Awards season is well and truly upon us with the 31st Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist being announced yesterday.

This year’s shortlist of six books was chosen by a judging panel from 86 titles submitted by 38 publishing imprints and independent authors:

A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton)

The sequel to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (which was itself shortlisted for the 2016 Award), these books are all about the journey of not just the ship but the people.

Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)

A commander is given the chance to prove herself in battle, but must ally herself with a undead tactician with a dark and bloody reputation.

After Atlas – Emma Newman (Roc)

Set in the same universe as 2015’s Planetfall, here we see what happened to the people left behind on Earth. A brilliant blend of science fiction and detective noir.

Occupy Me – Tricia Sullivan (Gollancz)

A woman with wings that exist in another dimension embarks on a journey of self discovery which transcends space and time.

Central Station – Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)

A global diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures clash in both real life and virtual reality, and people and machines adapt and evolve together.

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead (Fleet)

In this imagining of the South, slave Cora goes on the run on the underground railroad which takes the form of a dilapidated box car, with a different world awaiting at each stop.

It’s great to see such a strong shortlist which represents not only some of the best of the genre, but also the vast diversity of vision which science fiction novels have to offer a modern audience.

Sadly, rather like Highlander, there can be only one.

Chair of the Judges, Dr Andrew M. Butler praised the judges and the shortlist, but couldn’t speculate as to the winner: “Every year our industrious judges sift through scores of novels to pick six to represent the state of the sf field. They’ve chosen a first timer and a previous winner, as well as writers in the process of building great reputations. Any of these could win — at this point I cannot begin to guess.”

Award Director Tom Hunter added: “the novels on our shortlist this year are fascinatingly diverse, deeply imaginative and a great tribute to the memory of Sir Arthur himself as we celebrate the centenary year of his birth in 2017.”

Previous winners of this prestigious award have included the very talented likes of Adrian Tchaikovsky, Lauren Beukes, China Miéville and Margaret Atwood.

The winner will be announced at a public award ceremony held in partnership with Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, on Thursday 27th July 2017, and will be presented with a cheque for £2017along with the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend.

Congratulations to all the authors shortlisted and of course the very best of luck!


Source: The Arthur C.Clarke Award
GS Blogger: Michaela Gray (@bookiesnacksize)

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