Like a comet whose orbit brings it into contact with planet Earth once a year, the announcement of a new Clarke Award shortlist is (probably) one of the most anticipated moments in the UK science fiction calendar.
Many choose to look upon its arrival with a sense of wonder; some experience only superstitious omens of science fiction’s doom. Others, perhaps more sensibly, see it mostly as an opportunity to read more books and discover new favourite authors!
Whichever camp you subscribe to, hopefully you will agree there is much to excite the imagination in this our 37th award shortlist year. If you are new to science fiction literature, welcome aboard, we’re delighted to introduce you to six fantastic ways to begin your voyage.
The Arthur C. Clarke Awards are honoured to reveal this year’s nominees with the Science Museum once again as part of their Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination exhibition celebrations, and without further ado the shortlist for the 2023 Arthur C. Clarke Award science fiction book of the year is…
VENOMOUS LUMPSUCKER by Ned Beauman (Sceptre)
THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE by Aliette de Bodard (Gollancz)
PLUTOSHINE by Lucy Kissick (Gollancz)
THE ANOMALY by Hervé Le Tellier, translated by Adriana Hunter (Michael Joseph)
THE CORAL BONES by E. J. Swift (Unsung Stories)
METRONOME by Tom Watson (Bloomsbury)
Our Chair of the Judges, Dr Andrew M, Butler, said:
“This year we’ve shortlisted authors that have never made the Clarke Award’s top six before. It’s always good to see new authors or authors new to science fiction standing out from so many submissions. I look forward to what I suspect will be a passionately argued decision.”
We owe a huge thank you to our judging panel and our supporting organisations who nominated them. They are:
- Dave Hutchinson and Francis Gene-Rowe for the British Science Fiction Association.
- Kate Heffner and Nicholas Whyte for the Science Fiction Foundation.
- Georgie Knight for the SCI-FI-LONDON film festival.
- Dr Andrew M. Butler represented the Arthur C. Clarke Award directors in a non-voting role as the Chair of the Judges.
The judges made their final selection from 97 eligible titles submitted by 40 UK publishing imprints and independent authors. The award is presented for the best science fiction novel of the year, and selected from a list of novels whose UK first edition was published in the previous calendar year.
This year’s winning book will be revealed in August 2023. The winning author will receive a trophy in the form of a commemorative engraved bookend and prize money to the value of £2023.00; a tradition that sees the annual prize money rise incrementally by year from the year 2001 in memory of Sir Arthur C. Clarke.
Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination must close 20 August 2023. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through the cosmos. Book your tickets now.