2010 Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist announced

Paul Raven @ 31-03-2010

It’s that time of year again – the judging panel of the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction Literature have released the final shortlist for the 2010 contest. Here’s the six finalists, plus some statistical bits and bobs:

  • Spirit – Gwyneth Jones (Gollancz)
  • The City & The City – China Miéville (Macmillan)
  • Yellow Blue Tibia – Adam Roberts* (Gollancz)
  • Galileo’s Dream – Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins)
  • Far North – Marcel Theroux (Faber & Faber)
  • Retribution Falls – Chris Wooding (Gollancz)

Gwyneth Jones, China Miéville, Adam Roberts and Kim Stanley Robinson have all previously been nominated for the Award and both Gwyneth Jones and China Miéville are previous winners.

Gwyneth Jones has been nominated five times, and won the Award once for her novel Bold As Love in 2002.

China Miéville has been nominated three times, and won the Award twice with Perdido Street Station in 2001 and Iron Council in 2005. If China Miéville wins in 2010 he will become the first author to win the prize three times in its twenty-four year history.

This is the first time Marcel Theroux and Chris Wooding have been nominated.

This year’s six shortlisted titles were selected from a long list of forty-one eligible submissions put forward by seventeen different publishing houses and imprints.

I’ve read one of the six (namely the Mieville, which I thought was excellent) – how about you lot? Care to cast the odds on the eventual winner?

I like the Clarke Award because it tends to highlight books I’m interested in far more reliably than the popularity contest awards (e.g. the Hugos), but to some people its selection process seems elitist – do you tend to agree more with juried awards or open-voted ones?

[* Regular readers will be aware that Adam Roberts thinks SF awards are rubbish, of course. So I kind of hope he wins, just in case the dichotomy makes him disappear in a puff of self-deprecatory puns. Not that I want the fellow to disappear; of course (unlike some aging but certainly-not-po-faced prog fans) – I just think it’d be a jolly fun way to end the ceremony. 😉 ]

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3 Responses to “2010 Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist announced”

  1. Tim Stevens says:

    I’ve only read the Mieville and the Roberts. I confess to being very disappointed with Yellow Blue Tibia and will perhaps only understand the buzz around it if someone can actually point out why it’s meant to be so good. It was fun in places but generally fairly dull. The City & The City, on the other hand, is something else. Highly innovative, even if the style is tricky at times, and thought-provoking. Not quite like anything else I can think of. So, in a two-horse race between these, Mieville wins by two lengths.

  2. Patrick H says:

    I’ve red Spirit, The City & The City and YBT. Out of them, I can’t decide between The City & The City or Spirit. The former is more attuned to my tastes; while I admire the latter, it’s not really my cup of tea, so I could be just blind to its finer qualities. YBT is a fine and enjoyable book, but it ultimately seemed to me to be a little light.

    I’m not a fan of awards myself – SF, mainstream, whatever – for various reasons, but it’s something to talk about, eh?

  3. Anthony says:

    Unfortunately, haven’t read any of these… yet. They’re not all on my ‘to read’ list, should I encounter them in the library or other setting.

    I do rely on popular awards _and_ juried awards for suggestions for books I should read. Both have their own merits, and often come up with entirely different lists.