The 2015 nominees for the Arthur C. Clarke Award were announced today:
- The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
- The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Canongate)
- Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
- Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Orbit)
- Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Picador)
The Clarke Award is given to the best science fiction novel first published in the UK, and boy are there some doozies on this list. I’ve only read Mandel’s Station Eleven (which is sublime), but the rest of the list, such as Carey, North, and Itäranta, includes some of the best reviewed and critically acclaimed science fiction from 2015.
“This is a quintessentially Clarke Award kind of a shortlist,” said Tom Hunter, director of the award. “We’ve got six authors who have never been nominated for the Clarke Award before and while the subject matter may often be dark, when we think about what this list says about the strength of science fiction literature itself, I see a future that’s full of confidence, creativity and diversity of imagination.”
If you’re unimpressed by other 2015 award ballots, you can do a lot worse than starting at the top of this list and working down. Hunter believes that award shortlists should be viewed as an opportunity for readers, not a challenge. “A good shortlist isn’t a statement about what you should like,” he said. “It’s an invitation to go beyond the limitsof 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?”
More of Hunter’s thoughts on the award, and the list of panelists who determined the short list, is available on the Arthur C. Clarke Award’s official Facebook page.