSFA Award Winners and the Hugo shortlist comes the Clarke Awards, as we affectionately know 'em. The six shortlisted books for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel of the year published in 2014 are:

 
The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R. Carey (Orbit)
The Book Of Strange New Things - Michel Faber (Canongate)
Europe In Autumn - Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
Memory Of Water - Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August - Claire North (Orbit)
Station Eleven - Emily St John Mandel (Picador)

The 6 shortlisted titles were selected from a list of 107 individual eligible submissions, put forward by 36 different publishing houses and imprints.

None of the authors above have been listed for this award before, and what a fantastically broad and diverse mix of science fiction books they represent. We also note that two of our own shortlist for the BSFA Awards have made this list - Dave Hutchinson's Europe in Autumn and Claire North's the First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, so that's yet another ringing endorsement for these two books.

Award Director Tom Hunter said, "This is a quintessentially Clarke Award kind of a shortlist of exactly the sort that we've become known for over the years and always love to celebrate. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted authors, their publishing teams and, of course, a big thank you to everyone on our judging panel this year [...] A good shortlist isn't a statement about what you should like, it's an invitation to go beyond the limits of what you already know so you can experience and enjoy something new. Why limit an appreciation of a literature that's built on the power of human imagination?"

We would also like the thank the judges here at the BSFA. It's not so easy to get through 107 books! You've done us proud.

The judging panel for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2015 are:

 Duncan Lawie, British Science Fiction Association

  • Nicholas Whyte, British Science Fiction Association
  • Sarah Brown, Science Fiction Foundation
  • Lesley Hall, Science Fiction Foundation
  • Leila Abu El Hawa, SCI-FI-LONDON film festival

 Andrew M. Butler represents the Arthur C. Clarke Award in a non-voting role as the Chair of the Judges. 

 The winner will be announced on Wednesday 6th May at an exclusive award ceremony held at Foyles Bookshop, London, and taking place as part of the activities leading up to the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival.

 The winner will be presented with a cheque for £2015.00 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend. 

Awards Season Hots Up – Clarkes and Kitschies

At the BSFA, we have counted up our award nominations, and are buzzing with excitement to tell you which works have been shortlisted... but you have to wait!

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Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, revealed the total number of submissions of novels by female writers this week - and it was a staggering 33. Last year, there were only 18 out of 82 books. But how many books will have been submitted overall? Tom is teasing us with that number and won't tell us! But what he did tell us was that he hoped releasing this list first  would be "a positive contribution towards further raising the profile of women writers of science fiction in the UK and beyond." Nice one, Tom.

The full list of submissions will be announced next Thursday. Our BSFA representatives, Duncan Lawie and Ian Whates, along with all the other judges, will be reading like mad to try to get through them all and be ready to announce their collective shortlist on March 18th. Then, the glamorous Royal Society in London will host the awards ceremony once again on May 1st.

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Waving its tentacles in our general direction next come The Kitschies - the shortlists having been announced this week. The Kitschies are an annual prize for books
containing elements of the “speculative and fantastic”. Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry have been running The Kitschies for the past 5 years, and their quest this year was to find the most “progressive, intelligent and entertaining” fiction of 2013 (and give the writers some rum! Probably...)

This year’s shortlists are selected from a record 234 submissions, coming from over fifty different publishers and imprints.

The Red Tentacle (Novel), selected by Kate Griffin, Nick Harkaway, Will Hill, Anab Jain and Annabel Wright:

  • Red Doc> by Anne Carson (Jonathan Cape)
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
  • Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (Jonathan Cape)
  • More Than This by Patrick Ness (Walker)
  • The Machine by James Smythe (HarperCollins / Blue Door)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut), also selected by the above panel:

  • Stray by Monica Hesse (Hot Key)
  • A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock (47 North)
  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot)
  • Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Atlantic)

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art), selected by Craig Kennedy, Sarah Anne Langton, Hazel Thompson and Emma Vieceli.

  • Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill (Gollancz) / Design and illustration by Sinem Erkas
  • The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher (Angry Robot) / Art by Will Staehle
  • Homeland and Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (Titan)  / Design by Amazing15
  • Stray by Monica Hesse (Hot Key)  / Art by Gianmarco Magnani
  • Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human (Century) / Art by Joey Hi-Fi

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Seven Dials Club on 12th February and will receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s distinctive Tentacle trophies and bottles of The Kraken Rum.

Will any of The Kitschies shortlist titles be reflected in the shortlists for the BSFA awards, which will be announced next week? What do you think? I know, but... my lips are sealed!