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. 😉 ]


Book review: Kramer Wand – me:topia

Adam Roberts @ 09-09-2009

The Adam Roberts Project

Kramer Wand, me:topia (Indicia, 2009)

[pp.197. $20.00. ISBN: 723485522826]

“Great title”, said a friend when I emailed him to say I’d received this book to review; “what’s it about? No, don’t tell me, let me guess—”

I bet this book is arguing that the problem with utopia has been too large a concern with the other feller, too much ‘you’ and not enough ‘me’. I’d wager it’s written by an ex-hippy, somebody now wearing a silk suit and driving an open-top BMW, who’s come to see that self-love is the road to a harmonious society. I’ll go so far as to imagine a sentence from this book: ‘how can we love others if we don’t first love ourselves, and love must be the basis of any utopia. Am I right?

I mention this because, like my friend, I assumed from the title that this book would be a 21st-century revisioning of hippy idealism through the ‘ethical selfishness’ of the late twentieth-century: but, like my friend, I could not have been more wrong. Continue reading “Book review: Kramer Wand – me:topia”


Book review: Abraham Silberschlag – Armada of Zion

Adam Roberts @ 25-03-2009

The Adam Roberts Project

Abraham Silberschlag, Armada of Zion (Velcro Books 2008)

[pp.477. $19.99. ISBN: 4321949312]

Armada of Zion is a book calculated to divide opinion sharply amongst its readership.  However well written, however compelling a storyline, however vivid the characters, this is a novel leaves an uncomfortable aftertaste for many readers.  But perhaps that’s all to the good.  Better a book to hate passionately or a book to love passionately than a book that is bland. Continue reading “Book review: Abraham Silberschlag – Armada of Zion”


NEW COLUMN: announcing The Adam Roberts Project

Paul Raven @ 25-01-2009

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that the coming week sees the first instalment of a new monthly column here at Futurismic!

Its creator is no stranger to the site – having been a regular commenter, as well as providing us a review of all of the Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist nominees for 2008 – and may well be no stranger to your bookshelves, whether in the form of his science fiction novels, criticism or histories.

Of whom do I speak? Well, let’s let The Adam Roberts Project explain it for [him/it]self, shall we?

The Adam Roberts Project is an algorithm for observing the world and generating text. It belongs to the future (hence ‘futurismic’) but more specifically to a 1970s future. The future promised us by Prog. The future we have been hitherto denied.

Among Adam Roberts Project’s previous productions are the concept albums Genesil, Land of Head-Yes, 21st Century Swiftly Man and Yellow Blue Tarkus.

Columns will be monthly and will be varied. No refunds will be offered.

The Adam Roberts Project also blogs at europrogovision.blogspot.com

Next Wednesday, we will be told why all genre fiction awards shortlists are rubbish.

Rest assured, I shall be pushing for a future column that explains the ongoing absence of our jetpacks…