You know spring is in the air when the shortlist for the prestigious Arthur C Clarke Awards – the pre-eminent gongs in the UK for literary science fiction – are announced. The nominees this year, I am glad to see, take in several Indy presses, which is always a good thing to see:
A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton)
Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
After Atlas, Emma Newman (Roc)
Occupy Me, Tricia Sullivan (Gollancz)
Central Station, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (Fleet)
“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,” chair of judges, Dr Andrew M Butler. The Judging panel consists of Una McCormack, British Science Fiction Association, Shana Worthen, British Science Fiction Association, Paul March-Russell, Science Fiction Foundation, Andrew McKie, Science Fiction Foundation, and Charles Christian, Sci-Fi London film festival.
This is a special year for the Clarkes as 2017 also happens to mark the centenary of the birth of the great Arthur C Clarke himself, whose legacy of innovative, intelligent science fiction continues to influence new writers, both by his own body of work and through the continuation of the Clarke Awards, one of the highlights of British SF’s calendar, and I wish all the nominees luck. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Foyles in London on Thursday 27th of July. As always, for anyone looking for good quality science fiction reading suggestions, I commend the shortlist to your roving eyes, I know previous shortlists have proven a popular hunting ground for ideas in my own SF Book Group over the years.